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Independent thinkers wake us up

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Our member Denham Grey has a lot of experience organizing discussions, and participating in online communities. I m corresponding with him at Brainstorms.
    Message 1 of 3 , Jul 2, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      Our member Denham Grey has a lot of experience organizing discussions,
      and participating in online communities. I'm corresponding with him at
      Brainstorms. Denham, if you CC'ed your letters to us here at
      OtherStands, that would be great. I'm sharing one of my rambles below.
      Andrius, ms@...

      *****************************************

      My own passion is knowing everything about life, and doing useful things
      with that knowledge. A summary of my notes is at:
      http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html In general, I
      look for deep questions about life, accumulate subjective answers, and
      then structure their interpretation.

      In particular, I've noticed how conversations often deadlock. Academic
      philosophy is notorious for this. For example, you'll have two sides,
      one that argues for "free will", and another that argues for "fate".
      And you'll find this at the bottom of very sophisticated discussion,
      under many layers of sophistication, it can boil down to just these
      attitudes. But the fact is that we can't get rid of either one of these
      concepts. So why would we try to argue it away? Instead, my experience
      is that they indicate a structure within the mind, a division of
      everything into two parts: one perspective where opposites coexist, and
      one perspective where everything is the same. This kind of dual
      perspective is very important whenever we take up the issue of
      existence: to say that a chair exists, we have to 1) be able to raise
      the question, consider that it may or may not 2) be able to conclude,
      that it does if it does, (or does not if it does not).

      So I noticed that these deadlocked conversations reveal fundamental
      structures within the mind. For example, there is a division of
      everything into three perspectives (taking a stand, following through,
      reflecting) that the issue of "participation" depends on, is defined by.
      There is a division of everything into four perspectives (whether? what?
      how? why?) that the issue of "knowledge" depends on. Over twenty years
      I've catalogued a large part of the structures of life.

      However, a tremendous amount of energy is used to try to argue away one
      or more perspectives within such a structure. It's a crazy thing to do,
      and my conclusion is that people do it because they don't want to have
      anything better to do. That's why I keep looking for people who want to
      get things done (or I focus my energies with them on that). I think
      that's the point at which we people gain that extra awareness that lets
      us say: why are we arguing to eliminate points of view? Why not
      acknowledge the ones that are real, and do something with the very real
      structure that we've documented. Also, this lets us separate the real
      from the contrived, because if we're not getting anything done then it's
      possible to claim all kinds of absurd, contrived things. But they fall
      away when we try to get something done.

      In my life, I've seen enormous amounts of completely thoughtless
      conversation which may seem very smart but simply reenforces the social
      world that we live in, doesn't open us up for genuine conversation. And
      in my personal life I've managed to avoid that and stick with very
      intense conversation that keeps looking to build on what we have. And
      I've found that there's some kind of merit to that, people do find that
      attractive, though a lot to swallow. I think of Jesus Christ that way,
      he was intense.

      Also, I think that a healthy social space depends on having individuals
      who are stronger than it, otherwise everything degenerates, we end up
      with a weird kind of speaking which is what we have in the corporate
      world, that doesn't look for the truth, doesn't start with the truth,
      and often looks away from the truth.

      If you look at my notes,
      http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html then you'll see
      that this is the kind of murky but deep thinking that comes from an
      independent thinker, somebody like Socrates or Kant or Christ. It
      doesn't happen through a group, although of course it helps to have a
      lot of interaction. There is no acknowledgement or support for working
      from scratch. It's not the kind of thing that anybody can reward. But
      this is how revolutionary progress is made, or at least it's the way
      that I want to live my life. So the purpose of the lab,
      http://www.ms.lt , is to serve such independent thinkers. And they need
      tools for thinking simply for working by themselves.

      Change comes from a minority, and a minority starts with one person.
      The corporate world, and the vendors for it, don't like to think about
      this. I think it's the truth, though, and one more instance where the
      world sets itself up to overlook things.

      However, in order to do something practical, in order to have social
      impact, and in order to think about one's own ideas more clearly, it
      becomes crucial to establish a social workspace, a cultural framework,
      especially to have social impact. The truths of life are bigger than any
      single mind can hold at one time, so that's also an important reason to
      extend our mental workspace into a social space.

      So a lot of work needs to be done to awaken other people that we might
      all work to keep heightening our awareness. And also, conversely, great
      ideas need to be made ever more relevant, engaging more people, so
      that's always a challenge. But I think the deeply meaningful thinking
      involves this kind of persistent deliberateness, commitment and this
      search for other independent thinkers who have also come to such
      existential conclusions.

      I think we live mostly asleep, most of the time, and we don't like to
      admit this. We choose death over life, we tune ourselves out. We don't
      want to live on the edge, on the cusp, flexible - giving away everything
      we have, turning the other cheek, engaging and loving our enemy. We
      don't want to be wakened, or told that we're asleep.
    • Cass McNutt
      Just a quick note, Andrius -- liked this a lot. Printed for further reflection. (Only somewhat independently. ) Cass ... From: Andrius Kulikauskas
      Message 2 of 3 , Jul 16, 2001
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        Just a quick note, Andrius -- liked this a lot.


        Printed for further reflection. (Only somewhat independently. <g>)


        Cass




        -----Original Message-----
        From: Andrius Kulikauskas [mailto:ms@...]
        Sent: Monday, July 02, 2001 10:44 PM
        To: otherstands@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [otherstands] Independent thinkers wake us up


        Our member Denham Grey has a lot of experience organizing discussions,
        and participating in online communities. I'm corresponding with him at
        Brainstorms. Denham, if you CC'ed your letters to us here at
        OtherStands, that would be great. I'm sharing one of my rambles below.
        Andrius, ms@...

        *****************************************

        My own passion is knowing everything about life, and doing useful things
        with that knowledge. A summary of my notes is at:
        http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html In general, I
        look for deep questions about life, accumulate subjective answers, and
        then structure their interpretation.

        In particular, I've noticed how conversations often deadlock. Academic
        philosophy is notorious for this. For example, you'll have two sides,
        one that argues for "free will", and another that argues for "fate".
        And you'll find this at the bottom of very sophisticated discussion,
        under many layers of sophistication, it can boil down to just these
        attitudes. But the fact is that we can't get rid of either one of these
        concepts. So why would we try to argue it away? Instead, my experience
        is that they indicate a structure within the mind, a division of
        everything into two parts: one perspective where opposites coexist, and
        one perspective where everything is the same. This kind of dual
        perspective is very important whenever we take up the issue of
        existence: to say that a chair exists, we have to 1) be able to raise
        the question, consider that it may or may not 2) be able to conclude,
        that it does if it does, (or does not if it does not).

        So I noticed that these deadlocked conversations reveal fundamental
        structures within the mind. For example, there is a division of
        everything into three perspectives (taking a stand, following through,
        reflecting) that the issue of "participation" depends on, is defined by.
        There is a division of everything into four perspectives (whether? what?
        how? why?) that the issue of "knowledge" depends on. Over twenty years
        I've catalogued a large part of the structures of life.

        However, a tremendous amount of energy is used to try to argue away one
        or more perspectives within such a structure. It's a crazy thing to do,
        and my conclusion is that people do it because they don't want to have
        anything better to do. That's why I keep looking for people who want to
        get things done (or I focus my energies with them on that). I think
        that's the point at which we people gain that extra awareness that lets
        us say: why are we arguing to eliminate points of view? Why not
        acknowledge the ones that are real, and do something with the very real
        structure that we've documented. Also, this lets us separate the real
        from the contrived, because if we're not getting anything done then it's
        possible to claim all kinds of absurd, contrived things. But they fall
        away when we try to get something done.

        In my life, I've seen enormous amounts of completely thoughtless
        conversation which may seem very smart but simply reenforces the social
        world that we live in, doesn't open us up for genuine conversation. And
        in my personal life I've managed to avoid that and stick with very
        intense conversation that keeps looking to build on what we have. And
        I've found that there's some kind of merit to that, people do find that
        attractive, though a lot to swallow. I think of Jesus Christ that way,
        he was intense.

        Also, I think that a healthy social space depends on having individuals
        who are stronger than it, otherwise everything degenerates, we end up
        with a weird kind of speaking which is what we have in the corporate
        world, that doesn't look for the truth, doesn't start with the truth,
        and often looks away from the truth.

        If you look at my notes,
        http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html then you'll see
        that this is the kind of murky but deep thinking that comes from an
        independent thinker, somebody like Socrates or Kant or Christ. It
        doesn't happen through a group, although of course it helps to have a
        lot of interaction. There is no acknowledgement or support for working
        from scratch. It's not the kind of thing that anybody can reward. But
        this is how revolutionary progress is made, or at least it's the way
        that I want to live my life. So the purpose of the lab,
        http://www.ms.lt , is to serve such independent thinkers. And they need
        tools for thinking simply for working by themselves.

        Change comes from a minority, and a minority starts with one person.
        The corporate world, and the vendors for it, don't like to think about
        this. I think it's the truth, though, and one more instance where the
        world sets itself up to overlook things.

        However, in order to do something practical, in order to have social
        impact, and in order to think about one's own ideas more clearly, it
        becomes crucial to establish a social workspace, a cultural framework,
        especially to have social impact. The truths of life are bigger than any
        single mind can hold at one time, so that's also an important reason to
        extend our mental workspace into a social space.

        So a lot of work needs to be done to awaken other people that we might
        all work to keep heightening our awareness. And also, conversely, great
        ideas need to be made ever more relevant, engaging more people, so
        that's always a challenge. But I think the deeply meaningful thinking
        involves this kind of persistent deliberateness, commitment and this
        search for other independent thinkers who have also come to such
        existential conclusions.

        I think we live mostly asleep, most of the time, and we don't like to
        admit this. We choose death over life, we tune ourselves out. We don't
        want to live on the edge, on the cusp, flexible - giving away everything
        we have, turning the other cheek, engaging and loving our enemy. We
        don't want to be wakened, or told that we're asleep.

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      • Stephen Bonzak
        Andrius- I am sorry it took me so long to read this post. I have to say it reveals some of the most clear meta -thinking about your philosophy and mission in
        Message 3 of 3 , Jul 22, 2001
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          Andrius-

          I am sorry it took me so long to read this post. I have to say it reveals
          some of the most clear "meta"-thinking about your philosophy and mission in
          the lab that I ever seen you put down in one place or in one continuous
          statement (and you and I have talked a lot over the years). I hope this
          statement in some modified form makes it to a prominent place on the website
          and into the conversations you have with people when they scratch their
          heads and wonder at what you and the rest of minciu sodas are up to.

          Needless to say, I liked this very much.

          -Steve
          --
          Stephen Bonzak
          <smb021169@...>


          on 7/3/01 12:43 AM, Andrius Kulikauskas at ms@... wrote:

          > Our member Denham Grey has a lot of experience organizing discussions,
          > and participating in online communities. I'm corresponding with him at
          > Brainstorms. Denham, if you CC'ed your letters to us here at
          > OtherStands, that would be great. I'm sharing one of my rambles below.
          > Andrius, ms@...
          >
          > *****************************************
          >
          > My own passion is knowing everything about life, and doing useful things
          > with that knowledge. A summary of my notes is at:
          > http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html In general, I
          > look for deep questions about life, accumulate subjective answers, and
          > then structure their interpretation.
          >
          > In particular, I've noticed how conversations often deadlock. Academic
          > philosophy is notorious for this. For example, you'll have two sides,
          > one that argues for "free will", and another that argues for "fate".
          > And you'll find this at the bottom of very sophisticated discussion,
          > under many layers of sophistication, it can boil down to just these
          > attitudes. But the fact is that we can't get rid of either one of these
          > concepts. So why would we try to argue it away? Instead, my experience
          > is that they indicate a structure within the mind, a division of
          > everything into two parts: one perspective where opposites coexist, and
          > one perspective where everything is the same. This kind of dual
          > perspective is very important whenever we take up the issue of
          > existence: to say that a chair exists, we have to 1) be able to raise
          > the question, consider that it may or may not 2) be able to conclude,
          > that it does if it does, (or does not if it does not).
          >
          > So I noticed that these deadlocked conversations reveal fundamental
          > structures within the mind. For example, there is a division of
          > everything into three perspectives (taking a stand, following through,
          > reflecting) that the issue of "participation" depends on, is defined by.
          > There is a division of everything into four perspectives (whether? what?
          > how? why?) that the issue of "knowledge" depends on. Over twenty years
          > I've catalogued a large part of the structures of life.
          >
          > However, a tremendous amount of energy is used to try to argue away one
          > or more perspectives within such a structure. It's a crazy thing to do,
          > and my conclusion is that people do it because they don't want to have
          > anything better to do. That's why I keep looking for people who want to
          > get things done (or I focus my energies with them on that). I think
          > that's the point at which we people gain that extra awareness that lets
          > us say: why are we arguing to eliminate points of view? Why not
          > acknowledge the ones that are real, and do something with the very real
          > structure that we've documented. Also, this lets us separate the real
          > from the contrived, because if we're not getting anything done then it's
          > possible to claim all kinds of absurd, contrived things. But they fall
          > away when we try to get something done.
          >
          > In my life, I've seen enormous amounts of completely thoughtless
          > conversation which may seem very smart but simply reenforces the social
          > world that we live in, doesn't open us up for genuine conversation. And
          > in my personal life I've managed to avoid that and stick with very
          > intense conversation that keeps looking to build on what we have. And
          > I've found that there's some kind of merit to that, people do find that
          > attractive, though a lot to swallow. I think of Jesus Christ that way,
          > he was intense.
          >
          > Also, I think that a healthy social space depends on having individuals
          > who are stronger than it, otherwise everything degenerates, we end up
          > with a weird kind of speaking which is what we have in the corporate
          > world, that doesn't look for the truth, doesn't start with the truth,
          > and often looks away from the truth.
          >
          > If you look at my notes,
          > http://www.ms.lt/ms/projects/reasonfeatures/index.html then you'll see
          > that this is the kind of murky but deep thinking that comes from an
          > independent thinker, somebody like Socrates or Kant or Christ. It
          > doesn't happen through a group, although of course it helps to have a
          > lot of interaction. There is no acknowledgement or support for working
          > from scratch. It's not the kind of thing that anybody can reward. But
          > this is how revolutionary progress is made, or at least it's the way
          > that I want to live my life. So the purpose of the lab,
          > http://www.ms.lt , is to serve such independent thinkers. And they need
          > tools for thinking simply for working by themselves.
          >
          > Change comes from a minority, and a minority starts with one person.
          > The corporate world, and the vendors for it, don't like to think about
          > this. I think it's the truth, though, and one more instance where the
          > world sets itself up to overlook things.
          >
          > However, in order to do something practical, in order to have social
          > impact, and in order to think about one's own ideas more clearly, it
          > becomes crucial to establish a social workspace, a cultural framework,
          > especially to have social impact. The truths of life are bigger than any
          > single mind can hold at one time, so that's also an important reason to
          > extend our mental workspace into a social space.
          >
          > So a lot of work needs to be done to awaken other people that we might
          > all work to keep heightening our awareness. And also, conversely, great
          > ideas need to be made ever more relevant, engaging more people, so
          > that's always a challenge. But I think the deeply meaningful thinking
          > involves this kind of persistent deliberateness, commitment and this
          > search for other independent thinkers who have also come to such
          > existential conclusions.
          >
          > I think we live mostly asleep, most of the time, and we don't like to
          > admit this. We choose death over life, we tune ourselves out. We don't
          > want to live on the edge, on the cusp, flexible - giving away everything
          > we have, turning the other cheek, engaging and loving our enemy. We
          > don't want to be wakened, or told that we're asleep.
          >
          > To Post a message, send it to: otherstands@...
          > To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: otherstands-unsubscribe@...
          >
          > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          >
          >
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