Had a fifteen minute conversation with Edwin. Which always leaves me 1) wishing I had taken notes and 2) fairly certain that I didn't understand most of it.
I'm entirely cool with having a wide circle of friends who are much smarter than I am. It makes me work harder and it's comforting in a weird way. Sometimes I have an over-developed sense of responsibility and it is good to know that there are better people taking the load.
It was the kind of conversation that started with affordances (which I still don't feel I grasp the nuances of-- it's not exactly the same as the gifts I tell people to exploit in a fight) and touched on Aristotle's "Metaphysics" and the orient aspect of Boyd's OODA loop and Mac's contention that observation affects physical reality and...
I like a human sized world with human-sized problems. But I know the universe is both very large and very tiny and that my human perceptions and needs and desires are completely unimportant. The universe is what it is, not what I want it to be and there is no rule that says the universe needs to make sense-- and certainly no rule that gives me the right to define what sense is. But it does make sense, so far, and it's actually kind of odd (and maybe a little suspicious) how consistent the universe is. But that's a long talk for narghila and scotch.
In the conversation with Edwin-- you can look at things at the human sized level and see stuff. Good stuff and important stuff. Then you get the metaphorical microscope out and you see entirely different things. And here's the weird part: Not everything you see is microscope size. Some of it opens up back to human sized applications.
Affordances: Do you learn to see them? Or do you learn to NOT see alternatives? Does a child learn that a chair is for sitting in? Or does the child unlearn all the other cool things that can be done with a chair? Is seeing possibility a passive or an active function? Can it be both? Is that why I find rolling relaxing instead of exhausting?
Do you see more when you let stuff in or when you actively look? And does seeing more inhibit interpreting? And is interpreting an act of seeing possibilities or an act of discounting potential so that only a limited number of possibilities are clarified?
Can you train both possibilities? Is it possible that I am trying to train people for passive observation but active interpretation and exploitation? And unknown to me, the students may be reversing the active and inactive parts? None of which make either of us wrong, mind you. Or right, either.
It's a big rabbit hole, and there isn't a bottom.
So a thanks to the people who can get me thinking like this-- Edwin, Marc, Kai, Mac, Maija, Erik.
Thanks, damn you.
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