There Is a Gulf Between Foraging and Mining


There is a gulf between two attitudes and ways of working that can be described by looking at the distance between foraging and mining. When we forage we gather what we need. We also limit our effort. If a spot is too resistant to our efforts; if what we’re after is scarce; we move on.Continue reading “There Is a Gulf Between Foraging and Mining”

Questions of Identity


Schools fail us by teaching students how to work with knowledge rather than how to deal with ignorance, not be a sucker with the unknown. Nassim Taleb This neither begins nor ends with schools. In a time when the most popular public stance is to celebrate our fears and idolize those who act on themContinue reading “Questions of Identity”

Process


process early 14c., “fact of being carried on” (e.g. in process), from O.Fr. proces “journey” (13c.), from L. processus “process, advance, progress,” from pp. stem of procedere “go forward” (see proceed). Meaning “course or method of action” is from mid-14c.; sense of “continuous… As with so many words, we rarely look at where they cameContinue reading “Process”

Coherence is Provisional


Ideology works through the process of consensus. Someone’s ideas gain followers and a movement is born to support these ideals and find ways to garner wider support; either through negotiated agreement or through some form of overt or covert coercion. Some movements gain broad support. Others limp along, held in high regard by a fewContinue reading “Coherence is Provisional”

Driven by Fear


Coercion, hostility, anger, rejection; are all signs of fear. They cease to exist when there is no fear. These are paraphrases of points Krishnamurti made repeatedly. The dynamics surrounding fear cannot be ignored. They inflect not only how we react and respond ourselves, but hold some key to how we can find ways to speakContinue reading “Driven by Fear”

Algorithms and Intention


Algorithms. While teaching a week-long course in half-model making and marine drafting I came across a tangible definition of an algorithm. In drafting we use splines, long, thin wooden battens that we bend around control points held by lead weights called ducks or whales. The shape, density and grain of the wood influences how itContinue reading “Algorithms and Intention”

Tyranny of Choice


We are confronted by the seductive promise of endless choice. Not simply in the way Nixon wowed Khrushchev in a supermarket in the fifties. We now have this medium to toss us into an infinity of choices for our attention simply by rolling a mouse and clicking on icons. The pressure of futility is strongContinue reading “Tyranny of Choice”

Questions surrounding non-violence


Gandhian non-violence gains its power by putting an oppressor’s hidden violence out in the open where it cannot be denied. Not so much so as to counter it by non-violent means, but so that it must be confronted by the oppressor, for what it is, in its naked form. Every oppressor has layers of self-justification toContinue reading “Questions surrounding non-violence”

What is innocence?


It seems we consider innocence to be a state of ignorance, held at no fault of our own, in which we are not acting out a power-play, or negotiating within the bounds of a power struggle; but acting out of a clean regard. We consider innocence to be an immature quality, but one we lookContinue reading “What is innocence?”

Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point


Andrew Taggart recently asked me to clarify how I see the deterioration and loss of Craft resulting from its confrontation with civilization. This is a big question! Let’s begin with a few definitions. I’m beginning to see Craft as a central focal point in examining how our confrontation with civilization has led us to whereContinue reading “Craft’s Collision with Civilization, a starting point”

Innovation as Impermanence


Watching this BBC documentary about the Islamic History of Europe I came across the Islamic roots of Convivencia, a term I’ve associated with Ivan Illich, perhaps its most recent heir, himself part of an Hispanic tradition going back to Al Andaluz. This film is a refreshing look at the contributions of Islamic Culture to theContinue reading “Innovation as Impermanence”

Quid Pro Quo


Effectiveness is coupled with having a workable set of controls. We can even be effective if we are saddled with cross-wired controls – so long as we compensate for them and learn how they actually work.