2009.12.21 19:00 - Midwinter Night

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Fox Monacular. The comments are by Fox Monacular.

    doug Sosa: hi fox.
    doug Sosa: don't see you..
    doug Sosa: oh there.
    Fox Monacular: here
    doug Sosa: indeed.
    Fox Monacular: how are you doing tonight?
    doug Sosa: well, 4 hours of driving, fve hour conversation.
    Fox Monacular: where to? from?
    doug Sosa: bit, well, filled up.
    Fox Monacular: i can imagine:)
    doug Sosa: russian river to san francisco and back.
    doug Sosa: yourself?
    Fox Monacular: recuperating from a wedding party
    Fox Monacular: still eating the food...
    doug Sosa: you got married! :)
    Fox Monacular: yep:)
    doug Sosa: getting married is usually tiring.
    Fox Monacular: we made so much food that even though we distributed it between all family members, our fridge is still packed
    doug Sosa: wedding leftovers for christmas. but good, right?
    Fox Monacular: :) I don't think the salads and fish are going to survive
    doug Sosa: hm, fish can be curried.
    Fox Monacular: (I can't stay for long today, baby's still not in bed)
    Fox Monacular: well, fish is already marinated
    doug Sosa: just married and already a baby!
    Fox Monacular: that's exactly what my grandma said right after the ceremony
    Fox Monacular: :)
    doug Sosa: So young and you already have a grandma too?
    Fox Monacular: yes, we're very lucky, we still have our grandparents around (just on the next street)
    Fox Monacular: so now she's a great-grandmother
    doug Sosa: remind me, toronto?
    Fox Monacular: montreal
    Fox Monacular: although this is going to change in a month - we're going to boston for my husband
    Fox Monacular: postdoc
    doug Sosa: pardon, si'l vous plais.
    Fox Monacular: no vous en faites pas
    doug Sosa: What field?
    Fox Monacular: dreaming, neuroscience
    doug Sosa: ah, i do a lot with dreams.
    Fox Monacular: what kind of work do you do with dreams?
    doug Sosa: mais non.
    doug Sosa: Well, psychoanalyst, and i think about how they work and why a great deal.
    Fox Monacular: actually we have the same supervisor with my husband
    Fox Monacular: oh, cool!
    doug Sosa: and experiment, like the capacity to dream and write fiction.
    Fox Monacular: neuroscientists usually dismiss psychoanalysis... it drives me crazy
    Fox Monacular: I did some undergraduate project on psychoanalysis applied to art history
    doug Sosa: silly. it is crucial to understanding the neurology. The perceiving brain awake is just one moinor state of the sleeping brrain dreaming.
    Fox Monacular: I definitely agree
    doug Sosa: Rudopf Arnheim, Gombrich?
    Fox Monacular: I make a point of quoting freud at least once in all my papers
    Fox Monacular: my project was on Klimt and Art Nouveau as a parallel to Freud's Interpretation of dreams
    doug Sosa: Where in Boston?
    Fox Monacular: same time
    Fox Monacular: harvard
    Fox Monacular: with robert stickgold
    doug Sosa: med school or cambridge?
    Fox Monacular: med school
    doug Sosa: Ah, dn't know him.
    Fox Monacular: and then I had an individual art history project on 'dream residues' in art hostory
    Fox Monacular: that was a lot of fun
    Fox Monacular: I used data from the dream lav
    Fox Monacular: lab
    doug Sosa: klimt is pretty racy.
    doug Sosa: interesting i once taught a course comparing brecht and freud.
    Fox Monacular: oh cool
    doug Sosa: well this is fun but i don't want to keep you from baby.
    Fox Monacular: I personally like jung more, but I've read a lot of freud, and keep returning
    Fox Monacular: it's ok, she's on my lat
    Fox Monacular: lap
    doug Sosa: Jung is very interesting but not such a nive person.
    Fox Monacular: yes
    doug Sosa: nice
    Fox Monacular: freud had interesting work on leonardo and michelangelo
    doug Sosa: i was impressed by ho jung said my patients are like the greek gods, but freud said oedipus is like my patients.
    Fox Monacular: :)
    doug Sosa: cal
    Fox Monacular: hey Cal
    doug Sosa: we are talking dreams and psychoanalysis and art.
    Calvino Rabeni: good evening Doug, Fox
    Calvino Rabeni: I like that topic
    doug Sosa: you know, the things that come up in 9 sec :)
    Fox Monacular: brb
    doug Sosa: i am going to have to go to dinner. Apologies. Alwaysawkward for me at 7.
    doug Sosa: bye.
    Calvino Rabeni: talk toyou late, doug.
    Fox Monacular: sorry, Calvino, I'll have to run too... baby's still not sleeping, husband's putting up the christmas tree
    Calvino Rabeni: NP, Fox, take care :)
    Fox Monacular: have a good evening!
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye!
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Calvino. All alone I see.
    Calvino Rabeni: Storm, yes, Doug and Fox were here earlier
    Calvino Rabeni: I have a fairly mundane question
    Storm Nordwind: I'm reasonably good at mundane answers
    Calvino Rabeni: My frame rate here is 2.1. My graphics are on minimum.
    Storm Nordwind: Sometimes they are even accurate
    Calvino Rabeni: Can the frame rate display be inaccurate that much?
    Storm Nordwind: And your particle count?
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: I set it to 1024, then 0, no change
    Storm Nordwind: It makes 4fps difference on mine
    Storm Nordwind: between 0 and 8192
    Calvino Rabeni: Back at my area here, it goes form 15 to 2.5 depending on direction I face
    Storm Nordwind: Let me tell you my settings and you can compare:
    Storm Nordwind: 1280x744 Mid; BumpMap ON; basic and Atmos Shaders both ON; Water refect OFF...
    Calvino Rabeni: what do you have for Ping Sim?
    Storm Nordwind: Refelection detail all greyed out; imposters ON, Skinning ON Cloth OFF
    Storm Nordwind: 44 mmsec
    Storm Nordwind: msec
    Storm Nordwind: now 119
    Calvino Rabeni: right, I have 478
    Storm Nordwind: I have a 30Mb connection here
    Storm Nordwind: 128m/8192 particles, post process LOWMesh detail Mid.High/Mid/Mid/Low/Low
    Storm Nordwind: No Anisotropic, AA disable, VBO on, 256 MB texture mem
    Storm Nordwind: Let me kill most of the local particles for you
    Storm Nordwind: Any change in frame rate?
    Calvino Rabeni: no change
    Storm Nordwind sighs and shrugs
    Calvino Rabeni: mmmm lemmeseehere
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, I found it - the ONE setting that affects FPS is "Texture Memory (MB)"
    Storm Nordwind: Yes that has a huge effect
    Storm Nordwind: That's why I read it out
    Storm Nordwind: Not sure you can change it without relogging
    Calvino Rabeni: Under hardware options - I wonder why it depends on avatar direction - complexity of texture you are looking at, perhaps?
    Storm Nordwind: Yes
    Storm Nordwind: The cache only lasts for so long
    Storm Nordwind: Though at least it's a minute now I think instead of 10 seconds
    Calvino Rabeni: problem solved more or less
    Storm Nordwind: cool
    Storm Nordwind: You will have had less of a problem in the Cafe, right?
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: Any PAB topics you care to discuss?
    Storm Nordwind: Always game! :)
    Calvino Rabeni: What is of interest to you?
    Storm Nordwind: It's hard to say. All things and no things. I have a wide background. I have no axe to grind. I'm a chameleon at these meetings! :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I noticed those things.
    Storm Nordwind: I like people and I like to help others express what has impressed them. So I'm rarely the one who throws the ball, much less hits it.
    Calvino Rabeni: There is a case for self-disclosure, I found
    Calvino Rabeni: I try to strike a balance
    Storm Nordwind: Sharing can help others see you empathize.
    Storm Nordwind: It inspires trust to show trust
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that, and it also demonstrates the safety of expression, and the creativity of a certain style of doing it.
    Storm Nordwind: From a pragmatic point of you, for whose benefit would such expression of creativity be?
    Storm Nordwind: *of view
    Calvino Rabeni: the universe :)
    Calvino Rabeni: It benefits all round, I can't see any delimitation
    Storm Nordwind: Do you think it needs that benefit? :)
    Storm Nordwind is playing devil's advocate
    Calvino Rabeni: Well that sounds parsimonious?
    Storm Nordwind: Can there not be beautiful expression without need or benefit? Just because it 'is'?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it is benefit by being
    Storm Nordwind: Benefit is only a benefit if it matches a need. The universe may prosper but does it need?
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: It moves, it plays, I don't really have much opinion about "need"
    Calvino Rabeni: the birds sing, the water runs downhill, vapors rise
    Calvino Rabeni: things happen without a purpose or objective
    Storm Nordwind: and without meaning
    Calvino Rabeni: yes and no
    Calvino Rabeni: no external meaning
    Storm Nordwind: no inherently existent meaning
    Calvino Rabeni: unless other things inherently exist, then it is the same
    Calvino Rabeni: the meaning is not anything "about" something else
    Calvino Rabeni: that is, meaning is not a theory
    Calvino Rabeni: (although part if it may be "theory" since people love making those up)
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. So what do you believe meaning is?
    Calvino Rabeni: For me, it is the pattern of what happens, as it appears to awareness
    Calvino Rabeni: That is, the part of it I can apprehend.
    Calvino Rabeni: And I'd have to say, the un-apprehended part plays into it also
    Calvino Rabeni: So perhaps I should call that meaning also
    Calvino Rabeni: To allow for uncomprehended meanings
    Calvino Rabeni: The pattern is not complete, however
    Calvino Rabeni: It is not fixed; it keeps changing
    Calvino Rabeni: So it's not that kind of conventional pattern, I suppose
    Storm Nordwind: It has always changed, and will always change
    Calvino Rabeni: Yeah as far as I can see :)
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Calvino Rabeni: I started doing the "epoche" exercise for the pheno class
    Storm Nordwind: I did that for the old classes. I haven't for the new ones.
    Calvino Rabeni: It is funny I think.
    Storm Nordwind: Oh?
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, maybe I mean humouous, not peculiar.
    Calvino Rabeni: Things in RL kind of "rez up" as I move along
    Storm Nordwind: haha - yes!
    Paradise Tennant is Online
    Storm Nordwind: That's a very Buddhist viewpoint too
    Calvino Rabeni: I've heard that before - but also, they de-rez also, which I haven't heard people remark on
    Calvino Rabeni: It is like - they are so proud of having made the distinctions, they don't quite notice when things slip back into the implicit.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes. they need to de-rez instantaneously to follow in the Buddhist way of viewing
    Calvino Rabeni: Buddhists seem to care a lot about de-rezzing
    Storm Nordwind: I wouldn't generalize! :)
    Storm Nordwind: They like the come and go
    Calvino Rabeni: You hear about it a lot - would be a different way to put it
    Calvino Rabeni: Like the come and go - that's the view from farther along a study
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: It appears to be a familar theme in a wide variety of traditions
    Storm Nordwind: I wonder why that is? ;)
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, there is an obvious reply - however I wonder if it is strictly necessary.
    Calvino Rabeni: It makes principled paths have a very shiva type energy
    Calvino Rabeni: at first, anyway
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi, Paradise
    Storm Nordwind: Hi Paradise. Good to see you. :)
    Paradise Tennant: hiya cal .. storm .. I hope I am not interrupting :)
    Calvino Rabeni: We were discussing creativity
    Paradise Tennant: great topic :)
    Paradise Tennant: almost always think of it as a gift from someone else really .. the mingling of something said .. thought .. with a new place ..time ..application :)
    Storm Nordwind: When I was 11 years old, I had an art teacher that doubled occasionally as a divinity master. He used to say, "There's nothing new under the sun." Oddly enough, I didn't find that engendered much artistic creativity!
    Calvino Rabeni: Mixed messages :)
    Storm Nordwind: He would say that if you took a cross section of a leaf and magnified it in some way from some angle it would look like the drawing I'd just done!
    Paradise Tennant: lol well yes but a bit true too .. because creativity is often just about the justaposition of what is.. think of luggage and wheels ..how long have we had those two ideas ..till some creative soul put them together ..
    Calvino Rabeni: I was thinking, Paradise, that being appreciative and receptive to a gift is a way of bringing creativity.
    Storm Nordwind: Like the Chinese harp strings story I quoted here once, I suspect
    Calvino Rabeni: So storm, did you recover your creative drive after that dubious teacher?
    Storm Nordwind: yeah... I switched to music!
    Calvino Rabeni: Hope no lasting impression :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Irrepressable
    Storm Nordwind: And took up art again when he'd gone.
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, your creation around here is significant
    Paradise Tennant: nods very beautiful !
    Storm Nordwind: Much is borrowed. Particular the textures. Simply because to do everything yourself from scratch would take a long time
    Calvino Rabeni: He could have given a second half of the "nothing new under the sun" idea
    Storm Nordwind: But you're very kind
    Calvino Rabeni: Live instruments - seem more expressive than, e.g. digital compositions
    Storm Nordwind: It can be fun to do both, especially if you have limited resources to procure instruments
    -- BELL --
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you Paradise!!! :))
    Paradise Tennant: :) love musix
    Paradise Tennant: really where I find refuge every day :)
    Paradise Tennant: yvw storm ..those are some of my favourite textures
    Paradise Tennant: I have a fair number of thankas too if you would like some ...
    Storm Nordwind: I will treasure them best... by using them!
    Storm Nordwind: Oh! yes please! :)
    Paradise Tennant: kk
    Calvino Rabeni: storm, do you know vijnanahairava tantra?
    Storm Nordwind: That is not my practice, no
    Calvino Rabeni: You heard about it, if not practiced?
    Storm Nordwind nods
    Storm Nordwind: Why do you ask?
    Paradise Tennant: do you practice it cal :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Now this seems nerd-ish, but I was wondering if there is a structural basis for asserting the completeness of the 112 methods
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Storm Nordwind chuckles
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a structural question, I suppose
    Calvino Rabeni: You hear it said - well, that's all, there *can't* be any more.
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Storm Nordwind: Well I have no opinion on it. best ask someone who practices... or perhaps practice it yourself! ;)
    Paradise Tennant: hmm questioning is always good . ...only way you really understand ..or can get close to understanding
    Paradise Tennant: I am just back from a rl session listening to dongsar rinpoche and I confess understood very very little tonight
    Calvino Rabeni: depending on the definition I asked about, I do or don't practice it
    Paradise Tennant: on buddha nature the isness of it :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm not educated much in that - is it bodhicitta?
    Storm Nordwind: Is what bodhicitta Calvino? Sorry I missed the thread here
    Paradise Tennant: what all sentient life has that is pure and unspoiled
    Paradise Tennant: they use the fog and mirror metaphor buddha nature if the mirror .. our duallistic thinking the fog
    Paradise Tennant: *is
    Calvino Rabeni: oh, P listening to a talk on buddha nature, and I asked if that referred to bodhicitta
    Storm Nordwind: Ah... the two things are different, yes
    Calvino Rabeni: What is the difference ?
    Paradise Tennant: bodhicitta is compassion .. buddha nature is our divine nature ..what we realize upon enlightenment
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: OK
    Storm Nordwind: In quick and dirty terms, Buddha nature is the potential that a sentient being has to become a Buddha at some point. Bodhicitta is born of compassion and wants to become a Buddha in order to release all sentient beings from suffering.
    Paradise Tennant: :) thank you Storm nicely put
    Calvino Rabeni: Ok, compassion is a loaded term in ordinary speaking.
    Storm Nordwind: Loaded in what way?
    Calvino Rabeni: But, my question is, the quality of purity and innocence in regarding sentient beings, is that considered a quality of bodhicitta, or do buddhists have a different term for it?
    Storm Nordwind: Now *there* are two loaded terms!! ;)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Storm Nordwind: Bodhicitta can be seen as the difference between the Hinayana and Mahayana paths (to use tainted terms)
    Calvino Rabeni: But it's possible to drop most of the "load"
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know Hin from Mah in that respect
    Storm Nordwind: It is only because of the potential that this 'purity and innocence' has that Bodhicitta has any chance of being effective
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Storm Nordwind: The idea is this...
    Storm Nordwind: Through suffering, a being comes to want liberation from suffering...
    Storm Nordwind: and the means to achieve that would be promulgated and practised through Hinayana...
    Storm Nordwind: But there exists the possibility to look around oneself at other sentient beings...
    Storm Nordwind: and out of compassion for their sufferings, to want liberation for them too...
    Storm Nordwind: and there follows a realisation that this cannot be effected without becoming a Buddha oneself...
    Storm Nordwind: and this mind is one of bodhicitta...
    Storm Nordwind: and is the mark of the Mahayana path
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks for the well crafted explanation
    Calvino Rabeni: Are there buddhists who don't "want liberation"?
    Paradise Tennant: :)
    Paradise Tennant: great question :)
    Storm Nordwind: here are those who are quite content with rebirth in a Pure Land, yes
    Storm Nordwind: *There
    Paradise Tennant: and others who keep coming back with the thought ..of liberating everyone .. even the ants :)
    Storm Nordwind: yes!
    Paradise Tennant: yikes .. i have to scoot.. almost midnight here and I have a small hairy dog who wants the liberation of a walk :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Here's a parallel that may irritate some - sorry if so - that liberation fro suffering is to buddhists as redemption from sin is to christians
    Storm Nordwind: even the politicians!
    Paradise Tennant: thanks as always for the wonderful conversation
    Storm Nordwind: haha! Bye Paradise!
    Calvino Rabeni: Good to see you Paradise, Bye
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Storm Nordwind: In that it is a central tenet?
    Calvino Rabeni: yes, and that it may be in a sense "the same thing" if you are in a mind to look for universals
    Calvino Rabeni: obviously my perspective is closer to comparative religion
    Storm Nordwind: Superficially they appear different, and would probably appear that way to most Christians. But it is interesting to study the mechanisms for enabling both and perhaps see common threads
    Calvino Rabeni: yes perhaps
    -- BELL --
    Calvino Rabeni: leaving buddhist terminology aside - because it tempts one with "correctness" ...
    Calvino Rabeni: I said earlier that compassion was loaded or laden...
    Calvino Rabeni: And I think it could be explored in the "ordinary" conceptual and experiential framework
    Calvino Rabeni: without overt metaphysical terms
    Calvino Rabeni: For example, instead of "compassion" another interesting word
    Calvino Rabeni: is "pity".
    Calvino Rabeni: That is of course, laden
    Storm Nordwind: Even more heavily loaded yes
    Calvino Rabeni: yes, I dare say, more heavily :)
    Storm Nordwind: But there may well be cultural differences across the Atlantic of which I'm not yet aware! :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, cultural is one layer of it.
    Calvino Rabeni: And it may be different, I would speculate in advance
    Calvino Rabeni: But the cultures have a lot in common
    Calvino Rabeni: The question I have in mind is, what is "in" pity, as an experience?
    Calvino Rabeni: If the secondary ideas are dropped/
    Storm Nordwind: Quite a few things. For example, the feeling that "you're there and I'm glad I'm not"
    Calvino Rabeni: That's kind of in-between, Not sure which aspect you meant.
    Calvino Rabeni: I could take it two ways
    Calvino Rabeni: And as an experience it might go two ways
    Calvino Rabeni: It might go towards difference and superiority
    Calvino Rabeni: It might go in the opposite direction
    Storm Nordwind: yes. pity is indeed an ambiguous term, with a spectrum that goes all the way to condescension and patronising
    Calvino Rabeni: But as an experience, it is one of the things that has been buried by culture under false consciousness
    Calvino Rabeni: In my view, it has a deeper meaning that is like a buried treasure
    Storm Nordwind: I doubt it has been buried. Fragmented at the most, recombined and renamed perhaps, but not lost
    Calvino Rabeni: and could use some rehabilitation
    Calvino Rabeni: Fragmented, hidden, insofar as it isn't in its purer form an accessible experience for people, because it is occluded by the layer of ideas about what it means
    Storm Nordwind: Ah then I would gisagree. People do not need a name for an experience to have that experience in my view
    Storm Nordwind: *disagree
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, I may disagree, because I am saying that peoples habits are structured by the cultural ideas that are handed to them.
    Calvino Rabeni: And their experiences tainted thereby
    Calvino Rabeni: Or colored, or structured, to use a less negative word
    Storm Nordwind: That will always be so. But there are many people who partly or wholly experience freely to a lesser or greater extent
    Calvino Rabeni: Averages count.
    Storm Nordwind: The outliers may pull and influence too!
    Calvino Rabeni: In a sense, we are having a fact / value split, Is vs Ought
    Calvino Rabeni: You're on the ought side, I'm on the is side
    Storm Nordwind: No
    Storm Nordwind: I'm on the Can side
    Calvino Rabeni: So agree, it is possible, and some can do it
    Calvino Rabeni: can / ought array against is
    Storm Nordwind: ought is a value judgement. Can is a fact
    Calvino Rabeni: So yes, it Can be done. And I hope it Will, but it Isn't because of the overlay
    Storm Nordwind: sure
    Storm Nordwind: You will have to excuse me now
    Calvino Rabeni: I could get into can vs ought, interesting, but "can't" right now due to lack of time
    Storm Nordwind: I must leave for RL!
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks Storm, for the interesting discussion
    Calvino Rabeni: Same here
    Storm Nordwind: As always!
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Calvino Rabeni: As sometimes happens, I didn't get right to the point
    Calvino Rabeni: What I had in mind is - pity when experienced with a clear mind, can be a gateway to compassion
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_

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