to avoid having to communicate and Jana Perković

The fantastic Jana Perković wrote/tweeted this sometime ago:

If you listen carefully, you will notice that Australians primarily use language not for communication, but to avoid having to communicate. The Australian English, spoken and written, relies heavily on formulas and linguistic presets (“How’s it going?”, “Oh, not too bad. You?”) for much longer into any given conversation and into any given relationship than in other languages I know.

I have a sneaky suspicion that New Zealand English is pretty similar. It seems like much of my adult life has been looking for ways to fight such resistance to entering communication.

Jana Perković (she used to be on twitter as @relatively) is such an arresting writer and thinker (among other things). See this post on the theatre scene in Melbourne as she calls a hiatus from her own website and to a certain extent social media:

http://guerrillasemiotics.com/2017/06/on-hiatus

And here’s a link to Jana’s podcast series called Audio Stage:

http://guerrillasemiotics.com/category/format/podcast/

There are rich pickings in there.

And, finally, here she is on Matt Cornell’s Wombat Radio podcast:

Part 1: http://wombatradio.com.au/jana-perkovic-part-1/
Part 2: http://wombatradio.com.au/jana-perkovic-part-2/

Jana – if you are reading this –I’m a fan, and hello from Italy.

 

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skellis dot info

When I first started a website I used the domain name skellis.net. About a year ago I mapped (or forwarded) that old domain to a new personal domain name:

skellis.info

There are still a good many old projects to add to the new site, but it is the space online that I now keep up to date with various projects, collaborations and ideas.

 

cognitive biases

I really like Jason Kottke’s blog at kottke.org where he covers diverse topics about culture, design, and technology (etc). More than a year ago he posted a link to a cognitive bias cheat sheet written by Buster Benson who writes over at betterhumans.coach.me.

Cognitive biases – “systematic patterns of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment”[1] – are fascinating. And what that little definition doesn’t really get at is that cognitive biases are actually the norm. We can think we don’t fall prey to them but …

Some of my particular favourites are about how and why we notice the things we notice: confirmation bias, subjective validation, [observer effect](observer effect) and the availability heuristic.

As both Kottke and Benson point out, the wikipedia page on cognitive biases is both remarkable and a remarkable mess.

So Benson spent a chunk of time thinking through the wikipedia page and came up with what he calls a cognitive bias cheat sheet. His post is fantastic, and he categorises the biases as being related to four problems:

  1. There is too much information.
  2. There is not enough meaning.
  3. We need to act fast.
  4. What should we remember?

The entire post is here and it’s worth every moment of your time: https://betterhumans.coach.me/cognitive-bias-cheat-sheet-55a472476b18

To cap things off, Benson produced a “diagrammatic poster remix” of his post:

benson-biases.jpeg

Source: https://cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/2000/1*71TzKnr7bzXU_l_pU6DCNA.jpeg

 

copy what we want

If all people want to do is go and look at other people so that they can compare themselves to them and copy what they want – if that is the final, deepest truth about humanity and its motivations – then Facebook doesn’t really have to take too much trouble over humanity’s welfare, since all the bad things that happen to us are things we are doing to ourselves.

– John Lanchester, https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n16/john-lanchester/you-are-the-product

 

efva lilja

I first encountered the remarkable Swedish choreographer Efva Lilja through her books Dance, For Better For Worse (2004) and Words on Dance (2003). But I’d never met her in person until late last year on a bloody freezing day in Leeds at Error and Creativity: An Interdisciplinary Symposium. She gave a keynote that day and I made a few very rough notes which I’ve included below. The notes give a sense of the breadth of her thinking and ideas, but not any sense of her drive, presence and beautiful playfulness.

Efva_Lilja_arm_0.jpeg
Image from http://www.culturalentrepreneur.se/
  • “I am what I do not know, I am what I lack”
  • “technologies of listening”
  • “knowledge generation” in Europe
  • what’s at stake?
  • the values: what we value
  • can’t force the outcome
  • hypothetical questions
  • “question of cliches is an urgent one”
  • “and question of contention is as well”
  • “how to create new demands on institutions and the academy”
  • training: reduces the dancer to a body
  • “ability to recognise difference has to be trained”

Efva’s website: www.efvalilja.se
Efva on wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Efva_Lilja