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Jon Husband

I'm with you - as Maturana said, I too would not want to live in a human system which is autopoeoic, precisely for the reasons he outlined in the interview to which you pointed.

hehe ... I suppose there's a more-than-reasonable chance we don't really know, and won't until long after you and I are gone ;-)

tom "J"

Can you say a little more about "homerian"? Curious because I sort of agree with everything Homer ever said, but I'm not even sure he's who you mean.

The Poetaster



Tom and Jon,
Glad you stopped by.

Well, Homerian comes mainly from my reading of Feyerabend "Conquest of Abundance". Every few months I keep rereading some pages over and over from that book. Brillant of course

I went googling for some texts and found this from mattw quoting Feyerabend from 'Against Method' where he talks of Archaic Art of creating art as an aggregate of parts. The Painting is its elements. A storytelling with visual elements and not a one unifying concept.

"The picture becomes a list. Thus a charioteer standing in a carriage is shown as standing above the floor (which is presented in its fullest view) and unencumbered by the rails so that his feet, the floor, the rails can all be clearly seen. No trouble arises if we regard the painting as a visual catalogue of the parts of an
event rather than as an illusary rendering of the event itself (no trouble arises when we say: his feet touched the floor which is rectangular, and he was surrounded by a railing...)" -- the
picture is a series of statements: "We have what is called a paratactic aggregate: the elements of such an aggregate are all given equal importance, the only relation between them is
sequential, there is no hierarchy, no part is being presented as being subordinate to and determined by others".

In 'conquest of Abundance' he mentions the way Homer treats the body of a warrior. A warrior is an aggregation of his parts. For example for Homer there is no Leg. There is a calf, a foot, but no Leg. (I don't have a book with me now so at best you have my pathetic attempt at remebering Feyerabend's disctinction).

Anyway, Homer treats people as having characteristics, having attributes but he never says they ARE a certain way because Being is not Glued to a person. It comes and goes. Achilles is not angry, it is the Anger that Enters and then leaves him. This for me was a crucial distinction (actually I forgot why now but it will come to me).

So this is why de Geus is so foreign to me. I much rather have this view of the world: "you cannot separate the whole from the parts, for the whole presences itself in the parts."
(sounds like Feyerabend to me)


So now Maturana that Jon mentiones. I have never read Maturana (shit, there is so much to read but so much time is spent on making $ to buy bread and pay rent) but I have studied some Fernando Flores, also a Chilean, who wrote on Workflow as coordination of conversations for action.

Oy, I just found this:
Vincent Kenny interpretting Maturana

Theory of Conversations. Pretty cool shit. I shall explore more of this. Kombinat! Vibrates my friends.

OK, back to original thought:

When I see the Whole as aggregates then the whole is not fixed, not cemented, not monolithic but rather it is Malleable, Transformable, Refactorable.

This is a very important distinction for me for when we live in a world where the Whole exist and determines the individual part then at best we can keep on describing the whole as to have a power in dealing with it and fitting in it as the part that has it's predetermined place, but if we live in a world of aggregates we can remake the whole by generating new configuration of the parts, we can keep collaging, sampling, recollaging, resampling, always paying attention to generating new storytelling with our play of the parts.
Maybe instead of Homo Sapiens we may call ourselves Homo Samples.

Stracturation Theory

Dialog on Leadership: Wanda Orlikowski Interview

If you want to understand how I think about my work, you need to understand structuration theory. It profoundly influenced me, it really touched a chord. I think it helped me understand how it is that we create the systems and the structures that then shape us, that in some way get away from us. But in understanding how we create and recreate our structures there’s the possibility for changing them

I think I'll have some beer now. Way too much thinking.


DOH! DOH! to you too!

The Poetaster

What brand of beer does K! endorse? Are there possibilities here for an endorsment contract?

So K! while enjoying your cool crisp cold clear swill relax and sink yourself into this:


I'm always fasicnated by this painting because my eye and mind are always drawn away from the focal point. The effect of the whole is subsumed by the power of the parts.

The Point is Always Elsewhere!

As a viewer you can reconfigure the painting and the narratives over and over.


Beautiful painting. I wish I could go to Prado Museum right now and look at it. If they haven't reconfigured the museum since 1988 then the painting is still in one small enclave by itself with a single spot light on it. I was mesmorized. Thanks.

Well. Instead I will have some beer and watch CNN.

Jon Husband

As of early 2001 the painting was still in the same place, and still mesmerizing.

Re: Structuration Theory - much overused, but still oh so appropos, IMO:

First, we shape our structures, then our structures shape us

"slime mold meets conversation meets hyper-links", or "where are we all going and why ?"

I'd like to know what Jane Jacobs thinks of modern-day London and Paris. Personally, I think they work so much better than American cities at the level of the human soul. Anyone know where she might have held forth on this ?

The Poetaster

Paris may have a soul but does it have a Marriot?

Jon Husband

Of course - many Marriotts.

But Paris doesn't let a little thing like that get in the way of a big thing like soul.

I was in a book store today on La Rive Gauche, and in an old bookstore, marvelled at the piles of books everywhere - wondered out loud how people ever found anything. One of the store's people overheard me and then said with that particular disdain only Parisians have "We're asked that 10 times a day - of course someone comes in looking for something and we know whether we have it or not, and where it is".

I knew that of bookstores, but the way he said it made me want to go back late at night and bomb the store - he could have given me the same message with a light heart and a friendly eye.

I told him as much - "monsieur, vous n'etes pas polis", and he trumped me again. He said he didn't care, he only wanted to engage with and serve customers who actually knew what they were about.



Jon, you in Paris?
I'll be there on Sunday morning (gonna have to battle the crowds for the Paris Marathon). Staying in Atel Abbatial on Saint Germain. Just around the corner from Notre Dame.

I shall find the soul of Paris and then stuff it into a Marriot. We can't have the Soul of Paris running around naked, proclaiming lust for life.

tom "J"

The soul of Paris, the anger of Achilles, the Nose.

c'est tout, cela, et rien du tout, bons voyages.

Jon Husband

Yes, I am ... in Paris. And I will be until Tuesday at least. So, we could meet if you like, parce que je flane, je n'ai pas une itineraire (ni agenda).

Please leave a note here if you would like to have a coffee, or an orange juice or just shake hands, or whatever.

I'd love to afford a Marriott, but I am doing the middle-aged man's version of hostelling, which means one or two-star hotels.

I'm at the moment over near Place de la Republique, and will probably stay in this vicinity.

Don't know your name either, so I'll need at least a cryptic clue, I guess.

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