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Messages - droqen

calls Candy Crush a fantastic game. hmm ok

The meaning can never be found in the parts. . . .
You have to look the next level up, and the next level up beyond that.

'A thing-ness'
John Holland . . . his short definition of emergence was that when you have something where it's easier to define a thing at its higher level rather than at its constituent parts, that's where you have an emergent property

Interesting lens to think about this. Sellers continues to speak about how 'the face does not exist' in an illusion of a face visible in flowers and a butterfly..
I maintain the question, what then is existence? Not in the case of the face illusion, but in the glider, the triangle, and so on. Sellers suggests that these non-things have thing-ness, but we are all non-things with thing-ness. I'll be very disappointed if he doesn't get there by the end of this talk.

You could have speed = 6, and hit points = 20
In reality we have the same organization [parts and relationships. how things are connected creates the system], but there's no bottom as far as we can tell.
He gets into whether a glider in the game of life is 'a thing', earlier says the Kanizsa triangle is not 'a thing'. Why is it not 'a thing'? "We experience it as a thing," he says of the glider. Why is it not 'a thing'?
Wow, wonderful little example of people failing to do systems thinking, and actually how the 'world-as-machine' thinking I mention above is reductive and fails to catch the whole. This is exactly what Christopher Alexander is talking about with the 20th-century mechanistic viewpoint.


Asking people what do they see in this picture . . . most people, particularly in the west, say "there's three big fish, some plants" . . . calling out the little bits, not the relationships between them . . . it's a little more common in Asia people say "this is an aquarium, this is an undersea scene," talking about the relationships between things . . . people [in Japan are] most likely to see this as an overall scene . . . a sort of gestalt in psychological terms
Plato to Galileo: "a whole organized of parts" [definition of a system]
Newton: "De mundi systemate" [The system of the world] (1687)

Wild. I did not realize that the title of The Idea of the World was constructed in the same fashion as... possibly in reference to... a different older book which appears to be the very root of 'world-as-machine' thinking. Fascinating.
what a terrible crowd! laugh at mike's joke, crowd! oh well.

edit:: Oh maybe it's just the way he's mic'd up. I hope it was a good crowd!
Close reading / A Systemic Approach to Systemic Design
November 22, 2023, 08:14:34 AM
Reviews & reflections / Re: Slay the Princess (spoilers)
November 18, 2023, 12:13:25 PM
QuoteThe vessels are shaped by memories of you, but their impulses are drawn to the edge of The Long Quiet. To them you are a gate to something more, and any hurt you've caused them is understood as a fair price for freedom. But they are only thoughts and perspectives. They are not me.

The wounds they've suffered carve texture around my heart. Without them, I would be as I was before.

QuoteThere are contradictions, conflicts in my nature. And there are familiarities that bind everything together.

I'll resist the urge to capture every quote that comes to me through it, but these are the lines, the sorts of lines, that strike me as reflecting upon some deeper thing that I have been reflecting upon, too, for a long time. The plurality of human perspective, the plurality of any person, the plurality of everything of which we are no simple, singular part.
Reviews & reflections / Slay the Princess (spoilers)
November 18, 2023, 12:12:14 PM
There are many lines in Slay the Princess that I find remarkably beautiful, in particular ones spoken in the... I don't know what to call it... by the shifting mound beyond the mirror before it becomes itself.
Despite Alexander's insistence to the opposite, I'd really like to read The Luminous Ground as poetry, and not science, not because I want to shield my 20th century mechanistic viewpoint from his strange accusations upon reality, but the opposite: I want to shield the grand idea which he presents from my 20th century mechanistic viewpoint's tacit assumptions.

Quotefrom Interview with Agnes Martin:

I don't [believe? read?] what the intellectuals put out. The intellectuals, they, they discover one fact and another fact and another fact, and they say, from all these facts, we can deduce so-and-so. *shakes head* Not good. That's just a bad guess! Nothing of it could come but inaccuracy. Never will we learn the truth about life.

So I had a hard time giving up some of them. But I've managed to... evolution. I gave up the idea of evolution. All of them. I gave up all of the theories. Even the atomic theory. And then I don't have any ideas myself, and I don't believe anybody else's, so that leaves me a clear mind. *laughs*
i like art because, unconcerned with truth, it makes me comfortable being, myself, unconcerned with truth. reality comes in the front door like the cold air in winter and we all say "Close it! Close the door!" and you close the door and nobody asks whether we ought to let it in, unless they're too warm, then we might let it in for their sake. being able to write code, to manipulate the machines that wield truth like a weapon, is like having too many windows, loose doors, portholes, cracks in the walls, big panes of glass:

it's bad for insulation.
I was reading page 59 over a breakfast of defrosted grocery store lasagna when I realized I still think Christopher Alexander is too focused on reality, on arguing for reality, on proving that what he's talking about is real. It's hard for me to describe exactly the ouroboros in which he finds himself, but it goes something like...

1. People want to describe things in terms of machines which can be made perfectly understandable and logical and rational and dead

2. The way that people generally feel about things is very important

3. These two truths or perspectives cannot be integrated, as we cannot describe how feelings work in a way that captures the value of actually feeling

4. The solution is to create a new worldview in which feeling is not mere feeling, but a sophisticated tool of measurement of some force or energy which 'really exists'

I think that I diverge from him in the 4th. We're so, so close, but I can feel a gap, something yet unrealized, and he knew it was not yet realized when he wrote this book, these books. What am I even trying to say?
Reviews & reflections / The Trials of Goodbye
November 15, 2023, 11:08:50 PM

This is a game that belongs to the question-asking genre that's been on my mind lately, the genre of allowing the player to ask questions, but more importantly the genre of asking the player questions, asking them to judge. That's all this game is: the player is asked to pass judgement.

However, compared to Slay the Princess, I found my 'asking' and 'choosing' abilities to be much less satisfying:

My choices were not my choices, but floodgates. I did not have a mouth... In StP, there was no character who spoke for me after I made my choices. I am comfortable being interpreted or misinterpreted by characters who are not me, but in the case of The Trials of Goodbye, my choices were being interpreted by my avatar and I did not feel as though I could ask the questions I wanted to ask, or give the answers I wanted to give.