Archive for the ‘language’ Category

Big and Small

March 26, 2008

We are beginning to realize that we need to look at all of it, that everything is interconnected.  It’s not just the knee bone that’s connected to the thigh bone, but probably my right elbow and a taxi cab.  Everything is interconnected. But saying that, even seeing that highlights the essential problem we face.

Because at the same time that we see the complex relationships that exist, we also see that each piece of ‘all of it’ has smaller and smaller components.  And there’s research and development going on in each of these components.  So there are no side effects, there are only effects.

The implications are staggering.  How can we determine anything?  How can we live in this world of best guesses, particularly when some of the consequences can be calamitous?  We cannot even study the relevant documentation, because we first have to determine what is most relevant and then read and digest it.  This is more than formidable.

When butterflies flitting in Shanghai can cause typhoons in Missouri, it’s hard to deal with global warming.  When a sub-chemical of PVCs in toys can cause reduced male genitalia in children, it’s hard to deal with product safety.  And on and on and on.  Our knowledge has led us to the road that’s paved with good intentions and our question is how to drive.

I again recommend the movie Mindwalk – a movie, released in the US in 1991-1992 and still totally current.  It stars Liv Ullman (the holistic physicist), Sam Waterson (the Senator) and John Heard (the Poet) – with extraordinary settings and interesting score.  It’s a movie worth thinking inside of, almost scene by scene
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I will be launching a teleseminar sometime next month – It’s one of my dreams.  I’ve been writing recently about the new kind of coaching I do, that I call Coaching 2.0.  But I realized that writing about it is that and experiencing it is something else – like the difference between watching a game and playing it.  I’ve been researching this and as soon as I figure a few things out, I’ll let you know about it.  Stay tuned.

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Writing for the Writing

November 2, 2007

Just noticed that I’m writing more purposefully nowadays – haven’t played too much; haven’t riffed for a while.  Riffing defines my age.  Slang defines your age.  I just found out last night that IHOMO means ‘I Humbly Offer My Opinion’ or something like that.  I don’t text message, and text messaging is creating a whole new ‘in.’ that I’m ‘out’ of 

When I say I riff, I’m ralking late 1950’s – Lennie Bruce, Mort Sahl jazz – A riff is a kind of solo – off the melody – off the theme, a flight of fancy.  On the other hand I not homo is also 1950’s, because in th 1950s there were homos and they don’t exist  any more, only gays – Language changes culture, or vice versa, a forever question.

That’s one of the reasons I love old movies – not because they’re old culture, but to really see what’s under what they say – what’s constant – what’s human.  And also to see the growth of stars.  I saw a very old Burt Lancaster film today – one of his Apache movies – interesting that he was so type cast in so many movies.  This one I hadn’t seen; an Apache captured with Geronimo and entrained to Florida (a hideous, unknown fate.)  He escapes and makes his way back.  Charles Bronson had maybe his first speaking role as a sell-out Apache – I only watched a little. 

The scene that cut me was when he was making his way innocently through St. Louis when a small dog nipped at him and he was suddenly surrounded by a crowd, becoming almost a mob when they spotted him as “an injun” (his haircut and mocassins) and angrily started running after him.  That was no different than todays homophobes or Jena racists.  Except 150 years later, they’re just flare ups – news stories; no longer unnoticed themes of the day, remembered only in young Lancaster and very early Bronson films.

You know – one of tha advantages of being 70+ is that I have a long memory.  Last night PBS had one of their periodic specials (amazing, it wasn’t fund-raising) – this a long, long look at Grouch Marx.  But a relatively old one – the memories included now long dead rememberers, making it particularly poignant.  One night I see Mr. Roberts, with only dead stars, including the very first movie with Jack Lemmon, and his well-deserved first Oscar. The next I see Jack Lemmon remembering his love for Groucho – Time is inexorable.

Boy, I am in an interesting space.  Love, memories and language