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...HUM
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Environmentalism
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Exists
I do not know everything
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Why Does a Leopard Have Spots?

Freedom
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HUM
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I pay rent.
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What is Public Schooling For?

Levels of Abstraction
Levels of Abstraction and Minds
What is a newspaper?

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As Much As Possible
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What do we owe animals?

pending
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Work - Productive, Useful, Worthless, and Bad.

UBI
Implications of Very Productive Technology
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Tormenting Unlucky People
Why there are oligarchs







Working With Reality

Balance

One day recently I was looking at one of my snowflake prints in rl and discovered a way of folding it that made a cool shape that still showed the snowflake symmetry.
Presently I found a second way of folding that made a different shape.
I wondered what to do with such interesting objects. I decided that they were a perfect object to use in a "calder cascading mobile". I've always loved Alexander Calder's work and youtube showed a way to build one.

I made a first one and it was really hard to do. I'm using sticks and thread plus my snowflake prints. I'm working with hexagons. The method is to score the print corner to corner then fold the print into the folded state (let's call that a dangler) Then you cut sticks to length and tie them together with thread and then tie the danglers on. Then hang it up and adjust the position of the threads on the sticks till you get a balance.

Tying knots in thread is really hard - especially at the start when I was not practiced and hadn't found the right method. I think of stuff like that as working with reality.

I've written before about the world/reality distinction.
I think of reality as that which exists, and a world is a person's meaningful perception of that reality. So I'm dealing with paper and scissors and needle and thread and glue and a ruler and a knife. Those are all meaningful things to me in my world but are also real things in reality that exist apart from being meaningful to me. So I'm in my world manipulating reality.

Once you overcome the knot tying issue you find that the structure you have made is way prone to getting tangled. It's like computer cords get tangled no matter how hard you try to keep them straight. Unless it's hanging a mobile will tangle itself if you turn your back on it. Now the tangle was meaningful to me and also was real. I'd have cut it all apart and start over. Done that 4 or 5 times now.
Sigh
But practice makes perfect so it's all good :-)

A mobile is a thing with a very delicate balance that where the height of all the danglers depends on the position of the threads on the sticks. Very small movements shift the whole structure. By very small I mean less than a millimeter on a 200 mm stick And a puff of air will cause the whole structure to spin and gyrate.
This is not metaphoric stuff. It's actually happening.

I look out my window at trees swaying in the wind. They are kind of like my mobiles. The tree is a structure in equilibrium like the mobiles are and a change in any part causes a change in all the other parts.

When I walk I'm constantly shifting my weight around and should topple over. I visualize this as being like my mobile. A shift in one part of the system is automatically balanced by shifts elsewhere. I have vertigo caused by an inner ear issue. This means that one of the ways that that balance is maintained is gone. I feel it quite strongly when I'm out walking. I couldn't ride a bike now.

Long ago my artistic medium was photography and that's generally a pretty representational medium. As time went on my interest was not so much what was being represented. I became interested in abstract patterns of black and white in clouds and water.

By the time I was a printmaker I wasn't interested in representation at all. I was interested in pattern - and pattern isn't representational. I'd say that the pattern itself isn't meaningful - it's provides a direct experience of reality

What do you think?

Star I present regular philosophy discussions in a virtual reality called Second Life. I set a topic and people come as avatars and sit around a virtual table to discuss it. Each week I write a short essay to set the topic. I show a selection of them here.

I've been thinking and reading about philosophy for a long time but I'm mostly self taught. That is I've had the good fortune to read what interests me rather than follow a course of study. That has it's limits of course but advantages. It doesn't cost as much and is fun too.

My interests are things like evolution and cognition and social issues and economics and science in general.