[FRIAM] bah!

Steven A Smith sasmyth at swcp.com
Wed Apr 26 13:09:37 EDT 2017

> We don't need a room.  We have the References header: http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2822.html >8^D
Well, it was more a tongue-in-cheek reference to "you two are having too 
much fun!" than "you need some privacy for this".
> I wonder if it's coherent to ask this question?  As we've seen in "the arc" thread, the boundaries of "I" are not very crisp.
I do think the lack of crisp boundaries on "self" is a key point and in 
fact, maybe the one I'm trying to make.   While my ego responds 
positively to Marcus' answer to "who are we becoming" as "whoever the 
hell we want", it begs a few questions, maybe most acutely the one you 
bring up.  What means "we" or "I" in fact?
>    I recently tried (and failed) to digest the argument made here:
>    Wiener and Luhmann on feedback: from complexity to sustainability
>    http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/K-11-2016-0317
> at a journal club meeting.  The essence of the article is, I think, the distinction between two types of feedback: that which preserves order locally vs. that which helps organize the local order in response to the environment.  In either case, our identity is coupled to the environment (more for some than others, perhaps).  And to strive for an ideal decoupling sounds like suicide -- killing one's self.
I do agree that "no man is an Island" though I do tend to prefer to 
think of myself as more  of an "Archipelago".    We are co-evolved with 
our landscape and to the extent that we (radically) modify our 
landscape, it is not that simple.   Marcus' "we become whoever the hell 
we want" gets modified (in my mind) to "we become whoever the hell we 
do, based on the niches in the landscape we generate by *trying* to be 
whoever the hell we think we want to be".

In the example at hand of the Sugar Tax,  we have already become 
unhealthy, obese (well some of us) refined-sugar addicts partly because 
our genome evolved to be greedy for rich sources of energy and partly 
because we evolved a consumerist economy which seeks to exploit any and 
every significant "weakness" such as this.    We have also become 
knee-jerk voters who hear a thin but opaque "good idea" and vote for 
(Sugar is evil, it is the next Tobacco!) or against ("the legislation is 
poorly written/formed/executed" or "I don't want to live in a nanny 
state" or ...)
> I suppose what saves the monk/hermit from the accusation of suicide is the concept of "being present", in the news a lot lately with Pirsig's death.  The monk chooses one environment and the "networking entrepreneurial catalyst" chooses another.  In this sense, it's less about "who will I become" and more about "what environment defines me".
And as (poorly?) illustrated above: "what environment do we choose?" 
and/or "how do we modify our environment?"
- Steve

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