david chapman

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A first lesson in meta-rationality
A first lesson in meta-rationality, or stage 5 cognition, using Bongard problems as a laboratory.

Reblog with the Bongard problems you managed to solve before looking at the solution!

For me: the 1st, 2nd and 3rd; not the 4th, 5th or 6th; the 7th; not the 8th; the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th; not the 13th.

This is the controversial cover of Rhino Records’ early 80s compilation of songs about the Beatles. How could this awesome cartoon by noted illustrator William Stout be controversial? It depicts a Beatles convention and the stereotypes that attend them—and look at the guy on the left holding the banner. Yeah, that’s Mark David Chapman, the guy who shot John Lennon, with a copy of The Catcher in the Rye at his feet. I love Stout’s work, and he absolutely makes a point about the folks who are too into the Beatles, but damn, that’s tasteless. Rhino recalled as many copies as it could and replaced the cover, but it was too late; these are fairly easy to find if you’re looking for ‘em.

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Spacious freedom
“Spaciousness” is freedom from fixed meanings. Spaciousness liberates you from automatic interpretations, and from habitual responses. Lacking spaciousness, here is the pattern of life: Something h...

Also, if I haven’t already linked this David Chapman post, then it’s definitely time to do so.

“Spaciousness” is freedom from fixed meanings. Spaciousness liberates you from automatic interpretations, and from habitual responses.

Lacking spaciousness, here is the pattern of life:

  1. Something happens
  2. You perceive the event
  3. You immediately interpret it, based on some familiar framework of meaning-making
  4. An emotion arises in response to the meaning you have given
  5. The energy of the emotion demands action
  6. You do something that seems mandatory based on the emotional interpretation

This is unnecessarily limited at steps 3 and 6:

  • There many be other ways to interpret the event. And it may not be helpful to interpret it at all.
  • There may be other ways to react to the emotional energy. And it may not be helpful to react at all.

Spaciousness is an attitude: the willingness to suspend the process of meaning-making. Spaciousness is the willingness to allow unknowing, uncertainty, confusion, ambiguity, meaninglessness.

Spaciousness values astonishment, perplexity, and groundlessness. Spaciousness gives experience a quality of freshness: every situation appears unique, not merely as another instance of a familiar category.

Spaciousness depends on opened perception. Habitual categorization suppresses details; it dulls the senses. The supposed meaning of a situation blocks your view of it. You see only interpretations, not the full complexity, variability, and diversity of reality. Spaciousness directs attention to specifics, and reveals their vividness. It recognizes, not rejects, both incoherent messiness and alluring beauty.

(That’s just the beginning of the article.  I highly recommend reading the entire thing.)