Links for August 22nd 2010

Posted by on Aug 22, 2010 in Uncategorized | No Comments
[Art Monasticism, Elements of monasticism » Study]
  • via the Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies (IEET) » In this animation from the Royal Society of Arts, Matthew Taylor explores the idea of a 21st Century Enlightenment that would “champion a more self-aware, socially embedded model of autonomy that recognizes our frailties and limitations,” and “expand the reach of empathy.” He proposes “developing schools as intelligent communities” as a means of enhancing “universalist sentiment” and “empathic capacity.” There are “Three Logics” that dominate our society’s current idea of progress: “The Logic of Science & Technological Progress,” “The Logic of Markets,” and the “Logic of Bureaucracy.” A 21st Century Enlightenment would reassert a fourth logic, that of humanism. “What we aim for can be as important to our well being as what we achieve.” He references Michel Foucoult on Kant’s description of the Englightenment: “It has to be conceived as an attitude, an ethos, a philosophical life in which the critique of what we are is at one and the same time the historical analysis of the limits that are imposed on us, and the experiment of going beyond them.” We must see past simplistic ideas of freedom, justice and progress, and to do so Taylor suggests “philosophical and even spiritual exploration of who we might aspire to be.”
[Elements of monasticism » Study]
  • On that note, I’m curious to follow Timothy Morton’s Ecology without Nature.
    • He muses: “This stuff [meditation] has a bad rap in the West where it’s dismissed as narcissism. I think this dismissal unnecessarily carries on the heresy-hunting mission of the anti-Gnostic early Christians, who basically stamped out anything like meditation and the kind of do-it-yourself vibe common to esoteric groups. I don’t think we should continue this mission unconsciously. In fact, thinking about it some more would get us back to a lot of what is extraordinary about Plato and so on. Narcissism is also highly functional, in the sense that you need a good feedback to yourself to do things like brush your teeth and make cups of tea. It’s only when that narcissism is wounded that you start acting funny. The closest thing to narcissism in Buddhist thinking is maitri, which means loving-kindness, and it starts with yourself. Monks in Tibet are still trained to practice generosity, first by passing a ball between one hand and the other…you have to start somewhere...”
    • I like this: “I’m off to suck my own tail in a few days (in Crestone CO),” (referring to the alleged “strange loop” of meditation)
[Monastic Solutions » Tools for Business]
  • Mindfulness for marketers, at Seth Godin’s Blog: Monitoring your internal monologue:
    • Godin: ‘I’ve met two kinds of successful intuitive marketers… The other kind is an honest witness of the decision-making that goes on every day inside. “Why did I just choose that?” “Why do I believe this? Is it because of something my dad said when I was three?” “Why did I give $100 to that charity? Why not zero? A thousand?” This self-insight is difficult and valuable. It means that you can’t take things at face value, even things that you might be more comfortable leaving unexamined, as truths. Theologians wrestle with this dilemma all the time. How can you study an idea or a trend or a belief system if you also accept it as a universal, unquestionable fact? And so the smart marketer throws away bias and stops cheering for one outcome over another and instead quietly takes notes on herself. Notes start shallow, but if you push, you can get deeper, stripping away layers of previously unexamined instinct. You can test those notes, see if they occur in other people when you vary the inputs. And it’s this series of notes and tests that give you insight on how to share your next idea.’
[Monastic Solutions » Tools for Tech, Art Monasticism]
  • Hylozoism in art, at BLDGBLOG: Hives and valves, filters and membranes:
    • Writes BLDGBLOG: ‘Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Ground installation opens this coming Friday at the Venice Biennale, where it is installed inside the Canadian pavilion. It is a “suspended geotextile that gradually accumulates hybrid soil from ingredients drawn from its surroundings.” As Beesley explains, “Hylozoic Ground is an immersive, interactive environment that moves and breathes around its viewers… Next-generation artificial intelligence, synthetic biology, and interactive technology create an environment that is nearly alive.” Indeed, he adds, “hylozoism is the ancient belief that all matter has life.”‘
    • From the project site: …the glass-like fragility of this artificial forest, built of an intricate lattice of small transparent acrylic tiles, is visually breathtaking. Its frond extremities arch uncannily towards those who venture into its midst, reaching out to stroke and be stroked like the feather or fur or hair of some mysterious animal. Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil stands as a magically moving contemporary symbol of our aptitude for empathy and the creative projection of living systems.

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