caro thinks

The Rudest Tea Guests, 2006/09/07:11:09

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I've been meaning to play the harpsichord more often. I played a lot ths winter, because for six months I had a horrible ogre for a roommate. Consequently, I spent a lot of time locked in my room. I got a huge amount of work done on Silhouette, and I simultaneoulsy relaxed and stimulated further connections in my brain by playing music.

Repetitious music grates on my nerves. The ubiquitousness of repetitious music in stores and other public places forced me to buy a portable CD player a couple of years ago, so that I could drown out the awful stuff with interesting complexity. Practice doesn't do the same terrible things to my head. I don't mind repeating passages to get them right, and I don't mind listening to other people practice. I'd like to understand why there is this difference.

Out of the blue, J has asked me if I'd like to play in an ensemble. That's because he's never heard me play. But, yeah, I sure would! He sent me the piece by Marin Marais today. Let the butchery begin!
My stormy relationship with fallacious reasoning has completely changed in the last few years. I now understand that fallacious reasoning is automatic. Our brains are so constructed as to draw some but any connection. Induction happens, whether we guide it or not. Sometimes that connection is a plausible conclusion from evidence. Sometimes it is even a valid connection. Hasty generalization saves animals from being eaten by tigers, or by anything that might look at first glance like a tiger, or by anything that moved and so might qualify as a tiger. Run first, check premises later. Result: survival and reproduction. And that means that fallacies are an efficient, if not the only, stepping stone to real intelligence and judgment. Hence, fallacies are not a mistake to be expunged, but rather a basic function to be honed. Almost anyone can reason better--that, I know from empirical evidence to be true. But the process of thinking is most of the time of a rather random nature, and even people educated in the "laws of thought" will first make unfounded inferences, and then reexamine them (often only if forced to by others like them). These reflections have made me much more patient with people, although I still don't quite see eye to eye with people who have learned a better way to think yet continue to resort to unedited fallacious reasoning. More importantly, fallacies lie at the foundation of my work with Silhouette.
body building
Splendid Frisbee happens almost every weekend right now. The group is fluid, but getting bigger by fits and starts. Rather than send out announcements that contain all the information, as I used to do, I made a couple of frisbee pages and just link to them in the emails. I've mostly sent the announcements to people on the san diego sifter list . The people I get from this list are fabulous, because when we have to take a breather they are actually interesting to talk to. I've hesitated to send the announcements to sites devoted to physical activity because I'm afraid I'll get a bunch of boring jocks. Nevertheless, I decided this week to submit ads to the Outdoors Club and to craigslist . Also submitted to a brand new local activities site after its owner responded to my craigslist ad, but there was a technical difficulty and the guru is out of town for the weekend; hope I remember to try again when he gets back.

I'm living in Pacific Beach now, which means that my bike ride to and from the games has increased from 8 miles round trip to 18 miles round trip because I still hold the Splendid Frisbee games in La Jolla. For one thing, E lives there and likes to run to the games, and a 20-mile trip on foot in addition to 3-7 miles of frisbee is a bit much to expect even for him. For another thing, I trade on the advantage of continuity and familiarty: the games were always held there, so that's the way we do it. And for yet another thing, I'm most likely to get students (mostly male) showing up for a run in the sun on the beach. Which is too bad, because we happily tutor, care for, accommodate, coach, and cheer for anyone who is willing to try, and I for one would love to see some more women there. La Jolla Shores also has leopard sharks to stalk, dolphins to spot, and intertidal zone creatures to observe, and fairly calm water to swim in afterward.
From a letter I sent to my sister last week:

Rats make appalling tea guests. I'm eating breakfast. There is a rat on my lap, two in each sleeve, one trying to pry open the sugar bowl, and another WASHING HIS HANDS IN MY WATER GLASS. I'm not kidding. He's balancing on the edge of the glass with his back feet, and doggie paddling in the water with his front paws. (No, I won't be drinking that water. If he felt his hands were dirty enough to wash repeatedly, I bet my water is now just as dirty.)

Mainly they want the biscuits. I gave them some, but they are insatiable. Eventually they give up, because they have terrible cases of ADHD. My sleeves are just as interesting as food, so they climb in. They don't just sit there quietly, of course. They wrestle vigorously in there, causing the tea in my cup to slosh. I put out "rat blankets" for them to sit on. They roll up the edges, over top of items on the blankets if necessary, and grab the corners and try

[Excuse me, Strawberry just inserted those urls in the middle of my typing. I'm leaving them in because he must have had some reason for wanting you to see them.]

...Anyway, they grab the corners of the blankets and try to drag them into the cages, and all the table items slowly creep toward the cages with them.

By the time tea is over, the table is a complete shambles.
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