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October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 05:43 PM
 
Hi
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Re: October 2008
by Susan Allen - Monday, October 6, 2008, 12:03 AM
 
HI hard times at hardtime high here - big changes.

Hope everyone is well. The current financial status is scary, and all we hear from Washington is fear, fear, fear.
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Monday, October 6, 2008, 12:50 PM
 
The confluence of the "hardtimes" and the election is unbearable.

It did not occur to me that I would live to see this sort of meltdown.

If the cup is half full, it can only be beyond these crises. With the species being around for hundreds of thousands of more years, there must be ways we can transcend greed and irrationality. For sure, we are a species that can change and grow, that can affirm better values and can profit from evidence-based knowledge.

At least, we seem to be at a point where there is more parity among nations and groupings of nations, more capacity for deconstruction and then reconstruction and a better realization of the consequences of who one chooses as allies.

There are fateful choices in the days ahead, for all of us.

As the great grandfather of Rhea in Houston, my own sense of identity with a long future is very deep. I see no choice but to do all I can on behalf of what I believe in. I am also very afraid for myself and for others.

--Malcolm
Ken and friends
Re: October 2008
by Ken Eustace - Tuesday, October 7, 2008, 07:02 PM
 
Greed and irrationality are reaching globally like a plague. It is even called the global financial crisis in the media here downunder. Pity that environmentalism, truth and altruism were not as global or even universal.

Daisy's tail
Several years back our family nursed a baby kangaroo (joey) called Daisy back to health after her mother was killed in a motor accident on the local highway. We used a soft calico sewing bag as a makeshift marsupial pouch and tied it to a dining room chair. This would simulate the warmth and comfort of her mother's pouch as a lot of joey's, while independent like to tuck in for a nap or when scared, head back into their mother's pouch.

Daisy stayed with us for three weeks and every day we had to make special formula milk and feed her with a baby's bottle. She would graze on the back lawn and sleep inside at night in her "pouch". Each morning at sunrise she would emerge and hop to our bedroom door hoping for some action.

One morning at 7am I woke to see her at my face. We scared each other. She hopped over the bed and back to the dining room where she dived head first into her pouch with legs and tail sticking out. A few tosses and turns and she was in pouch mode - head, legs and tail all poking out in her comfy position. She stayed there until the coast was clear while I went about the morning chores. After the scare, life for both of us was back on even keel.

Epilogue
I sense a moral to her tail. At least while reading that you may have escaped from the current confluence with warmth, perhaps a smile and some faith and hope .. in the knowledge that it takes those in need like small animals or the poor, to etch out your humanity and not be scared off by those in greed.

-Ken
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Sunday, October 12, 2008, 09:52 PM
 
Ken--

Very sweet and to the point.

I agree about the importance of not being scared off by those in greed.

I also agree about learning from small creatures. We have a new one year old Havanese named Cookie and we learn a lot from her about surviving.

(She just survived a bath--October 12th)
(We just shared a bottle of Australian Pyrennes wine last night with friends--delightful!)

Thanks for the wisdom.

--Malcolm
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Friday, October 17, 2008, 07:49 PM
 
Unable to resist a piece on deciding how to vote. Will put it up shortly.

--Malcolm
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Re: October 2008
by Susan Allen - Saturday, October 18, 2008, 12:52 AM
 
On my own streetcorner are demonstrators with signs "No on Prop. 8" "Save Marriage - vote yes on Prop.8" Save marriage from what?

It reminds me of folks who say our troops are 'protecting our freedom' by fighting in Iraq. Protecting our freedom from what?

My god we are spinning around on a molten core - in oblivion - what is safety? Homeland security? Reminds one too too much of 1937 Germany. Every message from D.C. is fear, fear, fear.


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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 18, 2008, 01:28 PM
 
Susie--

Much to the point.
Am braving our team and putting up some thoughts of my own--soon.
Enjoying the Southland--by your place Monday--back on 29th.
Peace.

--Malcolm

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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 18, 2008, 01:44 PM
 
A checklist (from "Oronsay Works" a.k.a. Malcolm McAfee)

How do the presidential, vice presidential and legislative candidates differ?

1. Which candidates are most likely to take us into their
confidence for inventing a new future together and learning
to live in that future, possibly for 100,000s of years?

2. Which candidates will best help us generate overlapping
consensus where possible and then help us cope with
irreconcilable differences?

3. Which candidates will best demonstrate a turn of mind
toward evidence-based diagnoses and proposed treatments for
our major problems?

4. Which candidates will best show a sense of timing and give
clearer reasons for their proposals as they reflect what we
know about ourselves, our values and our evidence?

5. Which candidates will best candidly deconstruct their
proposals and their rationales and then reconstruct them with
us, as envisaged by the checks and balances of three branches?

6. Which candidates will take a mix of positions most aligned
with our allies' and our own considered positions, beginning
with the liberal-conservative movements and their parties?

MORE

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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 18, 2008, 01:47 PM
 
What we know in relation to how the presidential candidates and our potential representatives and senators personify our own knowledge:

1. Our ordinary knowledge
How do we accept for purposes of public discourse and action, the basic theory from the social sciences that "social reality is constructed"?
--i.e. we invented and can reinvent our culture, like our ideas about markets
--i.e. we learned and can relearn our estimates of each other
--i.e. we organized and can reorganize the way we get things done together

2. Our extraordinary knowledge
How do we accept for purposes of public discourse and action our various weaves of meaningi, irrespective of how we view them as being derived?
--i.e. how do we trace our values and their residence in our evocative objects
--i.e. how do we accept our handling of differences a la John Rawls and others
--i.e. how do we accept the limits on consensus in a 232 year old system

3. Our evidence-based knowledge
How do we respect knowledge from evidence-based experts?
--e.g. regarding global warming, health, poverty<>wealth, education, peace
--in spite of our own vested interests
--in spite of our own loyalties, presuppositions and assumptions

MORE

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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 18, 2008, 01:50 PM
 
How do the presidential candidates reflect our sense of timing and reasoning, how good have they proven to be at deconstruction and reconstruction and where do they take their positions in relation to the positions of my allies and myself?

4. Ordinary knowledge of ourselves and others
--what about Stavrionis' idea that history and biography meet in each of us and Rosenstockheusy's idea that we each reflect the historical layering of the consciousness that each preceding age made possible for us?
--were the US presidential candidates impressively disarming in each of their presentations at the Al Smith dinner the night after the last debate?
--are we and the candidates clear that we are dealing with movements and the parties as embodiments of the movements?

5. Extraordinary knowledge reflecting the meaning of our lives alone/together
--have we pulled together (and did we get much help) the threads in 2 and 4
--can we boast of sharing in a common venture to articulate commonalities
--as we take our final position, are we reassured that it is reason based rather than just a reflection of how where we belong determines how we believe

6. Evidence-based knowledge and the positions we take vis-a-vis the candidates?
--global warming, etc.
--was our reconstruction after our deconstruction pointing toward potentialork solutions to common problems or merely reaffirming our convictions
--are we willing to work together?
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Sunday, October 19, 2008, 05:16 PM
 
having vetted on oronsay works and edited on border studies associates, I am ready to try a blog site. Dennis pointed out quite some time ago that we were not really very much in the blogosphere.

Will keep you posted.

--Malcolm
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Sunday, October 19, 2008, 07:37 PM
 
after an afternoon's work:

1) there is a blog at http://www.malcolm-mcafee.blogspot.com

2) there is a web site called "BA><MA2009site"
http://www.sites.google.com/site/bama2009site
(click on "ordinary knowledge" in the left margin)
3) there is the beginning of a link between item 1 in the blog and the site.

What I meant by BA><MA2009 was the notion of the 20 or so rubrics defining the line between a BA and an MA. If we were to move beyond our 35 years of dedication to constructivism and posit some givens for users derived from our 35 years of experience, it seemed to me they might begin to look like this.

I am impressed by Google Apps and the the documentation in the O'Reilly book.
Knowing of two sites grandchildren have created over the mid year, inspires me.

Peace, when there is not peace.

--Malcolm
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Monday, October 20, 2008, 10:16 AM
 
off to SF..so the nomadic life begins again.

Have a good week wherever you are.

--Malcolm
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Re: October 2008
by Malcolm McAfee - Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 11:48 AM
 
Back in SF--so much for the nomadic life.

Over the last 36 years, we have tended to have a heurisitic/improvised midterm review of how we are doing at Halloween, for the Final Season of the year.

How are you doing and how are we doing?

(My immediate contribution is to have Google suspect me of spamming on my new blog--a human (sic) will review me and get back to me!!!)

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by scott s - Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 05:46 PM
 

I think that the notion of peace is a hard one to realize. There is a lot of drag against it and in retrospect it can be hypothesized that life has been a constant state of conflict. In our overly pampered life in the U.S., or by extension the “developed countries”, the warm and fuzzy buffer between starvation and whatever lifestyle and expectations we’ve grown accustomed to - our comfort zones as it were, over the last fifty or sixty years have had a certain veil lifted in the past couple of months betraying them for the tawdry illusion they really are. And it’s that illusion that has served as the buffer between a relatively unimaginable existence of want, and the demands for comfort, amusement, distraction, fulfillment, meaning, whatever, to which we have become acculturated. Has any of it been real?

You wonder if it’s even possible to say we haven’t been immersed on the battlefield of class / gender / race warfare in one fashion or another all of our lives, with varying levels of intensity and all the while being completely anesthetized. And over the past few years more and more people have slowly, begrudgingly risen to the awareness - after being stunned by the fear and shame associated with events to which we have been a part, whether willingly or not – that things may not be all that great and our individual grasp and hold on reality may be a lot more tenuous than we’d like to think, given to the feeling of being almost entirely at the mercy of impersonal and invisible forces. This type of shame and fear, even embarrassment at being from here (?) and a sense of being complicit in destruction both far away and close to home, has taken a great toll on our composure as we are tested and compelled to look at what’s right in front of us. Not so much fun.

But I would suggest it’s totally appropriate to level a focused eye, denuded of illusion, on the rather unaesthetic reality of politics and history. All great events – wars, revolutions, economic disasters – impose a new conception of reality on their survivors. Are we participants in such a transition, such a great event, now? Are we survivors? Am I? Do I get my T-shirt now?

And what’s at stake here, really? Is it the money? The house? The way of life? Well, maybe the latter is at risk in a sad sort of way. The fighting is far away for us, the spectator. The rabble, the rubble, the dust, heat, thirst, and so on – the immediacy - is very far away. Isn’t it? We have no conception of the damage done where the conflict and ideologies of the “modern” world have short-circuited even the oldest conventions of life – childhood, love, family – until the point where fear and foreboding alone define and render intelligible all human relationships. Put yourself in the place where not many can read or write, where each person’s memory is a fragile repository of songs and ceremonies, tales and history, and if they vanish without passing it on, it’s like the wing of a library burning down. There’s a lot at stake.

How do you transmute this into art? The huge (possibly wrong or misguided) assumption as manifested in art and literature is that individuals are capable of exercising free will and assuming personal responsibility for their actions. Has that assumption now been canceled or trumped by real events?

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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Tuesday, October 21, 2008, 09:42 PM
 
Scott--

This was one of the most helpful pieces I have read in the last two weeks.

These are hard times and you show the wider contexts.

Thank you.

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Friday, October 24, 2008, 11:33 AM
 
Busy at work on Google site. Ted and I will be up Sunday at 7:00 PM GMT to chat. RSVP if you are interested.

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 25, 2008, 11:28 AM
 
We are minimally up on Google.

http://www.site.google.com/site/bama2009site/

It carries the agenda and supporting documents for chat at 8 PM GMT tomorrow.
(That is 11 AM PDT--10-26-08). Ted and I will be at the Davenport Roadhouse.
Scott hopes to make it.

Scott suggests we stay with Moodle chat for tomorrow.

There will be a dress rehearsal at 2 PM PDT today, West Coast US Saturday.

(Next weekend is time change!!!)

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 25, 2008, 12:26 PM
 
its 8 PM GMT (11 PDT) tomorrow Western Hemisphere Sunday

dress rehearsal at 2 PDT today on Moodle chat, not Google chat

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Saturday, October 25, 2008, 04:24 PM
 
the Moodle chat is in upper left as "site administration chat"

can only be there momentariy but will just leave it on as of 1:23 PM PDT

--Malcolm
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Re: Where Do the Children Play?
by Malcolm McAfee - Sunday, October 26, 2008, 07:23 AM
 
Fine chat with Dennis from 1:30-2:00 PM PDT--available by clicking on upper right of screen that emerges when you click on "site administration chat". Scott and I unable to continue chat at 2:00 but did pursue briefly earlier oral chat.

It seems the consensus of the three of us is that we say "Goodbye Google".

Up at 4:00 AM getting ready for 11:00 AM PDT chat at "site administration chat".

Hope to "see" you there.

-Malcolm

(Will check e-mail periodically through AM to 11 PDT. Cell on.)
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Re: Where does the chat happen?
by Susan Allen - Sunday, October 26, 2008, 10:40 PM
 
I cannot find 'side administration chat' anywhere on the screen. Please advise; I have been trying to connect all weekend.

Susie
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Re: Where does the chat happen?
by Malcolm McAfee - Tuesday, October 28, 2008, 11:48 PM
 
Excellent coffee with Michael and then lunch with Seanchan and others.
Sense seems to be to do what can be done with both web site and booklet.
The booklet is a PDF file anyone is welcome to. Hope it gets some editing tomorrow. Will put it up in its current state when needed.

(very hard to mix XP, Vista and PDF, but I am learning, unfortunately)

The web site is http://sites.google.com/site/bama2009site/

Head of Secondary Ed at SFSU thinks readability is ok at college level.
That may be as good as it will get. He thinks trying to reach 8-12the graders is a reach. Doubt that it matters anyway.

Will pursue tomorrow in Santa Monica.

Tonight en route SF --> LA staying in San Louis Obisbo at Motel 6 with pets.

Here's to the nomadic life.

--Malcolm