Maximizing

I’ve never “monetized” this blog, but i think the time has come to maximize it. My contributions to it have been minimal of late, meaning that this blog has made very few claims on your attention. Bog knows your attention is busy enough already! But “maximizing” in this case means aphorizing. Aphorisms, or maxims, are my favorite art form anyway. They say the most with the fewest words, so they are maximally economical for the attention. They are like seeds in the ecology of meaning. Here’s an example from Herbert Simon:

Everything is connected, but some things are more connected than others.

You’ll find this in Turning Signs ·12, where of course you will find more context, more links, more connexions. If you are so inclined.

Turning Signs 2.14 is now ready for download from the Contents page.

War and climate

Svitlana Krakovska, the Ukrainian delegate to the IPCC, said
“We will not surrender in Ukraine, and we hope the world will not surrender in building a climate resilient future… Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same roots – fossil fuels – and our dependence on them.” This was just before release of the IPCC report on climate impacts (Feb. 28). A Russian delegate to the conference apologized to his colleagues for the invasion of Ukraine. Source:
https://www.france24.com/en/live-news/20220227-russian-official-apologises-for-war-in-ukraine-at-un-climate-meet

Mnidoo

21 years ago my wife Pam and i settled on M’nidoo M’nissing, better known to settlers as Manitoulin Island. The Anishinaabe word manitou is often rendered in English as “spirit.” But what does that mean? Anishinaabe scholar Dolleen Tisawii’ashii Manning relates what she learned about mnidoo from her mother:

This concept mnidoo derives from the word Gizhemnidoo, from my mothers’ dialect …. She translated Gizhemnidoo in several ways; primary among these was Great Spirit (the most common translation in our area). Gizhe (great) is similar to chi (big). We can separate gizhe from mnidoo, which she called spirit, potency, potential— dynamic energy. She said that the word spirit is the anglicized interpretation, but mnidoo is something that is happening, and is about to happen at the same time. Gizhemnidoo is the Great Mystery/Spirit, mind boggling, because it is beyond human comprehension. But virtually everything is mnidoo, little spirits. Everything has a little spirit that is propelled by, and exists, due to this energy.

Mnidoo-Worlding: Merleau-Ponty and Anishinaabe Philosophical Translations, p. 3
The big and little spirits correspond more or less to the Big and Little Currents in Turning Signs (Chapter 9). The mnidoo which is ‘something that is happening and is about to happen at the same time’ also corresponds to Dogen’s being-time, and with the Buddhist Heart Sutra:

the Heart Sutra mantra — Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, Bodhi! Svaha! — can be interpreted as “Arriving, arriving, arriving all the way, arriving all the way together: awakening. Joy!” This is a marvelous reminder for our meditation practice that each moment of our practice is, as Dogen suggests, not separate from awakening or enlightenment. Each moment of our practice and of our life is blessed.

Tanahashi 2014, 44-45

The languages are many, but as far as we call tell, the meaning is one. Now is the time we need to hear it, especially from the First Peoples of the Earth.

The bow of musement

Musement is a species of cognitive play. All play occurs in the fertile space that arises between that which is determinate and a vague indeterminacy. In this sense, play is always parasitic on some determinate thing; it is the play of “this or that,” never free play pure and simple. There is no game without rules, no dance without gravity, no music if the bow of the violin slides over unfastened strings.

Michael Raposa, Theosemiotic, p. 228

Control, mediation and guidance systems

The Great Acceleration has been a time of unprecedented human impact on the environment. Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry (1992, 4) wrote that ‘the human has taken over such extensive control of the life systems of the Earth that the future will be dependent on human decision to an extent never dreamed of in previous times.’ But this is a strange kind of “control” …

This is part of a 4-part meditation on control and mediation in the ‘System Guidance’ part of Turning Signs. It updates some older post-points to include some things i’ve learned since they were originally posted. It might take you 10 or 15 minutes to take it all in. Comments always welcome of course!