Homework and contrails

I’m trying to remember how it all started now. I think it was Sociocybernetics… No! It was something from one of Alan’s comments here!Moor light Alan uses Sara’s blog as his URL when leaving comments, but I know he has another web site without much on it as yet. And when I visited that site last night I discovered Ishmael. So far so good. It was late at night, right, I’d arrived late after a train ride from Devon, I’d uploaded some photos onto Flickr; it was late. I searched on Google for “sociocybernetics” and “Daniel Quinn”.

I found work by C. A. Hilgartner, and from his references, discovered Alfred Korzybski and General Semantics; and now I’m back to NLP. And not only NLP, I can see Non-violent communication here too. A little more searching and I found this quote from Marshall Rosenberg:

The tribe I have had some contact with is Orang Asilie tribe in Malaysia. I’ll never forget what my translator was saying before we got started. He was going over how he was going to translate. He pointed out his language has no verb to be, like [you are] good, bad, wrong, right. You can’t classified people if you take away the verb to be. How are you going to insult people? You take away ninety percent of my vocabulary! So I say what are you going to say if I say “You’re selfish”?

He responded, “It’s going to be hard. I’d translate it like this: Marshall says he sees you are taking care of your needs but not the needs of others.” He says, “In my language, you tell people what they are doing and what you like them to do differently, it would not occur to us to tell people what they are.” He then paused and he looked at me in all sincerity and said, “Why would you ever call a person a name?”

I have remarked to a few people lately that when I did my research into software theory there was a period of expansion, when I read papers like an undergraduate medical student drinking beer, and then a period of condensation and contraction when I could identify the area where my work would be (Perhaps the young doctor discovers a taste for fine wine or a particular type of ale). The transition between these phases was marked by “saturation” of the area: where the new papers I read contained an increasing number of references to other of the papers I had read or, at least, references to papers by the authors of the other papers I had read. It starts to feel like this is the case in my new field of interest.

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