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2020-05-18 | Subject | Climbing Reset

I am a sloppy climber. My face is splattered with pitons. I switch faces and mountains. Sometimes my faces and mountains are entirely external. Sometimes I don't know what is internal and external. Sometimes I fall. I do make progress, though, on multiple faces on different mountains, internal and external.

I see the way others climb. They appear to already understand the route and the mountain. They have the right amount of gear, the right amount of knowledge, and the skill for the climb. They make it look easy.

I also rewrite the rules of the climb, change my climbing equipment, and attempt to erase bits of the climb. Am I limited to old books? On page 37 of Pete Sinclair's Journal of Explanation, he writes about the idea of old books:

Finally, it has been seventeen years since Robert O. Payne called to my attention Chaucer's couplet, "And yf that olde bokes were awey,1 Y loren (lost) were of remembraunce the key." I've been looking for keys to memory ever since. The journal is one that helps me and may help others .

In the past, I have associated old books with a form of simplicity and reality. I also studied Chaucer and Middle English Literature at the same time as I learned about Pete Sinclair's journaling method. I morphed this into the idea that the extent of the world in the Canterbury Tales was a constraint that was helpful in interpreting the world. As I write this, I look up at my anchoring books, and I don't see any Chaucer. I see The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog. The first paragraph in the supplement:

Charles Manson announced the new decade: "Death is psychosomatic," he said. "I am just a mirror. If God is One, what is bad?" he asked. His message is terrifying and inscrutable. It promised the marriage of two outlaw cultures: the hood and the head. Clearing space for the complex metaphysical gangster film Performance. Decreeing the ruthless realism of the new John Lennon and the grizzly cinema verité of Altamont.

I know most of the references. The ruthless realism of the new John Lennon is currently my favorite play in 2020. I've listened to the album John Lennon by Plastic Ono Band thirty times or so. Last year Tarantino's version of Manson and the Tate/LaBianca murders came out. I thoroughly enjoyed Tarantino's movie, but certainly that quote from the The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog reminds me that something else was going as the time rolled from the sixties to the seventies.

Chaucer's point about old books and memory makes more sense, then. Further, from a perspective of climbing, old books form an anchor. This is directly opposed to information as a stream of attention. It also reminds me of the challenges of an agile mode of software design. We have transformed products into streams of attention, turning the spotlight of effort on customer features instead of anchoring product in a more historically intentional design.

Even the act of writing this has enriched my ideas about what I am doing here, right now, at the keyboard, and how it fits into my past ideas and those that I have turned to for inspiration and instruction. This is all that my climbing reset entails: a small bit I've learned, a bit of perspective from history; I have placed a new piton for "old books". Hyperlinks in writing help, as well. The fact that I can capture the more arcane stuff, scans of the first page of The Last Supplement to the Whole Earth Catalog on and provide a link is a significant addition to the power of a journal.


2020-05-18 :

I was watching Performance while I was working out today, and saw a plane that reminded me of the plane on the Blind Faith album:

mcj mountain_climbing bob_dylan

Articles tagged with mcj on Aggie Codrust:

2020-04-17: MCJ Tomoe
2020-02-01: MCJ Yaaahhhss
2020-01-03: Mad Men
2019-10-27: Too Complicated?
2019-09-07: Intro Wander
2019-09-02: Labor Day
2019-08-31: Sojourn

Articles tagged with mcj on O.R.N.G.:

2019-07-20: Roll On
2019-07-13: New CMS
2019-04-15: Malignant Punishment
2018-06-16: Are Images Like Bigsite?
2018-05-09: Puzzling Glimpses
2017-06-23: Lingering in the Stairwell
2017-06-08: Blank Page
2016-11-28: Starting Overish
2011-05-21: Wireless MCJ
2011-01-17: Trouble in Mind
2010-12-19: New Release: MCJ 2.7.5
2010-08-06: Id Climb
2010-06-11: Future Share
2010-05-15: VMware Running
2009-07-10: Metaphors in the Open
2006-04-30: MCJ Push
1985-11-13: The Dark Age

Articles tagged with mountain_climbing on Luv Counter XYZ:

2020-10-24: Base Camp
2020-09-23: Climbing

Articles tagged with mountain_climbing on O.R.N.G.:

2019-05-18: But an Instant
2018-11-10: Interim Sun
2018-10-15: The Old Mountain Climbing Metaphor
2018-06-24: DataOps
2017-08-31: Wumblebright Wagon
2014-09-22: Divine Web
2013-05-09: The Pursuit of The Good
2010-06-06: MCJ Books
2010-06-05: Interesting Climbing Reference
2010-05-24: Jacob's Ladder and Hacking the Circuitry
2008-05-28: Mountain Climbing Metaphor - May Revisit
1986-09-30: Mountain Climbing Metaphor - Climbing
1986-06-18: World Peace Flier

Articles tagged with bob_dylan on O.R.N.G.:

2019-07-24: Future Leak
2018-04-04: Bored Game
2013-05-11: The Other Side of Time
2013-05-04: Desolation Row