Monday, August 13, 2012

Of Quaker Schools and Descartes

Although I resigned my membership some years ago, to bolster the position of "attender" more whole-heartedly, I've continued to serve on Oversight as well as other committees. Insofar as most branches keep the membership idea alive, it needs to be nurtured and our Meeting has been doing some of that homework.  The quality seems pretty high.

At work, we have changes in refund policies and new stresses around bottlenecks.  Then there's the enigma of such a low profile and skeletal crew.  A big contract might sink us.  I'm glad we're so small.  Having strong math skills is an interpersonal asset in many cases.  If you don't glaze over, when talking to the boss, that's a plus.

Although we're not under water (figuratively speaking, in Manila this might be more literally true), the extended family is feeling the pinch.  I was delving into Neal Stephenson's Reamde (not a typo) recently, and enjoying the long dose of family he opens with.  Were my high desert school or schools to materialize (Caldera an influence), I'd be looking to place my people, no question.  I'd be looking for good fits.

As a "director of my own movie" character (what they teach you in est, no?), of course I'm most familiar with the characters around me, many of them characters in this blog.  So of course I'm not hesitant to put them forward, where I think they might shine.  I'm not some boss with a whip though.  People aren't worried when they don't pander to my every whim, and that's how it should be.  I'm just another guy in the gym.

Like I'd always wanted to have a safe haven for Nick, full of domes, plenty of bandwidth.  He'd be the old bardic historian, the narrator, the auto-poises guy.  He didn't live to see the day.  I've felt behind schedule.

Am I talking about boarding schools then?  Where would they (the Global U students) go next?  How do all these bases link up, these campuses?  What is their purpose, whom do they serve?

These are all excellent questions, and these blogs weave in and out around some answers, giving my personal vision of how it could work (bizmos play a role).  Call me a science fiction writer -- as well as a spin doctor (complementary skill sets).

I've also been reading about Descartes' in that book I believe I first learned about from Glenn Stockton, Descartes' Secret Notebook.  I've finally finished it on my Kindle (lots of typos, I must say -- the OCR output is not double checked by a human very carefully).

Whatever Cartesianism maybe is, maybe isn't, lets circle the lifestyle, somewhat like Wittgenstein's, in terms of wandering, sometimes with a military operation, a lot of time alone, a solitary soul.  He kept wanting to escape his "friends" because, lets face it, many "friends" are really "frenemies".  The more jealous people got, the more was he their target.

He suffered some heart wrenching breakups and stupid feuds.  He died when he was about my age, trying to educate a young queen to assume her duties for Sweden.  Not an easy job, as he was surrounded by a jealous court of people this book calls "grammarians" (WTF?).

Anyway, I'm not planning to be a Descartes basher, whatever I think of "cogito ergo sum".  The fact that his skull got separated from the rest and ended up in some Museum of Hominids, representing the Sapiens, is really quite hilarious on some level.  Lets assume he'd be amused.