Rules of Engagement


When we are “consuming” a cultural artifact and it creates discomfort, even emotional pain, we tend to value the experience. We feel the artist has done something worthwhile. We feel we have participated in something that adds richness to our lives. Yet when we are confronted with a social interaction, a mediated interaction at that,Continue reading “Rules of Engagement”

The Purposes of Images


Sometimes a picture just shows too much. Not just pictures, but any presentation. Sometimes we can be too explicit. Not so much that we are too straightforward, or too forthcoming; but that we often tend to say – or show, actually – more than we mean. Not just more than we intend, at least IContinue reading “The Purposes of Images”

Doing No Thing, a Path Past Ego Death


We are caught up in urgency. We do good things. We are good people. What we strive after needs to be done! Yet we are exhausted. We are frustrated. We are pressed by the futility of our actions and have no idea how to change anything in a worthwhile way. Double-binds rear their ugly heads.Continue reading “Doing No Thing, a Path Past Ego Death”

Imagination’s Roots


Imagination is a garbled concept today. We tie it into our obsessions with desire and wish fulfillment. In this way we see imagination as synonymous with fantasy – again in its current accepted meaning, as related to pleasant wishes. When we discover a failure of imagination we are looking at something else entirely. It’s notContinue reading “Imagination’s Roots”

From Negotiation to Dialogue


From negotiation to dialogue we move from scarcity to gift. Quantities are not affected, at least not over short spans – in the long run scarcity negotiations drive us to collapse and the Gift maintains and develops creation while filling innumerable niches to bring forth abundance. Technology is firmly within the realm of negotiation. CraftContinue reading “From Negotiation to Dialogue”

Complicity and Contingency


We live somewhere in tension between complicity and contingency. It’s not a linear polarity, this space. These are not categories with any sort of rough equivalency. Complicity is a state. We are within a relationship to the forces that seek to destroy. Some of these we are aware of, others are hidden from us, someContinue reading “Complicity and Contingency”

On Being Outside, a meditation on precarity


Vinay Gupta wrote a piece recently, The Subtle Art of Precarity. It’s a nice article, and an interesting neologism, precarity. It relates to a familiarity and even comfort with being on the edge. His thesis, one I’ve long ascribed to, that as we get deeper into collapse the crises of leadership and expertise drive, andContinue reading “On Being Outside, a meditation on precarity”

Here’s the Thing…


If we can’t drive a wedge of awareness into the current cycle of how we make judgements, if we can’t find ways to break the loops we’re trapped in, we are condemned to continue repeating them over and over again until we are swept away by the sheer volume of our irrelevancy. This is anContinue reading “Here’s the Thing…”

A Sense of Security


It’s just struck me. Our off-balance craving for security is a symptom, an intensifier of our hunger after power. Does this hold true for any sense of security? All our thoughts and feelings, our very perceptions, their focus and their blind-spots, are interpenetrated by our conditioning. We cannot escape illusion. We can only shift howContinue reading “A Sense of Security”

Fighting Injustice/Confronting Abuse, part II


The first part of this essay dealt with setting the stage, in a way, finding our home position. Let’s take that groundwork and begin to look at what’s hinted at in the second half of the title, Confronting Abuse. In our stressed, fight or flight states we jump right past the significant aspect of confrontationContinue reading “Fighting Injustice/Confronting Abuse, part II”

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?”

A Short Note on Anger,


Dwight Towers recently blogged this quote from a book we’ve both been reading: When we complain about what someone is doing that annoys us, we are really not complaining about him at all. We are complaining about our own character. We make a fuss about what he is doing, but that is useless as heContinue reading “A Short Note on Anger,”