2010.02.07 19:00 - Knowledge (of ?) Good and Evil

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.


    Eliza Madrigal: I think it is important to be generally informed... but to choose the outlets so that it doesn't create a kind of feeding frenzy... negativity, etc

    Widget Whiteberry: hmm, Yak - I think about this too (ty for the note)
    Widget Whiteberry: I think it's important to stay grounded in re real
    Widget Whiteberry: because a danger moves slowly or seems far away does not make it less real
    Agatha Macbeth: Agreed Widget
    Agatha Macbeth: Sometimes makes it more dangerous
    Widget Whiteberry: our nervous systems are developed to react to the clear and present danger... but out minds can do more.... for me it's important that I not be agitated when I think about these things ...
    Yakuzza Lethecus: so i don´t even know for example places where i can elaborate on such thoughts often so they got stuck as fears somewhere in the memory...


    Calvino comes to the meeting with the theme of "knowledge" seemingly in the air, seeking to take some human form. When Calvino arrives, a new visitor is already present, hoping to observe the group in action.  As happens sometimes, it turned out that the two people present were the group in action :)

    Calvino Rabeni: Hello, Hollie
    Hollie Massenberg: hi
    Calvino Rabeni: how is it going today / tonight?
    Hollie Massenberg: good, you?
    Calvino Rabeni: very well, thanks
    Hollie Massenberg: anything going on here tonight?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, there is a regularly scheduled meeting here 4 times per day, for the group Play As Being
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes many show up, sometimes 1 !
    Hollie Massenberg: i saw that on the board over there
    Hollie Massenberg: what if only 1 shows up?
    Calvino Rabeni: If that happens, sometimes they just sit, sometimes other things
    Calvino Rabeni: have you read the introduction?
    Calvino Rabeni: I can give you a note card
    Hollie Massenberg: ya, i read the notecard from the info center back there
    Calvino Rabeni: One thing to know, is, during these meetings every thing in chat gets recorded and published on the web site.
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that OK with you to be recorded?
    Hollie Massenberg: i just came to observe anyway : )
    Hollie Massenberg: to see if it's something i'm interested in
    Hollie Massenberg: but nobody's here so........
    Calvino Rabeni: What people do here is observe themselves and each other :)
    Calvino Rabeni: So there are 2 people here to be observed
    Calvino Rabeni: If more show up then it can get interesting
    Hollie Massenberg: cool
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you have a meditation practice or something similar?
    Calvino Rabeni: It's not a requirement, but many people who come here are interested in that kind of thing
    Hollie Massenberg: i have a meditation practice that comes and goes
    Hollie Massenberg: ya, i'm interested
    Calvino Rabeni: The discussions here are free ranging. But it is based on an idea of "awareness"
    Hollie Massenberg: great
    Calvino Rabeni: So every 15 minutes there is a bell signal, and then people stop and just notice what they are aware of in the moment
    Calvino Rabeni: whether for inside themselves, or in the world around them
    Hollie Massenberg: interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: And then after that, the idea is, it can become part of the dialogue
    Calvino Rabeni: There are people from different philosophies and religions that come here, but there is no specific thing they think people should follow
    Hollie Massenberg: that's cool
    Commercial break...
    Hollie Massenberg: i'll bet everybody's watching the super bowl
    Calvino Rabeni: Do they watch superbowl outside the USA also?
    Hollie Massenberg: idk
    Hollie Massenberg: lol
    Program resumes...
    Calvino Rabeni: One thing I like is the international mix of people here
    Hollie Massenberg: awesome
    Hollie Massenberg: well, i'll try coming back some time when a group is here
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, you might find it interesting
    Hollie Massenberg: sounds pretty interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: What would you hope to see, if anything would grab your interests?
    Calvino Rabeni: Basically, I found you can trust people to respond pretty well to almost any interest here, when a group is present
    Hollie Massenberg: i looked at the museum next door
    Calvino Rabeni: it is pretty easy going
    Hollie Massenberg: great
    Calvino Rabeni: The sacred art museum?
    Hollie Massenberg: yep
    Hollie Massenberg: it's pretty neat
    Calvino Rabeni: I went there a couple of times - but don't actually know the story - I think it is patterned after a real museum at a university
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, I like it too
    Hollie Massenberg: oh that's interesting
    Hollie Massenberg: you have a peace pipe?
    Calvino Rabeni: I do know a lot of work went into it
    Hollie Massenberg: i bet so
    Calvino Rabeni: Ah that is a talking stick

    Calvino Rabeni: You know about talking sticks?
    Hollie Massenberg: yep
    Calvino Rabeni: Nice.
    Hollie Massenberg: you pass it around, the person holding it is the talker?
    Calvino Rabeni: It is not part of what this group does, but I have them in RL
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: It comes from a tradition of a wisdom council or circle
    Calvino Rabeni: I live in USA, and some of the the native traditions have been taken up into other parts of society
    Calvino Rabeni: So various friends, etc, know the talking stick
    Hollie Massenberg: ya, i'm in usa too
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't know if it is done in europe, etc.
    Hollie Massenberg: it's pretty native american
    Calvino Rabeni: I never asked the germans here about it.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Hollie Massenberg: so, do you stop at various points of the day to be mindful for 90 seconds?
    Calvino Rabeni: The recommendation is only 9 seconds during the day
    Calvino Rabeni: It's is basically just a reminder to check in with self and be aware
    Calvino Rabeni: something that can be done in a fairly busy life
    Hollie Massenberg: that's a good tool
    Calvino Rabeni: But some people have their own other practices
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, just a quick checkin
    Calvino Rabeni: Some are spiritual in orientation, some are not, but an awareness can help anyone make better use of their intelligence
    Calvino Rabeni: for whatever their goals are
    Hollie Massenberg: ya
    Hollie Massenberg: i'm most drawn to mindfulness meditation
    Calvino Rabeni: I suppose I am too :)
    Calvino Rabeni: If it leads to insights, that is cool, but even when it doesn't there are other good things about it
    Hollie Massenberg: sometimes the insight is just, wow my mind is crazy
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Hollie Massenberg: i just looked at the website
    Calvino Rabeni: awareness might go "into" the crazyness and find something interesting behind it
    Hollie Massenberg: can't find any past group discussions
    Hollie Massenberg: ya
    Calvino Rabeni: the group discussions are on the wiki -
    Hollie Massenberg: SL wiki?
    Calvino Rabeni: They are on the "play as being" wiki. Did you find the link for it?
    Hollie Massenberg: i found the website, kira.org
    Calvino Rabeni: http://playasbeing.wik.is/
    Calvino Rabeni: Kira has lots of activities besides PlayAsBeing.
    Hollie Massenberg: ah, thanks

    Calvino Rabeni: each one has its own wiki or email group
    Hollie Massenberg: neat.
    Calvino Rabeni: Chat logs are at http://playasbeing.wik.is/Chat_Logs/2010
    Calvino Rabeni: But it is raw - not condensed like a book or essay
    Calvino Rabeni: (Hollie made an unexpected exit, but then immediately checked back in IM and we said some thanks / goodbyes)

    Solo again, Calvino is about to go into "Blog Mode" with a theme kickoff using a quote from the TSK book...

    Calvino Rabeni: "All ordinary sensing and knowing can be Great Knowledge, and *so can instances of confusion or of 'not-knowing'*"

    But Fox shows up right then and they discuss it instead.

    Calvino Rabeni: Hello Fox
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Hi Cal
    Foxtree Gorbunov: what is the topic today?
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, I was just discussing that with myself :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: cool
    Foxtree Gorbunov: how did that work out?
    Calvino Rabeni: And it was going to be "knowledge", but now that you're here, it could be anything, I suppose :)
    Calvino Rabeni: A new visitor was here earlier
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Knowledge...well.....that a hard one
    Calvino Rabeni: Ah, maybe it's a habit to focus on the hard parts of it ?
    Calvino Rabeni: Did you catch the quote I chatted out just as you were arriving?
    Foxtree Gorbunov: most of it
    Calvino Rabeni: On that view, knowledge is as easy as falling off a log
    Foxtree Gorbunov: true, but how do you know?
    Calvino Rabeni: Which is handy, because I'm a little lazy :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: That is to say, there is a lot of things to know, and you can not know it all
    Foxtree Gorbunov: ever one hates a 'know it all'
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes true
    Calvino Rabeni: Why is that, do you suppose?
    Foxtree Gorbunov: simple...it an act.
    Foxtree Gorbunov: no one can know it all
    Foxtree Gorbunov: If you could know it all, then you would be a god
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, if they act "as if" it seems phony
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Some how, I get the feeling I am not walking with gods
    Calvino Rabeni: But, also self doubt comes into the picture
    Foxtree Gorbunov: that becouse we make mistakes
    Calvino Rabeni: If I walked with gods, I might find out they were as confused as I - perhaps I'd be disppointed
    Foxtree Gorbunov: NASA has only lost three man space ships. Even after checking and re-checking ever part of those ships.
    Foxtree Gorbunov: beside gods would know things, not act like they did
    Calvino Rabeni: It is an interesting story, to understand those failures

    Calvino Rabeni: Well I've noticed, it appears people want there to be gods and experts to hold all the knowledge that they don't feel like they can.
    Calvino Rabeni: Like they don't want give up on it, but don't want to or think they can't do it themselves :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: People also make things to hold knowledge. Were talking in one of them now
    Foxtree Gorbunov: the internet is nothing but knowledge
    Foxtree Gorbunov: most of it, poorly thought out.
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it doesn't really "hold" knowledge - I think knowledge can't be contained, it is ephemeral - just markings of language, information, that somehow remind people of knowledge, provided they can pay attention
    Foxtree Gorbunov: is knowldge a living thing or just informtion in a book or wed sight?
    Calvino Rabeni: Knowledge is a living thing, I believe
    Foxtree Gorbunov: is knowldge good or evil?
    Calvino Rabeni: What do you think (I say, stalling for time) ?
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Knowledge is alive, but is like a machine. It is not alive, but it takes no side
    Foxtree Gorbunov: the US made bat booms in world war two
    Calvino Rabeni: Ah, I don't see it existing outside people, nor machine-like
    Calvino Rabeni: but, when people believe that, then maybe it becomes evil
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Machine can not run with out people
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Knowledge does not run with out people
    Calvino Rabeni: Well, like a stone idol, people can follow a machine rather than real knowledge
    Calvino Rabeni: People shape tools, and tool shape people
    Calvino Rabeni: and information is conveyed in machines
    Calvino Rabeni: not knowledge
    Foxtree Gorbunov: most stone idols were also shaped. to mark a date
    Calvino Rabeni: And the tools do specialized things, thus tempting people to do that particular thing
    Foxtree Gorbunov: the mind made the tool, the tool lead to better tools.
    Calvino Rabeni: Take a gun, for instance, it has a specialized purpose, and it is debatable whether it makes a good tool for peace
    Calvino Rabeni: Put it in the hands of someone who has destructive or avaricious desires, and it becomes a channel for "evil" behaviors
    Foxtree Gorbunov: new guns...old guns are use for re-enacting.
    Calvino Rabeni: And ideally, it would be neutral, if everyone were enlightened :)
    Foxtree Gorbunov: hunting
    Calvino Rabeni: But it doesn't appear to work that way
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, people don't need it any more much for that purpose
    Calvino Rabeni: so it becomes an instrument of violence not for providing sustenance
    Calvino Rabeni: So for these reasons, I don't belive the "tools are neutral" idea
    Calvino Rabeni: And to me, information is a tool that could be misused also

    Foxtree Gorbunov: Let's look at it this way...I hope I put this the right way....Government is an form of Knowladge. But, only govermnets go to war. The street thug is not at war, but uses weapons all the time. If we only had clubs, would every stick be evil?
    Calvino Rabeni: Street thugs have gang wars
    Calvino Rabeni: And it is not due to nationalism, but tribalism.
    Foxtree Gorbunov: Guns don't kill people, people do.
    Calvino Rabeni: I've heard that slogan but don't believe it because people and their tools are one.
    In a session cliffhanger, the nature of knowledge, good and evil, and the fate of humankind are left unresolved...
    Calvino Rabeni: Fox, thanks for the chat - I have a RL phone call to give my attention to.
    Foxtree Gorbunov: take care
    Calvino Rabeni: You too :) Bye for now
    Foxtree Gorbunov: bye
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