I’ve now revisited and revised, where necessary, all of Chapter 3 of Turning Signs except the final section. Our Saturday morning study circle will pick where we left off last week, somewhere around here. Meanwhile the equinox approaches … another opportunity to celebrate the glorious tilt in the Earth’s axis that gives us the seasons as we revolve around the sun. Where would our systems be without them?
The weekly TStudy circle is moving on to Chapter 3, so this coming Saturday morning we’ll be conversing about the first three to five sections of it. Once again i’ve made a few tweaks to the text, mostly for the sake of clarity, so even if you’ve read it before you may need to read it again. If questions or comments occur to you while reading, feel free to share them in a comment on this post.
Last week’s study circle conversation was focused mainly on the middle parts of Turning Signs Chapter 2, down to the section on living signs. We’ll begin at that point next Saturday morning when we meet again. Here’s a little diagram of the secret life of flukes that might help us get a grip on polyversity.
Last week’s conversation took us further into the looking glass, and the homework assignment for our TStudy circle is the little phenoscopic experiment described here. Our next gathering (Sunday morning, February 19) will take another step into the semiotic view of life. Bearing in mind that, as Dirk Hamilton observes, signs look silly when nobody reads them. (Skip the ad.)
Next Saturday’s gathering of the TStudy Circle will be looking through the first four sections of Chapter 2, down to here, more or less, depending on the conversation. Shake hands with Humpty Dumpty and find out why language is by far the greatest aid to understanding, and equally the greatest barrier.
Our next gathering of the TStudy circle Saturday morning, 28 January, at 10:30 Eastern, will wind up the first chapter, beginning here. The conversation so far has been most illuminating, and prompted me to make a few changes to the text, so i hope it’s a little more user-friendly than it was last year.
This final part of Chapter 1 brings us to the Anthropocene Apocalypse. I see that the Anthropocene Working Group is now trying to pick an exact date for the beginning of the Anthropocene (follow that link for today’s graphic). But the AWG already voted in 2019 that the primary guide for the base of the Anthropocene should be “one of the stratigraphic signals around the mid-twentieth century of the Common Era.” This would mean that the stratigraphic Anthropocene coincides roughly with the cultural Great Acceleration, and with my own lifetime so far. But i don’t suppose my birthdate in 1945 is on the shortlist for the exact beginning of the A-cene, so i guess the “fundamental Anthropocene dilemma” isn’t entirely my fault.
The Turning Signsstudy circle will meet again Saturday morning, January 21 at 10:30 Eastern time.
The reading will begin at this point in Chapter 1 and will include a Zen koan delivered by Dōgen zenji featuring a dialogue with a wild fox about cause and effect. This will take us into a conversation about turning words and signs and semiosis. We might even reach the apocalyptic end of the first chapter!
If you can’t make the circle, you can still leave a comment here …
The next session of the study circle around Turning Signs will be Sunday evening, 7 pm Eastern. (I’ll be sending the Zoom link by email.) In focus will be the first part of Chapter 1, and the first question i’ll put to the group will be the one above (How many birds?). This question will follow my reading of the paragraph that begins here. How far we get into Chapter 1 will depend on how the conversation evolves, but i expect it will take a few weeks to absorb the first chapter.
This study will be continuing for quite a long time, and slowly, so anyone who wants to can join the circle at any time. It’s just that the longer you wait, the more catching up you’ll have to do!