New Civilization News: At Play in the (fractal) Fields of NCN    
 At Play in the (fractal) Fields of NCN10 comments
picture28 Jul 2002 @ 19:54, by Quidnovi

Hail to you NCN… "Hail to you...for you perceive sensibility in the insensibility of the world, uncertainty in its certainty. For you are often conscious of others as of yourself. For you feel the anxiety of the world, its limits and its false unlimited assurance. For your obsessive need to wash your hands from the dirt of the world, for your fear of the absurdity of existence. For your subtlety which prevents you from telling others what you see in them. For your awkwardness, for your transcendental realism and your lack of daily realism, for your exclusiveness and your fear of losing your great friends. For your creativity and your ecstasy, for your maladjustment to what is and your adjustment to what ought to be, for your immense possibilities not yet actualized... Because your celestial might have been crushed by earthly brutality. For what is unique, original, intuitive and infinite in you. For the solicitude and the oddness of your paths. Hail to you!"---G. R. de Grace

I feel so much strength and yet so much vulnerability, here at NCN, so much grace and yet so much clumsiness, such guileless simplicity and so much confusion, such cheerful conviviality and yet so much loneliness. We listen, and we work things out carefully in our heads and lay them down in our newslogs and comments, through words and images so people will understand, and though we all aspire to the universal, we can't help but write and paint in the languages of Babel.

Shakti_ma is right, I do worry too much. So much is said and so little made clear. "Please Understand Me" and Keirsey's portraits of temperament and character types easily come to mind. And I do love the quote from Henry Thoreau that Keirsey uses as a foreword in the second edition of his book: "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." Isn't that what all who join NCN have ever claimed from themselves? And isn't that what NCN is all about: "hearing different drummers"??? All I am trying to say is that THERE ARE DRUMMERS OUT THERE THAT WE CANNOT HEAR!!! Goodness gracious, I am not trying to introduce "fundamental changes" to NCN or to "take over" as might have been unwittingly implied by Richard on his post in his reply to mine. He was only talking about himself and his own past unfortunate personal experience when he first joined NCN, of course, but the implication was there.

All I've been asking is this---a very simple question:
There is a STRONG New Age presence in NCN. I am comfortable with it (my brother-in-law is a New Age music distributor and sells meditational pyramids---he makes them himself, too.) There are however, people who are not comfortable with such things. (Read "Please Understand Me" and you will understand why.) There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with them. And there is nothing wrong with us, or the New Age movement. Let's all take a deep breath and relax. The question is this, are we unwittingly excluding some group of people who could contribute to NCN and who feel---wrongly so---that they do not belong here? Are we depriving ourselves of some drummers out there "however measured or far away" who step to another music than the New Age music? Now, I realize of course that NCN DOES want to encourage diversity and that there are people here who are part of the New Age movement and people who do not specifically identify with it or who would be surprised to think that they have been labeled as belonging to any movement at all, new age or otherwise. Labeling is a terrible thing and many people can be concerned about that, and sometimes rightly so, depending on the social or professional circles in which they evolve. ALL are welcome at NCN, but do ALL know it? And can they do it without the stigma of being labeled? Can ALL who change the world or are interested in such an endeavor join and feel comfortable here, like we would like them to be? It is not a deep philosophical question I am asking, nor am I trying to annoy people who are just happy with the way things are, I just know for a fact that NCN is not attracting all the creative minds that it could. I had to bring it up! Do we care? And how do we address that, if we do?

Talking of NCN, Richard used a beautiful image. He said that "NCN seems set up like a fractal, beginning and ending nowhere, and spiraling along various corridors, blossoming out and collapsing into itself, destroying or creating nothing, but augmenting and decorating what is already here." I love this image, it says so much about NCN.
I don't think that NCN is a tool of indoctrination (or counter-indoctrination) or about "simplifying diversity" and though I thoroughly enjoyed Scott's powerful piece on that theme (a lot of interesting things there---I liked the bit about the Sun), I do not believe that it's about "demystifying" NCN's language either (I don't think it's enforceable on this Network, nor would all people care about that). NCN is essentially about what Shakti_ma referred to as FREEFLOW. Which means to me that EVERYTHING GOES! And with that inherently comes a great deal of complexity. I see NCN as an ECHO CHAMBER into which resonates that multi-layered fractal experiment, Richard was talking about, and through which we sometimes almost can glance, fugitively, an image of the UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY (i.e. the future or what we could make it). I think that phenomenon could be and should be amplified. We could read a better and more complex image. It all depends on the multiplicity and the quality of the people who join NCN and will be joining NCN in the future.

Perception is all. One suggestion I made was that we try to reinforce the META-PARADIGMATIC nature of NCN. It would include making it CLEAR, right off the bat, on NCN's greeting page, that there is a proliferating variety of terminologies, concepts, models, theories, and disciplines going on here, and that they are all part of NCN and that all are welcome!!! Let's acknowledge our intellectual divergences and the weirdness and the quirkiness too (it comes with the territory) and publicly recognize them as part of what NCN is all about (creativity and open mindedness.) Anything that reinforces the idea that not all fruits are oranges and makes it clear that joining NCN is not necessarily an endorsement of any particular movement or school of thought. Not all fruit are oranges, nor does joining NCN make an orange out of anyone.

Sometimes the best way to fight labeling (or the fear of being labeled) is to allow people to choose their own label. This is why I suggested, in an earlier comment, the possible introduction of a subdivision into both the Newslog and the Member News on NCN's greeting page. It could be done in a cute way. i.e.: a picture of a room with a spiraling series of doors. Each door a different entryway. Like "here we all are rationalist-objectivists" (or whatever) or "here we believe in magic" or "here we don't believe in magic" or "here we don't care what we believe in", or (my favorite) "here we don't know what we are talking about." Each door would open to different sub-groupings of the Newslog in which would only be listed the posts of people who share the same paradigms (and with a possibility for crossover for those who feel they belong to more than one school of thoughts.) For people who do not share such concerns they still could all just list their journal in the Newslog such as it exists now and which would be accessible through the door that says, of course, "Here we don't care what we believe in."

Myself, I would probably feel at home behind the door that says, "here we don't know what we are talking about" but then again I can understand the so-called rationalist-objectivist who would feel more comfortable introducing friends and colleagues to NCN and would be more at ease referring them to his/her journal if it belonged to a Newslog where there is no talk of magic. Conversely, the magic believers (of which, I fear, I am) might occasionally enjoy the possibility of just stepping from time to time through a door where they know the rationalist-objectivists fear to tread and won't come and bug them.
Furthermore, this typology would serve to stress that NCN recognizes the existence of distinct orientations or predispositions in human thoughts, while at the same time emphasizing NCN's purpose to pull together and juxtapose diverse views and strands of thoughts into a wider meta-paradigmatic approach to our world and its problems.

Aknowledgement: This post is the result of a series of related questions that appeared within the comment sections of two other journals. Those comments are accessible in the News Log section and can be found on the following posts:

- "Communicationism" in Ming the Mechanic (formerly known as Fractal Funch)

- Richard Little" in jazzoLOG
(Note: Richard has closed his NCN Newslog and this article is no longer accessible.)

Shatki_ma, Scott, Richard, Emily, Istvan, thank you all, for your contribution to this exchange. My thanks, too, to all those who, though they didn't join this discussion directly, do influence our vision through just simply who they are and some of the things they do here on this Network. And of course, thank you to NCN for making any of this possible.

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29 Jul 2002 @ 02:32 by jazzolog : Reading Comprehension
Nice entry, Quidnovi. Thank you for it.

Let us read and write carefully and with respect. Implication is a filmy, foggy entity. Sometimes, in person, a considerate acquaintance might ask, "Did you mean to imply such-and-such in your remark?" If I remain calm and look within, sometimes I truly can't tell if I did or not, and I need to take time to think about it. I know myself as well as I can, and am learning all the time. Maybe there is an area I don't know about---and I imply something without realizing it. Would that still be implication if I don't know about it? Mostly, when I imply, I know I'm doing it---I think. But in these shadowy areas of implication, where we still may be learning about ourselves, great sensitivity and delicacy might be applied.
In my experience on the Internet, I've noticed people find implication often. And many go running off with it---and construct theories and attacks and great horrors that they see in the other person. Right off the top of my head, I might assert that replying to implication creates more trouble than any other form of attempted communication in this medium. I think it might be good manners and wise strategy to approach a person one thinks is implying something about one and just respectfully ask. It could be a careful and quiet exercise in self-control and maturity for both people.

29 Jul 2002 @ 04:00 by shawa : Sacred Hodge-Podge
... Thanks for this entry, Quidnovi - for me it is perhaps one the most accurate entries as to the fractal reality of NCN; truly, let´s not flinch from it. One person´s hodge-podge/chaotic marmelade is another person´s SACRED Hodge-Podge! ... This is a damn good idea : to announce right in front of everything, hey! look! "You have to find your own Path, - Just Try the Different Doors, and See How you Feel!
(Tee hee)"... The picture is perfect for the front page! .../

For the Jazzman : I´m glad to hear you.  

29 Jul 2002 @ 17:41 by shawa : Gosh, gosh, gosh!
Would have thought that more people would jump into THIS pool! It´s soooo interesting. :-)  

30 Jul 2002 @ 16:23 by quidnovi : The sound of silence---music to my ears!
I find it interesting too, Shakti...and not unexpected considering how little interest the subject matter generated when I first brought it up on jazzoLOG's (“Richard little”) and Fractal Funch's (“Communicationism”) journals. Very few people seem to have found it of any interest at all. Most just overlooked or disregarded the matter completely, while other "studiously" ignored it. As I pointed it out in this post, I feel that NCN works a little bit like an echo chamber (it's one of its many interests---to me) and in an echo chamber emptiness is just as revealing as noise when scanning for patterns. Silence can sometimes be more eloquent than sound and, in music, the pauses are just as important as the notes. I like the music I have been hearing at NCN but the nature and the quality of that music (including the silence) confirm to me that some instruments have been left out from the band (a little bit something like too many drums and no strings or not enough brass---or something like that.) It doesn’t make for a bad performance but it does make it somewhat limitative. Though there are those who would argue that endless pieces of music can be written (and actually have been written) for but just a few instruments, one can arguably regret however that NCN doesn’t play with a bigger orchestra.

I think most of the players in the band are aware of that situation and most players like it that way. Something having to do with the feeling of cozy belonging that comes when playing in a “small club” and all the players are friends with each other. And all of that is just fine with me. (I like ALL music, and---Richard’s just going to love that one---some jazz performances that are played in nightclubs can sometimes be more stirring than anything one will hear from any symphonic orchestra.) But a question had been asked. I just had to know. Now I do!
In any case, the point of this post was to pull together all the lose threads that came up during the discussion and bring that topic nicely to a close. Let’s move on to something else. And, oh, by the way, I DO love drums!!! Just simply don’t mind me when sometimes I do bring my fiddle along ;-)  

31 Jul 2002 @ 03:03 by jazzolog : I Hear Music And There's No One There
That's the lyric to a song that particularly jazz players have liked these last 40 years or so. I commend your positive outlook on the lack of reply to a topic about NCN. The song ends "You're not crazy, you're just in love." Here's hoping the site brings such bliss.

PS What kinds of music do you play on that fiddle?
>> Why, Richard, it would all depend on my mood, I suppose.
>> Anything with a high degree of rubato, assuredly ;-) FD  

31 Jul 2002 @ 03:36 by scottj : Many years ago me and a few friends
made a whole lot of noise together ........ great fun but to call it music would be stretching the point. Occasionally, very occasionally, the infernal racket somehow came together and it was actually possible to hear something. Most often the shock was enough to knock us off our collective perch but on a few occasions we held on to the vibe and really we could do anything we wanted.

I would rate these very near the top of my life's moments.

Is this what we are hoping for at NCN? Perhaps when you state the theme people are reluctant to pick up their instruments and blow because it is kind of a difficult number to get?

I played bass btw and the music was a kind of punk-rocked up Motown / 70's soul and funk with strong latin and jazz influences. Ike and Tina Turner at 100mph (Nutbush and River Deep being favs) isn't far off the mark.  

1 Aug 2002 @ 11:15 by quidnovi : All that jazz...
"... I smell blossoms, but the trees are bare; all day long I seem to dance on air, I wonder why, I wonder why."
(Second voice) "You don't need analyzin', it is not so surprisin', because I've been there once or twice. .........You're not sick. You're just in love......"  

5 Aug 2002 @ 16:09 by magical_melody : I like the doors concept!
I know that Flemming has addressed this issue and yet a front page reference as you suggest Francis sounds wise and more inviting. I love the term: for those who don't know what they are talking about. It made me laugh out loud. Thanks for your wisdom humor and your Presence in NCN, as I am all for opening the doors to more lovely people, and I don't want people branding me "New Age." Theres a lot of wierdos connected with that term. I am simply "Me" and I do dance to my own music and share dances with the many drummers and music makers along the way. I make magic with my brothers and sisters in all the various tribes!  

5 Aug 2002 @ 23:05 by shawa : You´re New Age, all right, Cho!
At least in my book. Interesting discussion, here. Mostly, I agree with you, Cho. I think the New Age movement hasn´t affirmed itself in the best possible way, and being labelled New Age is like someone telling you that you are walking on clouds. It´s not all there is, but it´s a lot of it. I remember a time, though, when the words New Age were clean, and crisp, and promising. Was that right after May 68 ? When I walked around in an Afghan dress; wore heavy Tibetan jewellery and bright red boots? Tee hee - long gone.  

17 Aug 2002 @ 17:31 by ming : Meta-Paradigmaticism
Quidnovi, great post, as usual! I think, indeed, it is extremely important to maintain and strengthen the meta-paradigmatic nature of NCN. It needs to somehow be very clear that there's no one accepted paradigm here, other than the paradigm that it is great that there are many paradigms and that one can roll one's own. But at the same time it needs to be ok to just sort of "move in" behind the door that contains one's paradigm of choice. I like that concept very much, and I'm looking for ways we can implement that better.

There's a distinction, I think, between the people who resonate with strengthening and maintaining the meta-paradigmatic freeflow space of NCN, and those who mainly are looking for some people who share a particular approach, a particular aim, a particular paradigm. One is not better than the other, but they collide sometimes, when the people who seek a particular group get frustrated when they realize that NCN as a whole isn't it, and never will be.

For NCN to survive there needs to be at least a small but firm group that resonates with and furthers the principles of that open fractal space. If there is, then it can work perfectly fine even if most NCN members are "users" who go straight for the people who are _____ in order to get what they came for. E.g. the New Age people find each other, the Alternative Economy people find each other, the Business Entrepreneurs find each other, etc.  

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27 May 2008 @ 14:45: Thoughts on Navigating the Paradigm Shift
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15 May 2008 @ 06:22: 1001 Dialogues - 100 001 Actions for Dialogues and Unity in Diversity
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