Esaay on Gray Introduction

Sing to me, O Muse, of Precious Balance, of Judgement hard won, of the Tao of metis

The hall of Elrond's house was filled with many folk . . . .

Frodo looked at them in wonder, for he had never before seen Elrond, of whom so many tales spoke; and as they sat upon his right hand and his left, Glorfindel, and even Gandalf, whom he thought he knew so well, were revealed as lords of dignity and power.

Gandalf was shorter in stature than the other two; but his long white hair, his sweeping silver beard, and his broad shoulders, made him look like some wise king of ancient legend. In his aged face under great snowy brows his dark eyes were set like coals that could leap suddenly into fire.
J. R. R. Tolkien, quoted from The Lord of the Rings, Book 2, Many Meetings

I was chatting (in the technological sense) with some friends last night [this two years and gone], and remarked that my hair had grayed since last they saw me, December. It being now March [N.B. of 2007], I was vehement at the change. A gracious lady made remark that graying (actually whitening, I read in wikipedia) distinguishes men.

Which is the common observation of early 21st culture. At least in the industrialized world, and I suspect uniformly. Gray hair on a man signifies wisdom, victorious struggle, and dignity. On the other hand a woman's gray hair simply means she isn't young. Which, at least in this pleasure driven cultures that value objects, means she doesn't have one of the two qualities of worth to a woman. And of course that she's likely quickly losing the other: beauty.

(I dissent with the notion that age must rest ungraciously on women. I think we can see the beauty of potential: a young girl or small gazelle or budding gardenia; and the beauty of fulfillment: a mature woman or grizzled wapiti or withered wreath.)

Perhaps it is a specific and concrete achievement to notice, to appreciate the beauty, the good of each thing.


Bluegrass Last Friday

I don't know what they were called, but some folks played music for me at the Blue Bagel (a local coffee shop) Friday.

They were--well they played murder ballads. Need I write more?


DAPPO: To set goals well. Also, a note on planning.

When setting goals,

Objective Fulfilment

We never show values, vision, mission, objectives, or goals to anyone unless they ask to see them so they can help. Principle: It is better to

underpromise and overdeliver.

An inferior man speaks and does not act.
A good man's acts accord with his speech.
A superior man acts, and his actions speak for him.


5 Levels of Communication ala Powell

My paraphrase:

I. Phatic (Cliches)
II. Factual
III. Evaluative (Opinions, I believe statements, I think statements)
IV. Emotive (Gut, Conviction, I feel statements, I want statements)
V. Communal or Peak (Needs, perforce Vulnerabilities)

"If you are on fire, folks will come to watch you burn." - paraphrase of Dale Calvert, in his blog post about public speaking referencing the five levels.

So, when I speak to you, I notice, I know, I think, I believe, I feel, I desire, and I need all at once. In fact, I do all these things all the time every conscious moment of each day.

With the possible exception of believing. I'm understanding "beliefs" psychologically here, to mean mental structures somewhere in the no man's land between thoughts and feelings. That is, beliefs are neither evanescent impressions, like feelings; nor chains binding assumptions and propositions, like logical thinking.

Mood is a close word to what I mean here. A belief is abiding like a mood, but may include rather more thoughts. In fact, a belief might be simply a coupling of mood and thought--not merely what I think about something, but what I intend to do about it because ... . If one follows the linked causes all the way to their root, one will find somewhere a transition from objective statements to normative statements, and it is this transition that I find beliefs. At the interface of fact and feeling as it were.