Tag Archives: relationships

pressing matters

pressing matters

Hannah Arendt (October 14, 1906–December 4, 1975) examined those peculiar parallel dimensions of loneliness as a profoundly personal anguish and an indispensable currency of our political life in her intellectual debut, the incisive and astonishingly timely 1951 classic The Origins of Totalitarianism (public library).

Arendt paints loneliness as “the common ground for terror” and explores its function as both the chief weapon and the chief damage of oppressive political regimes. Exactly twenty years before her piercing treatise on lying in politics, she writes:

Just as terror, even in its pre-total, merely tyrannical form ruins all relationships between men, so the self-compulsion of ideological thinking ruins all relationships with reality. The preparation has succeeded when people have lost contact with their fellow men* as well as the reality around them; for together with these contacts, [they] lose the capacity of both experience and thought. The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist.

What perpetuates such tyrannical regimes, Arendt argues, is manipulation by isolation — something most effectively accomplished by the divisiveness of “us vs. them” narratives. She writes:

Terror can rule absolutely only over men who are isolated against each other… Therefore, one of the primary concerns of all tyrannical government is to bring this isolation about. Isolation may be the beginning of terror; it certainly is its most fertile ground; it always is its result. This isolation is, as it were, pretotalitarian; its hallmark is impotence insofar as power always comes from men acting together…; isolated men are powerless by definition.

Although isolation is not necessarily the same as loneliness, Arendt notes that loneliness can become both the seedbed and the perilous consequence of the isolation effected by tyrannical regimes:

In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.

[…]

While isolation concerns only the political realm of life, loneliness concerns human life as a whole. Totalitarian government, like all tyrannies, certainly could not exist without destroying the public realm of life, that is, without destroying, by isolating men, their political capacities. But totalitarian domination as a form of government is new in that it is not content with this isolation and destroys private life as well. It bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man.

This is why our insistence on belonging, community, and human connection is one of the greatest acts of courage and resistance in the face of oppression….”

https://www.brainpickings.org/2016/12/20/hannah-arendt-origins-of-totalitarianism-loneliness-isolation-oppression 

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Vice Joins Trend Of Killing News Comments Because Giving A Damn About Your Site’s Community Is Just Too Hard

from the i-love-you.-here’s-your-new-muzzle. dept

We’ve talked a lot about how the trend du jour in online media is to ditch the news comment section, then condescendingly pretend this is because the website just really values user relationships…. napalming your on-site community because you’re too lazy to weed the garden certainly is a slight against those users. And as we saw with NPR, these users are well aware of this fact, and are more than happy to spend their time on websites that actually value conversation and user interaction, instead of just paying empty lip service to the concept.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20161227/09365436348/vice-joins-trend-killing-news-comments-because-giving-damn-about-your-sites-community-is-just-too-hard.shtml 

via

http://www.blacklistednews.com/

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music:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ui-cL6YOKHI

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Maternal genealogy is unknown beyond my mother except for the presence of a Scots-Irish (Presbyterian) family in Western Pennsylvania. The paternal genealogy includes DNA that is apparently (but confusedly) of Normal or Saxon origin which moved from the Iberian peninsula after the last Ice Age up into Norman or perhaps Breton turf until, apparently as mercenaries or in followership, the Norman conquest of England. My father’s mother was of Prussian heritage. Ancestral history in my family from before the crossing of the English Channel is very clouded.   

More precise records extend from the summer of 1638 when two brothers caught a ride aboard a ship out of Hull, England to cross the Atlantic to come to England in search of religious freedom. “They were men of respectability, ‘of good estate,’ and could probably have no hopes of improving their worldly condition by emigration. They were lovers of liberty, and men of distinct and well-marked religious views. They were non-conformists. They had too sturdy an independence, as well as too strong a sense of duty, to abandon what they held as truth even in the midst of the bitterest persecution. For this reason they left their homes and sought in the wilds of America a resting place from oppression, a spot where they and their children might enjoy freedom to worship God. They were men of thought and character….”  In 1639, they settled on land north of Ipswich with which to raise and breed sheep and establish the first wool clothier’s trade. The ship’s cargo included “the first printing press, later to be set up in Cambridge, the only printing press in the country until 1685”.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m9PKdUHpb1o/U5YmEJw1FdI/AAAAAAAAuiM/hFDNCeJD2Yo/s1600/Town+seal+Rowley.gif

That familial reference to the first printing press in colonial New England seems uncertain but is confirmed by other references and sources. 

“… The first printing press came to British North America two years after the founding of Harvard College. The press was brought by Reverend Joseph Glover, who, when deprived of his position in the Church of England, shipped his family, his possessions, and his printing press to the colonies. Glover also paid for the passage of the man in charge of running his press, Stephen Daye, a locksmith by profession. Daye was under financial contract to work in Glover’s home in Cambridge in order to repay the cost of passage for himself, his wife, and his household—a total of around £51. Rev. Glover, however, did not survive the passage to the New World. When Daye and the press arrived, his debt was transferred to Glover’s widow, Elizabeth, now owner of the printing press.

Daye set to work almost immediately along with his son Matthew, an apprentice printer, and perhaps more skilled than his father. Within the first year in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, they printed The Freeman’s Oath, a broadside, which is generally believed to be the first tract printed in British North America. This was completed around the same time as “an almanac made for New England by Mr. William Pierce.” 1 By virtue of exploiting a loophole in colonial legislation, Daye printed the first book in the New World, The Bay Psalm Book, in 1640. This book became extremely popular and influential throughout the colony for the remainder of the 17th century.  It was only three years later that the first Bible published in the New World was also published in Cambridge.

Elizabeth Glover (born Harris), as an unmarried woman, was a rarity in colonial New England. Especially unique was that she was not only an eligible woman of property but also the owner of the only printing press in the British colonies. Her attractiveness as a mate was clear to the President of Harvard, Henry Dunster. On June 21, 1641 they were married, transferring all of her property to his home on the now-named Dunster Street. Elizabeth died in 1643, and her land and property, including the printing press, was passed on to Dunster and subsequently to Harvard College. During the same year Matthew Daye replaced his father as official operator of the press after the elder Daye was briefly jailed for fraud.

As Harvard grew in size and reputation, it became a logical center of printing in the American colonies. Cambridge was the location of not just the first printing press, but also the second when in 1659 a press was sent to the colonies from the British firm “The Company for the Propagation of the Gospel Amongst the Heathen Natives of New England and parts Adjacent in America.” Matthew Daye’s successor Samuel Green was in charge of printing at this point, but the British firm also sent over the America’s first professional printer, Marmaduke Johnson, to assist Green. The new press was set up in Harvard Yard, in a building called the Indian College, to print Reverend John Eliot’s “Indian Bible.”

Marmaduke Johnson acquired his own press in England in 1665, and planned to bring it to Boston in order to establish his own business. However, Harvard wanted a replacement for Glover’s original press, having become fragile over the years, and the Harvard leadership successfully lobbied for a state law stating that no printing could be done outside of Cambridge. Forced into staying in Cambridge, Johnson instead, without any affiliation to Harvard, opened the first independent printing press in the colonies and went on to publish 20 books between 1665 and 1674…..”

http://www.cambridgehistory.org/discover/innovation/American%20Printing.html 

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/occurrencessm.jpg

Facsimile of the first and only issue of the English-American colonies’ first newspaper, published in Boston 1690.

Early American Newspapering

by James Breig

We are here at the end of the World, and Europe may

bee turned topsy turvy ere wee can hear a word of it.

-Virginia planter William Byrd, 1690

In seventeenth-century America, colonial governments had rather do without newspapers than brook their annoyance. In 1671, Governor William Berkeley of Virginia wrote: “I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing and I hope we shall not have, these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both.” As the British government once told the governors of Massachusetts, “Great inconvenience may arise by the liberty of printing.”

Not until 1690 did the first English-American news sheet debut—Boston’s Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, published by Benjamin Harris. The authorities, in “high Resentment” that Harris dared to report that English military forces had allied themselves with “miserable” savages, put him out of business four days later.

By the end of the eighteenth century, however, scores of homegrown broadsheets and tabloids satisfied the information appetites of Americans hungry for intelligence of the Old World, for news about the Revolution, and for the political polemics of the infant United States. The history of newspapering in that century digests the beginnings of much of what is served on newsstands in this one.

As the century began, the fledgling colonial press tested its wings. A bolder journalism opened on the eve of the Revolution. And, as the century closed with the birth of the United States, a rancorously partisan and rambunctious press emerged.

The eras can be traced in the history of the family of Benjamin Franklin—the preeminent journalist of his time. But it best begins with another Boston newspaperman, postmaster John Campbell. In 1704, Campbell served up The Boston News-Letter, the nation’s second paper. It was a publication the powers-that-be could stomach. The News-Letter lasted seventy-two years, succeeding in an increasingly competitive industry, supported by the growth of communication and of commerce.

Campbell’s fellow postmasters often became newspaper publishers, too; they had ready access to information to put on their pages. Through their offices came letters, government documents, and newspapers from Europe. Gazettes were also started by printers, who had paper, ink, and presses at hand. Franklin was a postmaster and a printer.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/News-Letter_detail.jpg

Eighteenth-century editors filled their columns with items lifted from other newspapers—”the exchanges,” as they are called still—and from letters, said Mitchell Stephens, a New York University journalism professor and the author of A History of News. European news, taken from newspapers that arrived in ports like New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston, got good play. The November 8, 1797, issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, for example, carried this item from New York: “Yesterday arrived here the ship Mary. . . . By this arrival we are furnished with London Papers . . . from which the most important intelligence is extracted.” David Sloan, a University of Alabama journalism professor, lists the sources of stories as “European newspapers, primarily English ones; correspondence sent in by readers; other newspapers in the colonies; and individuals who would drop by the print shop and talk.”

Julie K. Williams, a history instructor at Alabama’s Samford University, said publishers had such altruistic motives as improving communication and educating the public, but profit was their primary purpose. Maurine Beasley, a University of Maryland journalism professor, puts it plainly. The purpose of newspapers was “to make money.”

Williams said, “Newspapers brought in ad revenue and circulation revenue.” That income supplemented receipts from books, government printing jobs, merchant invoices, forms, and other ephemera.

Making money is still what keeps newspapers in business, and that is but one similarity between eighteenth-century papers and the twenty-first’s. As Sloan said, “Newspapers are still printed with ink on paper.” But more than that, newspapers then and now “still have opinions and letters. There was a sense then that newspapers should publish both sides of an issue, even during the Revolution and factional periods.”

Williams ticks off the surface differences in the newspapers of the two centuries—there were no headlines and few illustrations then, for example—as well as cosmetic similarities. “You can look at an eighteenth-century newspaper and recognize the column layout and the general news-ads look of a paper today,” she said. “It is interesting that the ‘look’ is still basically there.

“But the biggest similarity is what news is. We decided in the eighteenth century that newspapers were about ‘occurrences,’ and basically we have stuck to that. I think ‘departments’ are clearly an idea in the eighteenth century. The colonial printer had a standing format that he followed religiously that involved dividing the news by type. These sections were often labeled ‘foreign reports’ and so on.”

To Carol Humphrey, an Oklahoma Baptist University journalism professor and secretary of the American Journalism Historians Association, “The primary legacy of the eighteenth century for modern journalism is the right to comment on political events. The modern-day editorial has its beginnings in that era.”

The DNA of modern newspapers is found in the eighteenth century, Stephens said. “The look is the same,” and “the sense of what news is, is basic to human beings.”

Most colonial newspapers were weeklies, had four pages, and printed most of their advertisements in back. With little space, printers kept many stories brief, encapsulating even significant information into “one short paragraph, even a sentence,” Sloan said.

Newspapers also contained “essays, poems and humorous material, some of which they wrote themselves, like Ben Franklin,” Beasley said. “Sometimes, items that had a sensational or religious aspect appeared, such as a report of a strange creature being sighted or some unusual event occurring attributed to ‘divine providence.’”

Readers wondered about the course of wars in Europe and were curious about happenings in other towns and colonies—especially events that could affect their lives. But they were as interested as readers of today in the ordinary events of the life of their times. When they got their newspaper, subscribers perused such advertisements and news as:

Run away . . . a small yellow Negro wench named Hannah, about 35 years of age, had on when she went away a green plain petticoat and sundry other clothes, but what sort I do not know.—from a 1767 issue of Williamsburg’s Virginia Gazette

For Sale—The spars, anchors, rigging, and hull, of a brig, sixty four feet keel, twenty four and a half feet beam, and ten feet hold.—from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

The noted High Bred Horse Old Mark Anthony, now in high perfection, and as vigorous as ever, stands at my stable this season in order to cover mares, at £3. the leap.—also from a 1782 issue of the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser

Last Friday, the fatal and ever memorable Day of the Martyrdom of King Charles the First, a most extraordinary Misfortune befell this Place, by the Destruction of our fine Capitol. . . . The Cupola was soon burnt, the two Bells that were in it were melted, and, together with the Clock, fell down, and were destroyed.—from a 1747 issue of the Pennsylvania Gazette, but datelined Williamsburg, Feb. 5.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/first-gazette_detail.jpg 

When, as the century began, Campbell and his colleagues set up their forms, they entered a risky business. Printers were licensed by the government, and they could be unlicensed swiftly, and imprisoned. That happened to Benjamin Franklin’s older brother James, publisher of the New-England Courant.

James Franklin inspired his sibling’s interest in printing. “In 1717,” the younger Franklin wrote, “James returned from England with a press and letters to set up his business in Boston. . . . My father was impatient to have me bound to my brother.” The boy was at length “persuaded, and signed the indentures when I was yet but twelve years old.” But like the publisher of Publick Occurrences, James Franklin ran afoul of the authorities. “One of the pieces in our newspaper gave offense to the Assembly,” Benjamin Franklin said. His brother “was taken up, censur’d, and imprison’d for a month. . . . During my brother’s confinement . . . I had the management of the paper.”

When the government freed the older Franklin, it forbade him to print the Courant any longer. The brothers circumvented the order by putting Benjamin Franklin’s name on it.

John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal, was arrested in 1734 and charged with seditious libel for criticisms of Governor William Cosby. The facts were against Zenger, but a jury more sympathetic to free speech than to authority acquitted him. Franklin, who had moved to Philadelphia, where he founded Poor Richard’s Almanac and the Pennsylvania Gazette, endorsed the verdict in a couplet:

While free from Force the Press remains,

Virtue and Freedom cheer our Plains.

Typical for Franklin and his colleagues, the lines are lifted from a poem by Mathew Green, “The Spleen,” published in 1737.

As happy as editors were to see Zenger vindicated, they noticed that he had spent ten months in jail awaiting trial. His wife had carried on the Journal, but clearly a newspaperman’s livelihood and liberty depended on the forbearance of the government.

At mid-century, the press began to alter its stance and became more outspoken. In 1754, during the French and Indian War, Franklin published America’s first newspaper cartoon, a picture showing a snake cut into sections, each part representing a colony, with the caption: “Join or Die.”

Franklin became a wealthy publisher and editor. He linked print shops and post offices in a coastal chain, and spread newspapering up and down the seaboard. Newspapers founded under his aegis prospered and, as troubles with Great Britain mounted, became precisely the “great inconvenience” England feared.

Stephens said the purpose of newspapers “changed to the political and polemical after 1765—around the time of the Stamp Act-as tensions snowballed.” Sloan said, “During the Revolution, the main goal was to support the American cause.”

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Spring03/images/coffin_detail.gif

“Prior to the Revolution, newspapers existed primarily to inform people of what was going on in the rest of the world,” Humphrey said. “The Revolution changed the focus to events in the other colonies.”

Daily publication began in the 1780s, just as the new American republic emerged. There were about 100 newspapers by 1790, many of them were spirited, and some were great annoyances to men in high positions. It was a time of enormous press freedom, a freedom exercised frequently in behalf of the Federalist or Republican parties, which subsidized their own publications. Humphrey said, “Many newspapers in the 1790s were intended to accept a particular political party.” Two examples are the Gazette of the United States for the Hamiltonian Federalists; the National Gazette for the Jeffersonian Republicans. “Their editors believed that they should support their particular party in all that they did,” she noted, “so they wrote essays in support of their party and included editorial comments in the news pieces that either supported their party or attacked the opposition.”

This was the era of Philip Freneau, John Fenno, and James Callendar, sharp-penned scribes who used their journalistic skills to laud their friends and denigrate their enemies. This was the era when government officials and political figures—Alexander Hamilton and James Madison among them—adopted pseudonyms to promote their politics in the public prints anonymously.

Many of the founding fathers were enthusiastic about a free press. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1787 that “were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” Samuel Adams said in 1768 that “there is nothing so fretting and vexatious, nothing so justly terrible to tyrants . . . as a free press.”

But newspaper partisanship had evolved from the Revolution. “Newspapers that were used to denouncing Tories and the King,” Stephens said, “slid easily into denouncing opposition parties, even the President of the United States.”

George Washington declared a lack of interest in newspapers before he was president, writing in 1786 that “my avocations are so numerous that I very rarely find time to look into Gazettes after they come to me.” But while in office, he sometimes was incensed at what he saw in print. In notes about a 1793 cabinet meeting, Secretary of State Jefferson recorded how the president went on in such “a high tone” about the paper of “that rascal” Freneau that the cabinet officers were momentarily stunned into silence.

Benjamin Franklin’s grandson and namesake, Benjamin Franklin Bache—also known as “Lightning Rod Junior”—edited the Aurora. Bache delighted in harassing President Washington, once labeling him “the source of all the misfortunes of our country” and declaring him “utterly incapable.”

When John Adams wrote “A Constitution or Form of Government for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts” in 1779, he included a guarantee of liberty of the press. But as president, Adams endorsed the Alien and Sedition Acts, aimed at muzzling the opposition by jailing editors who dared criticize the chief executive.

Sloan said Bache was “a really ardent, zealous partisan. He epitomizes the intensely partisan editor.” Bache was indicted under the Alien and Sedition Acts but died before his case came to trial. Adams’s successor, Jefferson, released imprisoned journalists and allowed the law to lapse.

Stephens said that the free—and free-wheeling—press of the federal period helped to create the United States: “It is hard to imagine the United States arriving when it did without a free press. It was a wild, unruly press, but democracy was a great experiment and an aggressive press was part of it.”

Much has changed in the centuries since Benjamin Harris set up his type. Among other things, the web press, the linotype, and, eventually, offset printing came to the business. The telegraph and news services supplanted the exchanges. The First Amendment, written originally to protect the press only from the federal Congress, was interpreted to apply to the governments of the states. Illustrations and photographs became as important as words. Journalism emerged as a diplomaed, white-collar profession. And the role of the press as a “great inconvenience” to government is a hallmark of democratic government.

“How,” asks Stephens, “can you run a country without a free press?”

Jim Breig, an Albany, New York, writer and weekly newspaper editor, contributed “Out, Damn’d Proverbs: Eighteenth-Century Axioms, Maxims, and Bywords” to the winter 2002-2003 journal.

http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/spring03/journalism.cfm 

 

In 1638, the first printing press arrived in Boston.

By 1700, Boston became the second largest publishing center of the English Empire. The Puritans were the first to write books for children, and to discuss the difficulties in communicating with them. At a time when other Americans were physically blazing trails through the forests, the Puritans efforts in areas of study were advancing the country intellectually.

The Bible stimulated their intellect by promoting discussions of literature. Greek classics, Cicero, Virgil, Terence and Ovid were taught, as well as some poetry and Latin verse. The Puritans also encouraged themselves to create their own poetry, always religious in content.

Anyway, three English diversions were banned in the Puritans’ New England colonies: drama, religious music and erotic poetry. The first and last of these because they led to immorality. Music in worship, instead, created a “dreamy” state which was not conducive in listening to God.

The first newspaper was issued in Boston in 1704.

http://www.timerime.com/es/evento/986843/First+printing+press+in+Boston/ 

[Ed.: Today, of course, there is a growth industry involving audio forms of meditation, the neuro-cognitive research done to examine the concept of spiritual perception, in essence a merger between neuroscience and New Age approaches.]

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In 1754, four newspapers only were printed in New England, these were all published in Boston, and, usually, on a small sheet.; They were published weekly, and the average number of copies did not exceed six hundred from each press. No paper had then been issued in Connecticut, or New Hampshire. Some years before, one was printed for a short time in Rhode Island, but had been discontinued for want of encouragement. Vermont as a state did not exist, and the country which now composes it was then a wilderness. In 1775, a period of only twenty-one years, more copies of a newspaper were issued weekly from the village press at Worcester, Massachusetts, than were printed in all New England, in 1755; and one paper now published contains as much matter as did all the four published in Boston, in the last year mentioned.

At the beginning of 1775, there were five newspapers published in Boston, one at Salem, and one at Newburyport, making seven in Massachusetts. There was, at that time, one published at Portsmouth; and no other in New Hampshire. One was printed at Newport, and one at Providence, making two in Rhode Island. At New London there was one, at New Haven one, one at Hartford and one in Norwich; in all four I Connecticut;and fourteen in New England. In the province of New York, four papers were then published; three in the city and one in Albany. In Pennsylvania there were, on the first of January, 1775, six; three in English and one in German, in Philadelphia, one in German, at Germantown; and one in English and German, at Lancaster. Before the end of January, 1775, three newspapers, in English, were added to the number from the presses I Philadelphia, making nine in Pennsylvania. In Maryland, two; one at Annapolis, and one at Baltimore. In Virginia, there were but two, and both of these at Williamsburg. One was printed at Wilmington, and one in Newbern, in North Carolina; three at Charleston, South Carolina; and one at Savannah, in Georgia. Making thirty-seen newspapers in all the British colonies, which are now comprised in the United States. To these may be added one at Halifax, in Nova Scotia; and one in Canada, at Quebec.

In 1800, there were at least one hundred and fifty publications of this kind printed in the United States of America, and since that time, the number has increased to three hundred and sixty. Those published before 1775 were weekly papers. Soon after the close of the Revolutionary war, daily papers were printed at Philadelphia, New York, &c., and there are now, 1810, more than twenty published, daily, in the United States.

It was common for printers of newspapers to subjoin to their titles ‘Containing the freshest Advices both Foreign and Domestick;’ but gazettes and journals are now chiefly filled with political essays. News do not appear to be always the first object of editors, and, of course, ‘containing the freshest advices,’ &c., is too often out of the question.

For many years after the establishment of newspapers on this continent, very few advertisements appeared in them. This was the case with those that were early printed in Europe. In the first newspapers, advertisements were not separated by lines from the news, &c., and were not even begun with a two line letter; when two line letters were introduced, it was some time before one advertisement was separated from another by a line, or rule as it is termed by printers. After it became usual to separate advertisements, some printers used lines of metal rules; others lines of flowers irregularly placed. I have seen in some New York papers, great primer flowers between advertisements. At length, it became customary to ‘set off advertisements,’ and from using types not larger than those with which the news were printed, types of the size of French canon have often been used for names, especially of those who advertised English goods.

In the troublesome times, occasioned by the stamp act in 1765, some of the more opulent and cautious printers, when the act was to take place, put their papers in mourning, and, for a few weeks, omitted to publish them; others not so timid, but doubtful of the consequence of publishing newspapers without stamps, omitted the titles, or altered them, as an evasion; for instance the Pennsylvania Gazette, and some other papers, were headed ‘Remarkable Occurrences, &c.’ -other printers, particularly those in Boston, continued their papers without any alteration in title or imprint.

From the foregoing it appears that, from the time when the first public journal was published in the country, viz. in April, 1704, to April 1775, comprising a period of seventy-one years, seventy-eight different newspapers were printed in the British American continental colonies; that during this period, thirty-nine, exactly one-half of that number, had been, occasionally, discontinued; and that thirty-nine continued to be issued by the several establishments at the commencement of the revolution. The papers published in the West Indies are not included in this computation.

In the course of thirty-five years, newspaper establishments were, as previously remarked, multiplied in a surprising degree; insomuch, that the number of those printed in the United States in June, 1810, amounted to upwards of three hundred and sixty.

A large proportion of the public papers at that date were established, and supported, by the two great contending political parties, into which the people of these states are usually divided; and whose numbers produce an equipollence; consequently, a great augmentation of vehicles for carrying on the political warfare have been found necessary.

I cannot conclude what I have written on the subject of publike journals, better than by extracting the following pertinent observations on newspapers, from the Rev. Dr. Miller’s Retrospect of the Eighteenth Century.

‘It is worthy of remark that newspapers have almost entirely changed their form and character within the period under review* (*the eighteenth century) For a long time after they were first adopted as a medium of communication to the public, they were confined, in general, to the mere statement of facts. But they have gradually assumed an office more extensive, and risen to a more important station in society. They have become vehicles of discussion, in which the principles of government, the interests of nations, the spirit and tendency of public measures, and the public and private characters of individuals, are all arraigned, tried, and decided. Instead, therefore, of being considered now, as they once were, of small moment in society, they have become immense oral and political engines, closely connected with the welfare of the state, and deeply involving both its peace and prosperity.

‘Newspapers have also become important in a literary view. There are few of them, within the last twenty years, which have not added to their political details some curious and useful information, on the various subjects of literature, science, and art. They have thus become the means of conveying, to every class in society, innumerable scraps of knowledge, which have at once increased the public intelligence, and extended the taste for perusing periodical publications. The advertisements, moreover, which they daily contain, respecting new books, projects, inventions, discoveries and improvements, are well calculated to enlarge and enlighten the public mind, and are worth of being enumerated among the many methods of awakening and maintaining the popular attention, with which more modern times, beyond all preceeding example, abound. . . . “

Index to This Section:

Would there have been an American Revolution Without Newspapers and Mail? The Role of Communications in the American Revolution 

Getting the Word Out: Franklin’s Communications Revolutions

The Dangerous Lives of Printers:

The Evolution of Freedom of the Press

Newspapers in America Before the Era of the Revolution

Newspapers in Revolutionary-Era America and the Problems of Patriot and Loyalist Printers

A Patriot Printer and His “Forge of Sedition”: 

The Story of Isaiah Thomas

The Role of Newspapers in the Revolution:

Isaiah Thomas’s The History of Printing in America

Not Just the News: 

A War of Letters, Pamphlets, Broadsides, and Sermons

http://www1.assumption.edu/ahc/1770s/pprinthisthomas.html 

 

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“But I thank God, there are no free schools nor printing, and I hope we shall not have these hundred years, for learning has brought disobedience, and heresy, and sects into the world, and printing has divulged them, and libels against the best government. God keep us from both!” 

Governor Sir William Berkeley, 1671

 

The Germination of a Free Press: A Dissident Print Culture and the Stamp Act in Colonial Virginia

by

Roger P. Mellen

2006

42 pp.

http://web.nmsu.edu/~rpmellen/freepress.pdf

 

 

 

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“The editor objected to the use of Native auxiliaries in the invation of Canada during King William’s War after he heard reports of them torturing and killing captured French troops.”

“… The first newspaper ever printed in this country met the same fate dealt the first gesture towards press censorship and the first attempt to set up a commercial printing shop: “Publick Occurrances both Foreign and Domestick,” appeared on September 26, 1690, and was immediately forbidden from the Colonies. The Governor and council gave expression to “high resentment and disallowance” to this paper printed by Richard Pierce for Benjamin Harris of Boston, and forbade anyone “for the future to set forth anything in print without license first obtained.”

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1928/11/30/harvard-college-sponsored-first-printing-press/ 

 

http://wordwenches.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341c84c753ef0133f4e8ff6a970b-150wi

“… The most intriguing objects found in the Harvard Yard excavations were pieces of lead printing type dating back to the 17th century. At first glance, these lead alloy bars may not impress, but they are small pieces of an important story. Each bears the mold of a single letter. When arranged in rows, coated with thick ink, and pressed onto paper, they created the first books printed in North America. The fonts, or particular shapes, of some of these letters have been matched to surviving 17th-century products of Harvard’s early press…..”

https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/node/2014 

 

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/bf/e0/bb/bfe0bbef4ee437f2e0c0c7f7350459ad.jpg

“… Ezekiel and his followers pooled their money to organise their New England passage. They left Rowley in the summer of 1638 and travelled down into Hull where they joined the ship John of London, lying in the Old Harbour on the River Hull. After sailing out of the Humber, their ship called into London en route and there picked up the Reverend Joseph Glover, a wealthy nonconformist minister, who brought with him Stephen Daye, a printer, and also what is believed to be North America’s first printing press. Glover is thought to have first visited New England earlier in the 1630s and supported the foundation of Harvard College – which eventually became Harvard University, the oldest institute of higher education in the United States.

Unfortunately, on the long and tortuous journey across the Atlantic, the Reverend Glover died before the vessel reached Salem Bay, Massachusetts in the December of 1638. The migrants probably spent a long first winter in Salem but in spring 1639 Ezekiel Rogers and his followers moved on to land some six miles outside of Ipswich, Massachusetts. House lots and properties were laid out along the township’s brook, allowing each family access to fresh water. Here the new arrivals built many houses and, bringing spinning and weaving skills with them from the East Riding of Yorkshire, they were amongst the first to establish a clothing industry in New England. They called their little township, Rowley after their East Riding village….

Elizabeth Glover, continued with her late husband’s mission and supervised Daye in the setting up of the Press in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In January 1639, the Freeman’s Oath was the first piece printed. The following year, 1640, the press produced The Bay Psalm Book, the first book printed in the English colonies. This may also have been the first book to have been written in North America and is an important part of the history of print; it seems that only five original copies still exist.

The small town of Rowley prospered and Ezekiel Rogers bequeathed his library to Harvard when he died in 1660 and other benefactions from him also eventually went to this learned institution. Early settlers in Rowley played an important part in the establishment of this new country. Elizabeth Glover married Henry Dunster, Harvard’s First President, who had taken interest in the Press. Stephen Daye died in 1668. His son Matthew became an accomplished printer and indeed may have actually done much of the printing with that first press. Printing and publishing in the United States has certainly come a long way since Stephen Daye first sailed with the Rowley settlers back in the summer of 1638.”

Robb Robinson, December 2008

http://www.hull.ac.uk/mhsc/FarHorizons/Documents/EzekielRogers.pdf 

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This past Christmas weekend has been an opportunity for long-range thinking, planning, learning, observing and more planning. Numerous things have been poking me in my ribs, tapping me on my collar-bone, and crackling synaptically inside my skull.                               

We are advised that rumination is unhealthy and should be stopped. 

We are told to return to the source of our creative fire. 

First among the various stimuli is a slowly-emerging intent to focus on writing. Winter has driven me indoors into a little gem of a house with my office, bookcases, coffee pot, pellet stove and functional iMac; in the summertime, I can sit on the deck overlooking the man-made pond and waterfall and the women-tended garden working on a MacAir.

A small bookcase filled with little gems about the art and practice of writing awaits my more complete attention. 

A desktop folder filled with writing ideas and my own stash of “prompts” is now popping fresh new green sprigs. 

Awaiting my investment of time is the half-finished two-hour lecture course on DVD on the craft of writing world-class prose by a distinguished scholar of contemporary literature; there is a similar but not yet started six-hour course in creative non-fiction

I bought myself a copy of The Trickster’s Hat. It’s a “mischievous apprenticeship in creativity”.

I just discovered a new resource when I went looking for background on the popular writer Michael Crichton whose book “Timeline” generated some thoughts; his simple method uses 3×5 cards to plot out storyline

(Note that that web site has a number of great resources for writers. See this year-ending compendium of the top posts from the past year at Writers Helping Writers.

My wife bought me a book of prompts for uncovering the gems in my life’s stories, as well as the fourth edition of “The Craft of Research”. It is “a fundamental and accessible text that explains how to build an argument that engages and persuades readers, how to effectively anticipate and respond to the reservations of readers, and how to find and evaluate sources and integrate them into an argument.” It ends with a 30-page appendix crammed with bibliographic resources in 26 topical categories, starting with a significant two-page compendium of online databases. At $15, it’s the gift of the decade. It may take me ten years to harvest it. 

Meanwhile:

Obama has signed legislation enabling criminal charges for exercising freedom of speech. 

And Social Security has been weaponized by the State as a means of punishment and intimidation for those arrested arrested while exercising their right to assemble in protest. 

Recently the Internet has become a war zone and people have begun to discuss and debate, from both technological and other perspectives, how they will maintain and exercise the right to create, express and thrive independent of political control. 

I’m re-reading a book about “timing, tactics and strategy in narrative-driven decision-making” called Tempo which surely has some value in deciding what direction I am going to take in the future. 

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Four from http://www.strike-the-root.com: 

 

http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/propaganda-war-exposed-in-aleppo-about-to-die-saying-goodbye-but-available-for-interview_12232016# 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/more-fake-news-photos-from-aleppo-proven-false-poorly-executed-propaganda.html 

http://www.activistpost.com/2016/12/heres-how-the-government-is-working-to-erode-constitutional-privacy-protections.html 

https://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2016/12/23/this-is-how-the-u-s-government-destroys-the-lives-of-patriotic-whistleblowers/ 

 

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Alexa: Who dunnit?

SAN FRANCISCO – In what may be a first, police in Arkansas asked Amazon for recordings potentially made by an Echo device in connection with a murder investigation.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/12/27/amazon-alexa-echo-murder-case-bentonville-hot-tub-james-andrew-bates/95879532/ 

 

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https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/styles/node_embed/public/media/images/photographs/2014_Burma_Harn_Lay.jpg?itok=IpRkWIFz

Obama Quietly Signs The “Countering Disinformation And Propaganda Act” Into Law

December 27th, 2016 by Kevin

Via: ZeroHedge:

Long before the “fake news” meme became a daily topic of extensive conversation on such discredited mainstream portals as CNN and WaPo, H.R. 5181 would task the Secretary of State with coordinating the Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors to “establish a Center for Information Analysis and Response,” which will pinpoint sources of disinformation, analyze data, and — in true dystopic manner — ‘develop and disseminate’ “fact-based narratives” to counter effrontery propaganda.

In short, long before “fake news” became a major media topic, the US government was already planning its legally-backed crackdown on anything it would eventually label “fake news.”

Posted in Dictatorship, Perception Management |

down to the sea

down to the sea

It was hotter than doublle hockeystix here Saturday night and so the next morning I resolved that we should spend the hottest part of the day in the car.

At least the car is air-conditioned. We got up and showered and took our pills with our coffee and our yogurt.

It being Sunday, and me being old with co-morbidities, I had to first “spread” my pills for the week.  Spreading pills is a Sunday event during which I assemble the fifteen difficult-to-open containers from the drug store, separate them as to AM or PM, remember which one is b.i.d., find the one which must have extras split in half with the pill-cutter and dispensed and saved and do it, and then open up all 14 little doorways on the desktop pill dispensary.

I put on some specially-designed YouTube music mixed with brain waves to increase my attention and focus; it’s not fun if I screw up, drop the pills on the floor, inadvertently put one in the wrong little box, or — heaven forbid— forget where I am in the process and put the morning pills in the night time slots or completely skip putting one or more of those damned little things that seemingly all look alike in the little boxes at all.

Discussing the stay-cool-in-the-car plan with the wife, I pulled up the localized weather maps, forecasts, etc. to try to determine where, within several hours drive, it might be cooler or drier. I had other destinations in mind but the wife voted to see the ocean; there is something about her seeing the ocean; it’s elemental, but I did find an article on the Internet the other day which verified this kind of thing. It might have something to do with Homarus americanus.

Lo and behold, the preferred location by mapping forecasts was the coast of New Hampshire; New Hampshire’s coastline is small enough to be missed entirely as you fly by on the Interstate on the way north to Maine.  Maine was clearer and drier too but Maine was too far and, besides, sometimes you run into a small cloud of black flies. Don’t ever run into a small cloud of black flies. Some tourists are lucky enough to have one of the ten outdoor rangers in Maine happen by with a can of black-fly-b-gon but, if it happened to you,“the critics” would be all over you for killing the black flies about whom you should have been smart enough not to meet up.

It was necessary for us to stay cool because, in our apartment complex, management will not turn on the system-wide air conditioning until June 15th.  In our state, we are told, there is a law that says apartment complexes must keep heat available until June 15th lest some tenant become hypothermic on Flag Day.  Wrapping one’ s self in the flag is only a metaphor. In our apartment buildings, converted from old industrial mills because no one makes anything in America anymore, the HVAC in the basement has one big switch: hot, or cold. On June 15th, we pull out the fleece wraps and the woolen socks because, like the water in the showers, it’s all or nothing. I have a great deal of empathy for my co-dwellers, especially those on the upper floors. (we are lucky enough to have a ground floor unit.) If you live on an upper floor (apparently heat rises in the Northern Hemisphere), you thow open your windows all winter long. In the final month of winter here (May 15th through June 15), some residents migrate to Northern Quebec.

I told my wife that she should drive the first leg (she ended up driving all the legs) so she could choose the destination once we hit a major highway cross-over that was 60 miles away. After the obligatory stop at the local pharmacy to get a refill (it follows naturally), she drove back through town rather than take the obvious entrance to the highway that was 150 yards from the pharmacy exit (the one where traffic comes down off the hill in at 150 mph like it’s on a roller coaster) and went out via the currently-being-reconstructed “gateway” to the city.  There is more government funding available if you call something a gateway.

You can enter our fair city through five different access points off major highways, and there are more backdoors off the minor side-routes. One assumes that there is enough money to create seven gateways but I’d guess that it works the same way it worked when they built the railroads; businesses thrive where cronies of the people who make the funding decisions buy land and put up billboards.  But let us not digress more, time is ticking.

An hour later, we got off the high speed road and drove down into that part of the elegant world where the bankers and lawyers live in their high-priced estates. I  did not try to count the number of for sale signs we saw. I thought about calling some realtors to find out why everyone on the wealthy side of the county was looking to sell, but my experience is that you can get valid information out of foreign spies faster than you can get accurate trends forecasting out of a realtor.  (I love the realtors we found; they got results.) We saw a lot of houses that, in a different era, we might have liked to have bought. One of them, at least, probably belonged to that writer who worked for Forbes.

We wound our way slowly up through the next exclusive enclave-by-the-sea which seems to have become even more crowded since I last visited (I used to be the EMS planner for that section of the state) and then we stopped at a small park where I could balance precariously while standing inside a Porta-Potty and where we discovered that the temperature had become downright chilly with an onshore breeze. Around the corner was the harbor city with the tomb of the unknown sailor topped by a bronze statue of the steersman in oilskins holding the wheel with two fists as if braced into the winds of a nasty storm.  It was Memorial Day weekend in the home port of the Andrea Gail, made famous by the No Name Storm in 1991 and memorialized by Sebatian Junger et alia in The Perfect Storm.

http://images2.static-bluray.com/reviews/553_3.jpg

We then slowly wound our way around Gloucester Harbor out to Eastern Point and eventually into Rockport. (It was ) Sunday, after all.

Rockport was jammed pack with tourists, wedding attendees, and more.  We did catch glimpses of ocean, but it was cloudy to the point of fogginess.

My driver asked if Woodman’s was located somewhere nearby and I said “be patient and keep turning left”.

Several long moments later, as we wound our way down onto the flats filled with marshes where more schooners have been built than anywhere else, there was Essex, where the fried clam was invented, and there was Woodman’s (parking in the rear).

We eventually found our way into the “dining room”, got in line to order our food (she had the fried lobster, I had fried “fish”, and we split a big order of steamers), and we sat on wooden benches at wooden tables (it’s the New England way) in the middle of several Latino families talking and laughing in high-speed Spanish at 105 decibels (my wife expressed a desire that they use their indoor voices, a phrase from a fourth-grade teacher and mother we know), twice as many Oriental families (who talked quietly in a lot in other languages beneath their breath), and several old white American couples who didn’t say anything to anyone including each other. Perhaps they’d all been shopping for real estate.

The restaurant worker who cleaned tables (and, evidently, more) wore a double-folded apron full of greasy kitchen splash and a T-shirt which advanced — from behind her long pony tail — the claim “Best Seafood In America” (Forbes Magazine).

I might take issue with that, but who am I to argue with Forbes? We’ve been up and down the coast of New England for four decades in search of good seafood, with a side trip to South Carolina, and I’m not sure we’ve settled that question. The steamed mussels at one restaurant earned it the top spot for a long time but a massive shift in personnel along with resultant attitude shift on the part of the staff knocked it off its pedestal, so the question is still open.  You see, dining is all about experience and atmosphere. with an appetizer of expectation.  Despite the atmosphere of salty air shared with dozens of similar places, the winner isn’t, wasn’t and will not be Woodman’s.  They do deserve respect because they’ve been in business for over 100 years (low low overhead), and perhaps because some of those fisherman don’t come home from the sea to which they went down.

For the record, the second-best seafood meal I ever had was on the porch at the harborside inn in a lovely, quaint, famous Northern Maine harbor, the full elegant lobster clambake, with my bride.  The best was the outdoor lunch of lobster bisque at the tea house on Jordan Pond inside Acadia National Park looking toward the Bubbles.

Woodman’s doesn’t serve lobster bisque.

After a quick trip to the rest room, a quick stop at the packie, and an hour later we were home; it had cooled dramatically down into the high 50’s for the night (before the rain shows up in time for our morning coffee). We threw open our windows. We may have to microwave our margaritas  tomorrow.

source of featured image above: http://www.essexheritage.org/attractions/essex-shipbuilding-museum

audio entertainment during the road trip:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cjtaph-UoAI6JlX.jpg

 

The following piece seems to follow on well from “Authentic Conversation”

 

Written by Rachel Nusbaum, Writer

Filling In The Cracks: Turning Towards

I was standing at the stove in a frenzy of multitasking family dinner, emptying lunch boxes, math homework, a Go Fish game, and feeding the dog when he walked in fifteen minutes later than usual. I barely glanced up as I mumbled hello. I seethed as we sat down with the kids, that familiar pressure rising in my chest. As the kids ran off to play after dessert, I let it all out on him. And not in a beneficial-to-the-relationship sort of way, but more along the lines of I-work-full-time-too and how-can-I-be-expected-to-take-on-all-this-stuff-myself kind of accusatory way.

We’ve been married for ten years. A disagreement like this is expected and normal. Yet, I’ve come to a realization only recently that this is The Relationship Through Which All Other Relationships Flow. A small crack in this connection quickly spreads out to other aspects of my life. I become short and impatient with our kids. I’m suddenly incapable of making progress on tough projects at work. I won’t call my mom to check in on her and I shy away from reaching out to friends. Slowly, I’m building walls to protect myself from further injury.

I realized that I need to make stronger efforts to foster this relationship, to elevate it to the topmost priority above mostly everything else. Those little cracks need to be filled in before they can spread far and wide. It’s not enough to simply get over it after the feeling of being flooded by emotion recedes or to move on and allow that seed to stay planted in my head.

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.” – Carlos Castaneda

Oh, but how to do this? It takes extra energy and lots of thought and brings me back to my mom’s favorite refrain from growing up: “Marriage is work.” It is not about date nights, fancy gifts or vacations. It is about pulling myself away from the stove to greet him as he walks in the door after my long day of work, bus stop, kid snacks, arguing about super heroes and screen time, even when I just want to get dinner on the table. It’s about looking him in the eye, smiling, saying hello, a hug and kiss, even when he is late. It’s about plopping myself on the couch next to him as he pulls out the laptop when all I really want to do is head downstairs by myself to crawl up with a blanket and HBO’s Togetherness. It’s finding the teeny tiniest of small gestures to let him know that I am his strongest, most steadfast support. And it is hard.

John Gottman, known in psychology circles as The Einstein of Love, describes these small actions as Turning Towards your partner. Dr. Gottman’s research has shown that newlyweds still married after six years turned towards their partners 86% of the time while those couples who divorced in the first six years turned toward each other 33% of the time. There is data to support that these baby steps matter.

I have to resolve to fill in the cracks again and again. My partner gets shoved to the bottom of the to do list. Until the next disagreement reminds me to bring him up to that prominent place where I need him to be and I remember to start filling in the cracks. If I keep this up, it will become a daily habit to nurture our relationship in this way.

I’m not arguing that the partner relationship is the most important for everyone or that we should neglect ourselves while said partner gets put on a pedestal. But I do know that today, in this season of my life, I’m determining to turn towards my husband. Who supports you and makes you feel alive in this world?

Decide to make this person a priority, even when it isn’t easy. Or maybe you need to turn towards yourself. Work every day at filling the cracks, no matter how small the action might be. You will find that fostering this relationship will sustain you and will provide an energy that shines its light onto other parts of your life, too.

___________________________________

Rachel Nusbaum is a partner, mom, daughter and sister who is starting to step out of the world of scientific writing and into the world of writing for herself. Find her fledging work here.

https://www.holstee.com/blogs/mindful-matter/116160965-filling-in-the-cracks-turning-towards

http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/rooster.jpg

See also http://theadventurouswriter.com/quipstipsrelationships/husband-constantly-puts-me-down/ ; be sure to read it with the idea that genders and roles can and ought to be occasionally reversed. 

Turn the article’s “he” into a “she” and vice versa.

It’s in keeping with the aikido calligraphy I’ve often used and will soon enough again reprise as an inkeeper’s sign outside my new office; you have to go on over to where the Other is standing and turn into their perspective so that you are facing the same way. 

It helps you see things the way they do.

And it’s in keeping with the poem I once wrote “First One Home Plays The Wife”.

relationships

One of the things that absolutely fascinates me about the value of aikido, the physical practice of which as a practical discipline in martial arts I had to give up when it became apparent that I had some as-yet-undefined-or-unaddressed compromise in aortic function, is in its embodied lessons in understanding and working on relationships with other human beings.

Whether it is the delivery of ukemi across distances of the Internet in the middle of some political discussion with contentious virtual opponents, or the closely interpersonal and psychologically intimate discussions in a dyad, or the multiple grapplings of dinner table randori in a family setting, beginning to understand and embody how we present ourselves, how we perceive, how we move, and how we contend, disarm, charm and take effort not to injure is an important understanding.

This is why I am attracted to and resonate with people like Richard Strozzi-Heckler, this fellow whose blog I subscribe to in Richmond, VA, or the instructional videos of Nick Lowry at windsong dojo in Oklahoma. I am always looking for insight.

My very first sensei, Dave Card, had a piece of calligraphy I grabbed off the Internet and copied (my scanned copy keeps disappearing inside my archives), replicated, and once was made into a painted red/white/black acryclic signpost outside my door at the empty aerie overlooking a river I briefly occupied before my own personal Wacht am Rhein on 12/16/07.

The calligraphy simply was two mirroring curved lines of the circling uke and nage, wary perhaps, co-exsting on the tatami of life and the moment, with a heart in the middle.

The message was simple:

At the heart of the interaction, the discipline, the practice, all those techniques, the ukemi, was love.

Here is a piece I wrote on ma-ai at that time:

Ma-ai

The distance between us waxes and wanes.  Our sensory receptors sometimes strain to detect changes, movements, new positions, new insights, responses.  Sometimes we are in a frenzied interaction, built on moves and techniques learned elsewhere or from our previous dances.  You hear, I say; I talk too much, you feel; I clarify, you add, you subtract; you change the tune, I introduce a new rhythm.

I look ahead to where we might be in a different corner of the dance floor and how we will get there, and you get lost in the detail of hand on hand, or pressure point, or pulse.

You add, and suggest.  I wonder; you add graphics.

I speak in poetic prose; you speak in urls and umms.

Sometimes we tango, and sometimes we salsa.  Oft times we waltz: we enjoy a slower pace for observation and exploration.

You query; I respond.  I query; you respond.

We speak of parallel universes and perpendicular tangents.

You probe; I withdraw.  I move forward; you turn away.

You think of lips and light brushes of skin; I push and pull with firm pressures.

Our antennae re-cycle the data from each moment, linking to our engines of thought and emotion.  One stumbles; the other answers to re-position, to minimize the effects, to stay in touch.

One leads; the other follows.  One takes a break; the other remains, to pick up again from where leaving was.  Where you were, I was.  Where I will be, you have been.

How and why is this so easy and yet so hard?  We have each been here before, perhaps, and yet the dance of the moment is alive with freshness and newness that is like light dew on gardens in the glow of a rising sun.

We reflect and think; we feel and delight in flesh-on-flesh.  We listen to our hearts’ pulsings and poundings; we taste what might be; we hear echoes of music; poetry arises from time to time, matched only by bursts of exclamation, periods of silence, and renewed contact.  We trade laughter and smiles, grins and grimaces.  We step on each other’s toes, and we keep on moving.  We dance in kitchens, and we dance in offices.  We visualize Arthur Murray moves while driving.  We conduct orchestras in training.  Heaven and earth seem at times to move in connected unity.

When we get out of step, we re-orient with a gaze to the other’s eyes, and a gaze within.  And we listen again.  And we dream of dancing.  And then our heart’s eyes lock again from across the floor, and we advance slowly… our ma-ai changing once again.

The Universe moves slowly in its inexorable and mysterious rotations within rotations, and we within them.

****

Here is a piece taken from the newsletter published by my second sensei, Judy Ringer:

Mitsugi Saotome, in Aikido and the Harmony of Nature (Shambhala, Boston, 1993), tells us that ma-ai is the distance in time and space between people, events, or energies. When we are in touch with ma-ai, the larger pattern, we know when to move, when to pause, and when to blend. There are rhythms of ma-ai throughout our daily lives, and in the differences between society and solitude, between action and contemplation, in pacing and momentum, in knowing when enough is enough.

Terry Dobson, in It’s a Lot Like Dancing (Frog Ltd., Berkeley, CA 1993) says, on page 39: “In the martial experience, you learn that it’s very good to be close to your opponent. When I’m close to him, I know exactly where he is, what’s likely to do. I can control, direct, relax, quiet, and restore this person by being close to him.”  Later, on page 149, “The word ma-ai in Japanese means ‘space-time’. Try to keep at least a distance of the length of two arms when dealing with strangers in the street. You take a step towards me, I take a step backwards to maintain this distance. I’ve spent many hours dancing around at this distance just to learn how far that really was.”

****

Essay as part of the requirement for shoudan.

Requested by Alan Higgs Sensei and Peter Cleydon Sensei.

Maai and Metsuke

Metsuke and Maai are two very important aspects of Aikido.

Metsuke is essentially eye-to-eye contact without focusing on a singe point which permits awareness of the total field of vision.

Metsuke is also the idea of focusing the eyes and the mind so as not to be drawn in by the opponent’s attack. It is a perception of everything that is happening around you and the pre-perception which enable us to sense an attack or aggressiveness in the form of impending danger, before it actually occurs. Metsuke can also mean insight into the human soul, which can inhibit an attack by the expression in the eyes or diffuse it with benevolence or compassion.

Metsuke should result in eye contact on the opponent’s centre. Shifting you eyes from one focal point to another (ie from eyes to hand to feet) constantly changes your perception of distance and angles. To develop perception of these aspects it is essential to focus on one point in the attackers centre line, but still having an awareness of the total field of vision.

Maai is the relation of space and position between uke and tori. It literally means “harmony of space”. It mainly consists of keeping the correct distance and maintaining correct body position and direction. Establishing maai is achieving and maintaining a position that puts you at an advantage and your opponent at a disadvantage. Many factors must be considered for correct maai, such as relative size of the people involved, whether there are multiple uke, the environment and the types of weapons. Maai is constantly changing by the actions created by attacks or defence. The moment tori or uke move maai begins to change. To stop your opponent from attacking you, you must be far enough away so the opponent cannot reach you, but this distance must be balanced with an ability to subdue the opponent’s attack when it does come. Through taisabaki, blending and entering, tori can end up quite close to uke at the execution of the technique. When stationary and unarmed, maai for aikido tends to be a distance of two outstretched arms, but because of the fluid character of Aikido and because distances change depending upon the situation, maai is more a sense that has to be developed and practiced.

The principles of maai and metsuke are practiced in all aspects of Aikido. When practicing, eye contact is kept and a correct distance between tori and uke is maintained.

Two exercises which develop maai and metsuke are tegatana awase and seichusen no bogyo.

Tegatana awase is essentially a practice of keeping eye contact and a correct distance. When at a safe distance of two arm spans away, there is nothing that your opponent can do, unless they enter first. Balance and distance must always be maintained as the two partners move around. The body should also always be aligned so that it is facing your opponent. In this way maai is maintained. This exercise can also be done without the hands in front of you. The same distance should be maintained, and this develops and understanding of maai.

Seichusen no bogyo is a timing exercise which also develops an understanding of maai and metsuke. Metsuke is important in this exercise, as focusing on one aspect, such as the right hand, will result in you being attacked from a different quarter. For this reason focusing on the centre line is important, and maintaining a 360 degree peripheral vision is essential. Seichusen no bogyo is important for maai, as the attacker must enter in order to attack. Fast body movement is essential to place you in an advantageous position that puts your partner at a disadvantage. It is essential that your body is facing your partners body. Eye contact is also important in this exercise, as you might get a clue from which direction the next attack is coming from.

Metsuke and Maai are both extremely important aspects of Aikido, and should be practiced in every exercise.

Ewa Rej

****

“To stop your opponent from attacking you, you must be far enough away so the opponent cannot reach you, but this distance must be balanced with an ability to subdue the opponent’s attack when it does come.”

But in a relationship you want to maintain and enrichen, you’ll want your partner to “attack”, to bring an energy of intensity and improvement, and so you’ll have to allow yourself to be thrown. You have to be vulnerable enough and trusting enough that you won’t be hurt. You’ll have to be competent enough to insure that neither you nor your partner get hurt. But you can’t stop dancing just to avoid getting hurt; you’ll get hurt anyway.

This is what the insights on ukemi will tell you.

****

24/8/07

“.. Ukemi is 50% about being able to deliver that type of quality attack that will challenge the nage and force him to continually raise the level of his technique. It is impossible to reach the highest level of skill without having skilled ukes to train with…..”

http://www.bulunganaikido.com/The_Nature_of_Ukemi.html

So too must we bring the utmost of our selves to personal interaction.  Much of our lives are focused on contentiousness, whether it’s while we’re driving in traffic with frenzied and otherwise-distracted peope in too much of a hurry, or talking with a spouse about handling household decisions, or enlisting the support of co-workers into our ideas, our energies, our contributive talents.

While much of the video you can find on the Internet is about “taking out” some tough guy in a combative encounter, try looking at it (and experiencing it) as an art of power and grace in any non-violent daily encounter.

The principles will also come in handy if you need to suddenly take on a tough guy.

****

Aikido Three Ranges of Interaction (!!!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNzmKLDR3K8 

(9:17)

****

Beth Gineris wrotes about verbal aikido.

If you can see that an interaction or dialogue is an exchange of energy and you understand that some dialogue is passive-aggressive, you can use “… core principles to turn and lead, deflect and redirect, another’s critical, negative, manipulative and emotionally aggressive behavior back to the one who is enacting it….”

****

http://izumitherapy.com/blog/2013/10/the_art_of_emotional_aikido_10_skills_to_turn_relationship_conflict_into_connection_ 

****

“A Sincere Attack”

An essay in the marvelous book entitled

“The gift of danger: lessons from aikido”,

Mary Stein, Blue Snake Books, Berkeley California 2009.

I have been brought up to be polite and not hit people, so, when I first tried aikido, my strike would automatically swerve to one side at the last moment to avoid contact with my partner’s body. My partners, more advanced aikido students, had a uniform reaction: they stopped everything and insisted that I aim the side of my hand or my fist directly at their head or belly. “Hit me!”, they said, then stood and walked into my strike connected with their body. The strike didn’t have to be hard, but it did have to connect. When they decided I was getting the idea, they’d step out of the way as the blow approached. If I forgot the lesson and veered off target again, my partner will once again stand in front of me, motioning for me to hit. When I strike with full intention to make a connection, my partner has to be skillful and accurate in responding to my motion.

Gradually I realized why this was important. If my partner moves incorrectly, he or she will be hit. By striking sincerely and precisely, we provide our partners with an essential risk. This demand for sincerity goes to the heart of aikido.

I learned to appreciate this, too, when I was the one being attacked–struck by the side of my partner’s hand, or grabbed by the wrist or shoulder. Because my partner was striking accurately and with determination, I learned to assess the angle of my partners approach, to align myself to that so that I could move skillfully to meet the blow, moving aside perhaps only a fraction of an inch, just enough to allow the meeting, the acceptance of the attack, and a quick redirection that set my partner into a fault or roll. The tiniest miscalculation of the angle and I might be too far away to have any power to move my partner. Too close, and I’d be hit.

… One of our instructors pointed out that this constant assessment of the angle or attack of approach had helped him in dealing with people outside the dojo. Aikido had helped them become much more attuned to body language and tone of voice, to listen to more than just the words people were using. His time on the mat had given him greater sensitivity to another’s intentions or attitude.

When I’m sincere I can see how the slightest tension distorts my movements and throws me off course as an attacker or as a defender. The “mind of contention” seems to be where those tensions originate. As we repeat the movements of aikido, we can become more aware of our own habitual “angles of attack.”

The Japanese word uke doesn’t literally mean “attacker,” though uke plays that role. It actually means “receiver.” Aikido’s sincere and determined attack is absorbed by nage, the “thrower” or defender, redirected, and transformed into an energy that destabilizes at the end of the technique uke, who then “receives” the fall. In a way, all of aikido is ukemi or receiving, for both the attacker and defender must be open to receiving impressions of the situation as it changes from moment to moment. Only in that way will they respond appropriately to each other. They need both to welcome and adopt as to what’s happening to themselves and their partner. They need to welcome the gift of danger that they’re bringing to each other.”

The Gift of Danger is aimed at men and women for whom the question of what is genuine in their lives has taken on fresh urgency.” http://www.aikidojournal.com/bibliography_details?id=332

****

Aikido Five Elements for Delivery of Energy (!!!!)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mjP3ohV8gQU 

(12:24)

****

From the dojo of my second sensei:

Judy Ringer is a conflict and communication skills trainer, black belt in Aikido, and founder of Power & Presence Training and Portsmouth Aikido.

http://www.judyringer.com/resources/articles/fear-of-failure-and-the-art-of-ukemi-3-lessons-from-aikido.php 

http://www.judyringer.com/perch/resources/fear-of-failure-and-art-of-ukemi-2.pdf 

****

“… There are many complex and difficult concepts to learn in martial arts, concepts that are introduced to you in a very elementary way when you start out and then progress in their complexity as you advance through training. One example of this is ‘distance’ and ‘timing‘.

Even a white belt sparring with a partner for the first time may be told to ‘keep your distance’ and ‘move in to punch then move straight out again’. A little further up the grades and you get advice like ‘move in to disrupt a kick’ or ‘move off line’. The more advanced practitioner then starts to actually anticipate what there opponent is about to do before they’ve even made a move (sen no sen) and moves in to attack first or disrupt the opponents attempt. This is advanced stuff! We’re still talking about distance and timing here but this ability is many tiers up – now we’re in the realm of maai.

Truly appreciating and utilising maai requires a unity of mind and body. It is as much a mental skill as it is a physical one. The Japanese word maai translates simply to ‘interval’ and is referring to the space between two combatants during a fight. The wikipedia entry on maai describes it as: “a complex concept, incorporating not just the distance between opponents, but also the time it will take to cross the distance, angle and rhythm of attack.” If one controls the space between then one controls the fight.

An analogy that I like that helps to describe maai comes from a friend of mine, Peter Seth, who is a 5th dan in aikido (maai is big in aikido!). He says, “Imagine music without the ‘spaces’ of silence between the sounds, the gaps between the notes. Without the spaces there would be constant noise, which may vary in pitch and intensity but would be chaotic and unbearable. These spaces set the time/timing, rhythm and beat of the music, which in turn affects/controls the whole composition. So influence in this area of the ‘space/s between’, effectively allows the leading of all these energies. You become the ‘conductor of this orchestra of energy’.

Maai is a fluid thing, constantly changing as a fight progresses. Maai has a temporal element as well as a spatial one. It also pertains to the momentary lapses of awareness that are manifested in the opponent’s mind. Capitalising on these mental intervals (or lapses of concentration in your opponent’s mind) is also a way of controlling the maai. Being constantly aware of both your maai and your opponents as they constantly change and then being able to manipulate this to your advantage so that your opponents techniques are constantly disrupted requires an intuitive understanding of movement and timing. I am in awe of people who have mastered this skill because I am very much still operating in the lower tiers of elementary ‘distance’ and ‘ timing’. ….”

http://kickasssuec.blogspot.com/2010/11/maai-maai-how-difficult-this-one-is-to.html 

****

The Complete Video Series from WindSong Dojo

https://www.youtube.com/user/kazeutabudokai 

[Look for the two-parter on sensitivity] 

****

Here’s one example, shown in slow-motion, of the culmination of the black belt test called the randori in which three people attack simultaneously.  Watch it ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC7g6uFlzx8) and imagine the defender is you and that you are blind, and then think about how mindfulness, awareness and having a sense of who and where you are at any moment can be useful in your life when you can see.

****

Finally, read this short entry:

http://www.searchofpeace.com/blog/2015/05/20/tonglen-and-the-energy-of-compassion/#more-574 

By the way, the featured image at the top of this entry was originally POSTED BY MARGUERITE MANTEAU-RAO AT http://minddeep.blogspot.com/2010/06/aikido-of-mindful-communication.html 

What can we do? (Part Two)

What can we do? (Part Two)

 

http://www.shalinibosbyshell.com/images/frame_empathy.jpg

 

Empathy:  When you are not you, but that which you wish to understand

For historians, empathizing means being able to see the world through other people’s eyes. Biographers “get into the minds of their subjects–their thoughts, emotions and even body feelings”. You’re beginning to understand someone you have come to know when you can accurately predict their next expression.

Kan Is a difficult-to-translate Japanese term meaning something akin to a combination of empathizing and kinesthetic thinking–becoming one with the music and the instrument producing it.  C.P.E. Bach argued that “a musician cannot move others unless he too was moved. He must feel all the emotions that he hopes to rise in his audience.” Dance, music and some athletic maneuvers must simulate an empathy within the bodies of onlookers, creating within them the desire to move. A choreographer must have empathy for his or her dancers, who are the raw material from which the dances made. The choreographer, wrote Doris Humphrey, “must have a high regard for their individuality, remember that they are not like himself, and bring all of his intelligence to bear on the problem of understanding them, physically, emotionally and psychologically. Many choreographic failures are due to an insensitivity to people”. Empathizing is “a key skill for the practice of any helping relationship”.

The entire philosophy of Zen Buddhism is inextricably bound up with the idea that a person must become one with the objects of meditation, to lose his or her sense of self in order to comprehend the otherness of things as if they were not other. Thus all of the arts associated with Zen–the landscapes, rock gardens, paintings, drawings, architecture, tea ceremonies and other rituals–require the ability to empathize with nature. Buck Branneman, the trainer who inspired the novel and movie The Horse Whisperer, uses the horse’s own language of subtle body movements and gestures. “There’s no secret to this”, he says. “I just know what we need to do in order for both of us to speak the same language and dance the dance.” Jane Goodall, who has worked with chimpanzees in the wild, notes that “subtle communication cues denoting slight changes in mood or attitude toward other chimpanzees are more readily detected once empathy has been established.” In A River Runs Through It, the story of 2 sons of a Presbyterian minister, all dedicated fly fisherman, the older son achieves a strong sense of the river, its eddies and currents, the environment in which the fish hides. He says “I’m pretty good with a rod, but I need 3 more years before I can think like a fish.” The younger son, a master fisherman, responds “But you’re the know how to think like a dead stone fly.” Thomas Eisner pioneered the study of the chemical defense and communications systems of insects, and would dream of talking to ants in Spanish. Once he dreamed he was an insect talking to insects and telling them that he had dreamed he was a human. Of the oldest and best preserved tricks in the hunter’s repertoire is to throw the skin of an animal he is caught over his own body in order to blend with his prey. To be successful, you must learn to act and think like that animal. What better way then to take on the role of the hunted, to imagine how the creature will respond? A hunt is a battle of wits, and the avid hunter soon develops a deep sense of respect for his prey.

The eminent philosopher Sir Karl Popper said “you should enter into your problem situation in such a way the almost become part of it.” Charles Ketterling, the long-term director of research at General Motors, would often reprimand engineers who got lost in complex calculation by saying something like “yes, but do you know what it feels like to be a piston in an engine?” Alexander Graham Bell became the systems he studied. While he was working on new ways to educate the deaf and mute, he mentally became deaf and mute, and figuratively vanished from his family. Computer programmers and designers have walked around inside their microchips in programs like characters sucked into the world of electronic micro circuitry (see the movie Tron).

These people not only know their subjects objectively, they know them subjectively. But how can you practice empathizing? Practice inner attention, which centers on things we can see, hear, touch and feel in real and imaginary circumstances. Observe your own responses to the world. Remember physical and emotional memories of your responses. Practice external attention to people and things outside yourself. Observe how they respond and react to particular situations or stimuli. Imagine what the object of your external attention is sensing and feeling. Pretend that its world is your world. How would you respond if you were it? Find connections to sensations and emotions that exist in  yourself. Act out the part of a component within the system.

Sparks of Genius: The 13 Thinking Tools of the World’s Most Creative People, Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein, Houghton Mifflin, New York. 1999. [The primary tools are observing, imaging, abstracting, recognizing patterns, forming patterns, analogizing, body thinking, empathizing and dimensional thinking; the integrative tools are modeling, playing, transforming and synthesizing.]

 

 

http://valme.io/content/images/user/3/images/business/Emotional%20Empathy%20Cartoon.jpg

 

 

 

 

Be sure to finish reading Zimmerman’s treatise, esp. pages 15ff, as well as Napi in the new age, and then

skip on to The Defense Intelligence Agency and Shamanism

and its embedded story about “The Stick Game”.

 

Ron uses the Wu Wei theme at WordPress. I am beginning to like this man’s sense of cosmic wit. I’ve never met the man in the flesh but I betcha there’s a certain kind of gleam in his eye.  It’s bright, which may be why he’s always wearing those sunglasses: he doesn’t want to blind you at first glance.

 

http://equivalentexchange.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/wu_wei.jpg?w=450&h=337

 

The principle of least action (or stationary action) seen in the previous entry Noether’s Theorem immediately makes me think of the Taoist concept of wu wei – literally no action or effortless action. It consists of knowing when to act and knowing when not to act (or perhaps even not knowing to act). It also means natural action, or the action of natural physical or biological systems. In Western culture, such action is considered bad and “mechanical” because physical systems are thought to be like clockwork, but in Eastern culture, it is sagelike and enlightened, harmonious. Very often intention, or conscious action, gets in the way and impedes our effort.

Another example that comes to mind is the short story “On the Marionette Theatre” by Heinrich von Kleist. In the story, one of the characters comment that marionettes possess a grace humans do not, a view which contradicts ordinary aesthetics. It is claimed that our consciousness and capacity for reflection cause us to doubt ourselves or become self-conscious, and prevent us from acting with the singlemindedness and purity of an animal or a puppet. For example, a bear in the story is able to successfully fence with the narrator, by deflecting every thrust towards him seemingly without effort. And all feints are ignored, as if the bear is reading the narrator’s mind or knowing the future before it happens.

 

http://equivalentexchange.wordpress.com/2012/05/09/wu-wei-or-natural-action/ 

[Does that sound like aikido?]

 

 

Find those who will walk right next to you through the orchards and the grain, someone who won’t give up in the frozen rain.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VmZcnWfN6s

 

 

http://www.motivationalquotesabout.com/images/quotes/why-are-you-unhappy-wei-wu-wei.jpg

 

 

 

 

http://daohead.com/images/meditation-full.png

http://daohead.com

 

 

“The truth must penetrate like an arrow — and that is likely to hurt.”

Wei-Wu-Wei

 

The first thing that must be in place in any approach to preparing for the future is to insure that there is sufficient love, laughter, good fun, music, good food, friends and family. No one could be wrong concentrating on those qualities or insuring their presence.

Creativity has not only made the human species unique in Nature; what is more important for the individual, it gives value and purpose to human existence.

Creativity requires more than technical skills and logical thought; it also needs the cultivation and collaboration of the appositional mind. If the constraint of an intellectual ideal can make man a unilateral being, physiologically underdeveloped, a better informed and foresighted community will strive toward a more harmonious development of the organism by assuring an appropriate training and a greater consideration for the other side of the brain.

http://www.its.caltech.edu/~jbogen/text/OSOB_3.html 

 

“FURTHER PRESCRIPTIONS”

My reflections on physicians I have known

Further Prescriptions

 

 

 

 

Is all this an antidote for 

the perfect storm of amnesty of hyperinflation, food riots and race wars?

 

No.  But it’s of value when combined with a totality of effort, including divestiture, self-excision from the system as much as possible, and the development of what Catherine Austin Fitts used to talk about (and probably still does) — the popsicle index, “a map, a plan, and allies”, and mapping your community for money and power.  It probably includes “prepping”, some sound thinking and planning, and more. 

We’re better learn quickly how to find proper leadership who has a thorough understanding of how to get the most out of others. 

 

I’ve been a fan of the role of games and gaming in dialogue for some time: 

“The true value of serious simulation games and the range of other digital learning tools can best be judged by the extent to which they bring people to a higher level of dialogue, discovery, research, learning and collaboration after the game or learning encounter has ended.”

 

See this  (not the first time I’ve encountered mention of the board game Carcassone) and figure out where your people should place their next tile.

 

And after all that work is done, then the love, laughter, good food, good music and good interaction will send the message about what really works. 

 

“… Using children, especially those living in deplorable conditions, for the purpose of a long term destructive agenda has to be considered evil beyond words. Isn’t it? ….

I’m always seeing where folks have good ideas of what must happen to stop the madness. What needs to be done, what doing this, what doing that will accomplish to achieve peace and prosperity and end the rule of the few crazies. What’s missing is the implementation. How we get there? We would like it to be without violence. I’ll have to admit that I don’t know and that is exactly the position that the powers that think they are want us in. Maybe you have some thoughts?”

Posted by kenny at 7:13 PM

Masters of Love is about research into how couples stay together. Failed couples exist in fight-or-flight mode, “prepared to attack and be attacked.” Successful couples create “a climate of trust and intimacy.” They do this by “scanning the social environment for things they can appreciate,” while failed couples are scanning for things to criticize.

I have two more thoughts. First, people who consistently get in bad relationships might enjoy the stimulation of fight-or-flight mode, and seek out partners who make them feel on edge. Second, I think these principles also apply to your relationship with the world, and with yourself. If you’re appreciating little things that go your way, or little things that you do right, you are living better than someone who gets worked up over things that go wrong. Of course it’s still necessary, when things do go wrong, to see them clearly. http://www.ranprieur.com

http://static.fjcdn.com/pictures/lack+of+empathy+you+have.+enjoy_cc15d2_4332556.jpg 

http://cultureofempathy.com/References/Experts/Jeremy-Rifkin.htm 

Thus we come back to Jane Addams and Seymour Melman.  Their positive vision of a peaceful nation, caring society, and independently skilled work force is fading in memory by the day.  Unless we stand up and hold these images of a kinder and more sustainable society in a public way they will be lost to the future generations.

Nothing can be more important in our lives.

posted by Bruce K. Gagnon | 11:33 AM | 1 comments

 

“As we can see from simply looking at a flower, nature knows how to organize itself,” Marianne Williamson wrote recently. “And this same force would organize human affairs if we would allow it to. This allowance occurs whenever we place our minds in correct alignment with the laws of the universe — through prayer, meditation, forgiveness and compassion. Until we do this, we will continue to manifest a world that destroys rather than heals itself. Iraq is a perfect example.”

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38928.htm [journalistic malfeasance of the highest order]

 

 

Catherine Austin Fiits, at https://solari.com/blog , says:

We are not crazy. We are not black sheep. I declare that the time to serve as sin eaters for our families is over. In fact, the time has come for us to lead.

I have members in my family who have spent a life time sucking up to the rich and famous. They are on a hunt for “pet treats” – small amounts of prestige and money for which they will do mind boggling things.

That is their choice – they make their own choices. Our values take us in different directions. So be it.

We each serve our divine purpose. Be proud of it. If you love your family, allow your courage and your intelligence to support them where their matrix-hugging now puts them at risk.

Love them, but do not permit their embrace of incoherence to pressure you to pretend that it is you who are somehow incoherent.

 

 

 

Keith Jarrett Everything that lives, laments 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C049aW6B0I (10:03)

 

 

“music is simple

 just sing your heart out

it’s over all too soon, as you well know

 and don’t forget to do a little jig !”

— Est

 

Could This Be The End of E-Mail Overload? (3:41)

 

The Jew and the Other: Alain Soral & Gilad Atzmon in Lyon

•Tags: ISRAEL

This lecture appeared on the net 24 hours ago. In spite of its length and depth, it attracted 40.000 viewers in such a short time. The meaning of it is simple:

1. we are a mass movement

2. the future of intellectual exchange is out of the Zionised academia that is suffocated with marginal ‘studies’ that detach humans from questions to do with Being & Time.

 

The late Lynn Margulis

a three-day scientific-philosophical meeting on the Darwinian-evolutionary view of life

The far-more-difficult science-education problem:

The persistent problem is how to wake up public awareness, especially in the global scientifically literate public, of the overwhelming evidence that the three buildings collapsed by controlled demolition. (Much has been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, see Ch. 4 of The Mysterious Collapse). We, on the basis of hard evidence, must conclude that the petroleum fires related to the aircraft crashes were irrelevant (except perhaps as a cover story).We citizens of Earth within and beyond the boundaries of the United States who demand detailed evidence for extraordinary claims agree with Griffin: the rapid destruction of New York skyscrapers on September 11, 2001 was planned and executed by people inside the US government.

http://rockcreekfreepress.tumblr.com/post/353434420/two-hit-three-down-the-biggest-lie 

 

JODY PAULSON

I believe it’s up to each and every one of us to contribute our own special talents to make this world a better place for all of us.

 

 

 

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature.  She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

“[Flight attendant Jan] Brown liked everything to be perfect on her flights and lost no opportunity to make it so.  If she was serving passengers in first class, she would write a personal note to each one and tuck it inside the white linen napkin on the service tray. She always called her work “the service”, a nearly religious experience….”

Laurence Gonzales, Page 11, “Flight 232”

http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Flight-232/ 

 

Laborare est orare. 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-way-of-working-d-m-dooling/1110887921?ean=9780930407018 

In this enriching collection of eleven interrelated essays, A Way of Working explores the ancient relationship of art, order, and craft. Craft is considered as a “sort of ark” for the transmission of real knowledge about being, and about our deep creative aspirations. The book includes contributions from D. M. Dooling, Joseph Cary, Paul Jordan-Smith, Michael Donner, Harry Remde, Jean Kinkead Martine, Jean Sulzberger, Chanit Roston, and P. L. Travers. This group of authors write not as individuals but as members of a community — a guild effort. As one chapter heading put it: the alchemy of craft.

****

 

Face-to-face communications substantially increases levels of cooperation. Indeed, in experimental work done using games that mimics social dilemmas, no other variable appears to have as consistent and strong effect. Even when passing messages via computer terminals, the levels of cooperation are far below those seen in the game played with face-to-face communication. As Elinor Ahlstrom puts it, “exchanging mutual commitment, increasing trust, creating and reinforcing norms, and developing a group identity appeared to be the most important processes that make communication efficacious.” Why? We are wired that way, culturally, genetically and neurologically. Cooperative behavior promotes survival of the gene pool. Large brains, extended families, and community ties mutually embraced one another.

 

Liars, Lovers and Heroes: What the New Brain Science Reveals About How We Become Who We Are, Steven R. Quartz, Ph.D. and Terrence J. Sejnowski, Ph.D., HarperCollins/Wm. Morrow, New York 2002, which notes, in turn:

Marwell and Ames (1979): “experiments on the provision of public goods I:  resources, interest, group size, and the free-rider problem”, American Journal of Sociology 84:1335-60.;

Ledyard, J.  (1995): “Public Goods: A Survey of Experimental Research”, in Handbook of Experiential Economics, edited by Kagel and Roth, Princeton University Press, pp. 111-94;

Dawes, McTavish and Shaklee (1977): “Behavior, communication and assumptions about other people’s behavior in a common dilemma situation, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 35: 1-11;

Sally, D. (1995):  “Conservation, Cooperation and Social Dilemmas: A meta-analysis  of experiments from 1958 to 1992”, Rationality and Society 7:58-92;

Ostrom, E. (1998): “ a behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action”, presidential address, American Political Science Association, American Political Science Review 92:1-21.

 

 

The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model

of group development 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuckman’s_stages_of_group_development 

 

****

 

Organizational learning: how a team learns to win

 

A learning organization is one in which people continuously expand their capacity to create the results they desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning how to learn together.

Most of us at one time or another been part of a great “team”, a group of people who functioned together in an extraordinary way–who trusted one another, who complemented each other’s strengths and compensated for each other’s limitations, who had common goals that were larger than individual goals, and who produced extraordinary results.

I have met many people who have experienced this sort of profound teamwork–in sports, or in the performing arts, or in business. Many say that they have spent much of their life looking for that experience again. What they experienced was a learning organization. The team that became great didn’t start off great–it learned how to produce extraordinary results.

 

The five disciplines of a learning organization:

 

Systems thinking: Events, however distant in time and space, are connected within the same pattern. Each has an influence on the rest, an influence that is usually hidden from view. We tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of the system, and wonder why our deepest problems never seem to get solved.

 

Personal mastery: People with a high level of mastery are able to consistently realize the results that matter most deeply to them by becoming committed to their own lifelong learning. Personal mastery is a discipline of continually clarifying and deepening our personal vision, of focusing our energies, of developing patience, and of seeing reality objectively. As such, it is an essential cornerstone of the learning organization–it is the learning organization’s spiritual foundation.

 

Mental models are deeply ingrained assumptions, generalizations or even pictures or images that influence how we understand the world and how we take action. Very often, we are not consciously aware of our mental models or the effects they have on our behavior. Many insights fail to get put into practice because they conflict with powerful, tacit mental models. “The discipline of working with mental models starts with turning the mirror inward; learning to unearth our internal pictures of the world, to bring them to the surface and to hold them rigorously to scrutiny. It also includes the ability to carry on “learningful” conversation that balance inquiry and advocacy, where people expose their own thinking effectively and make their thinking open to the influence of others.

 

Building shared vision: Few organizations have sustained some measure of greatness in the absence of goals, values and missions that had become deeply shared throughout the organization. “When there is a genuine vision (as opposed to the all-too-familiar “vision statement”), people excel and learn, not because they are told to, but because they want to. But many leaders have personal visions that never get translated into shared visions that galvanize an organization. All too often, the team’s vision has revolved around the charisma of a leader, or around a crisis that galvanized everyone temporarily. What has been lacking is a discipline for translating individual vision into shared vision–not a “cookbook” but a set of principles and guiding practices. The practice of shared vision involves the skills of unearthing shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitment and enrollment rather than compliance. In mastering this discipline, readers learn how counterproductive it is to dictate a vision, no matter how heartfelt.

 

Team learning: The discipline of team learning starts with “dialogue”, the capacity of members of the team system to suspend assumptions and enter into a genuine “thinking together”. To the Greeks, dia-logos meant a free-flowing of meeting throughout a group, allowing the group to discover insights not attainable individually. Dialogue differs from the more common “discussion”, which has its roots with “percussion” and “concussion”, really a heaving of ideas back-and-forth in a winner-takes-all competition. The discipline of dialogue also involves learning how to recognize the patterns of interaction in teams that undermine learning. The patterns of defensiveness are often deeply ingrained in how a team operates. If unrecognized, they undermine learning. If recognized and surfaced creatively, they can actually accelerate learning.

“By discipline”, I do not mean an “enforced order” or “means of punishment”, but a body of theory and technique that must be studied and mastered to be put into practice. A discipline is a developmental path for acquiring skill or competency. Practicing a discipline is different from practicing a discipline is different from emulating “a model”. All too often, innovations are described in terms of the “best practices”. Such descriptions can often do more harm than good, leading to piecemeal copying or playing catch-up. No great team is ever been built trying to emulate another one; individual greatness is not achieved by trying to copy another “great person”.

When you ask people about what it is being like part of a great team, what is most striking is the meaningfulness of the experience. People talk about being part of something larger than themselves, of being connected, of being generative. It becomes quite clear that, for many, their experiences as part of truly great teams stand out as singular periods of life lived to the fullest. Some spent the rest of their lives trying to recapture that spirit.

Learning has become synonymous with “taking in information”, which is only distantly related to real learning. It would be silly to say “I just read a great book about bicycle riding–now I can ride a bike”. Real learning gets to the heart of what it means to be human. Through learning we re-create ourselves. Through learning we become able to do something were never able to do. Through learning we extend our capacity to create, to be part of the generative process of life. There is within each of us a deep hunger for this type of learning.
The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of a Learning Organization, Peter Senge, Doubleday/Currency, New York, 1990. [This is not a particularly easy book to read or understand but, for the individual involved in leading organizations, it has some powerful and wonderfully unsettling ideas. See also The Fifth Discipline Workbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization, Peter Senge et al, Doubleday/Currency, New York. 1994.]

 

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http://img.nauticexpo.com/images_ne/photo-g/rowing-shell-competition-octuple-scull-with-coxswain-22350-320831.jpg 

The coxswain voices perceptions but not judgments. By giving feedback about how the boat feels in a tone that is engaged but neutral, the coxswain hands the rowers a problem and lets them find a solution. The crew will learn at its fastest rate if it can perform its athletic experiments without the emotional noise of criticism. As in any science, the work goes best when the experimenters fix their attention on the lab bench rather than on their opinions of themselves and each other.

Mind Over Water: Lessons on Life from the Art of Rowing, Craig Lambert,
Houghton Mifflin, New York, 1998.

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Mobility and Alignment of Purpose

One’s true capacity for moving, or being moved, can be achieved only when one’s commitment to others is in fact connected to and derives from his primary commitment to himself.

When we find this kind of alignment of purpose, there is a harmony of motivation that can provide the fuel in clarity overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of great challenge.

 

The Inner Game of Work, W. Timothy Gallwey, Random House, 2000. [Aimed at the corporate / management market, its sections on coaching are exceptional for their insights on how to empower others.]

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A leader is best

when people barely know that he exists,

not so good when people obey him and acclaim him,

worst when they despise him.

 

If you fail to honor people, they will fail to honor you.

But of a good leader, who boasts little,

When his work is done, his aim fulfilled,

they will all saywe did this ourselves’.

Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

 

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kennyJuly 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

 

“In the sixth century BC, the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu identified the world’s biggest problem. Individuals viewed themselves as powerless. The burden of impotence made them resent others and fear life, which, in turn, led them to seek power through controlling others. The quest was not an expression of authority, but one of aggression. Lao Tzu rooted most of social problems in the individual’s sense of paralysis.”

The Power of the Powerlesst

from a comment at the article…

“It is consent, withdrawal of consent that tyrants are afraid of. Our own government see’s peoples withdrawal of their consent as the existential threat to the state, its power, and those running it.

Indeed, the truth sets one free in every myriad way, it is Liberty, it is the utmost in legitimacy of people.

It is upstream of tyranny and tyrants.

The truth reveals the illegitimacy of those in power and their lawlessness.”

[I have problems with strategies and online kibitzers who lobby for giving “The State” a few more shoves down the road toward collapse without a concerted and detailed discussion about how massive amounts of people (locally or globally) will manage to function well enough to survive, let alone thrive, or without any discussion of the types of socio-governmental approaches will prevent further violence and destruction. Sacrificing life, liberty and the pursuit of eudaimonia won’t prevent anything except life, liberty and Eudaimonia.]