February 08, 2009

Better husbandry and informed simplicity

Matthew Frederick in 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School (The MIT Press, 2007) after saying how to draw a line, also says that there are three levels of knowing:

- simplicity, is the world view of the child or uninformed adult, fully engaged in his own experience and happily unaware of what lies beneath the surface of immediate reality.

- complexity, characterizes the ordinary adult world view. It is characterized by an awareness of complex system in nature and society but an inability to discern clarifying patterns and connection.

- informed simplicity, is an enlightened view of reality. It is founded upon an ability to discern or create clarifying patterns within complex mixtures.
Text and image lifted from Giorgia Brusadin at density design lab
My wife and I used to be on the same schedule, and then summer 2008 she opened her own workshop and set her own hours, while I kept on working for a boss. This caused some friction, but it rippled through the system and came out in unexpected ways. I tried to deal with seemingly unrelated problems, frustrated by what appeared to be their intractable nature.

Now things are a lot better because I stopped trying to be a clever engineer and made a leap of faith with simplicity. All that was lacking was a confidence in action - changing my routine, going out to bars more, staying out later. My problem now may be drinking too much on an empty stomach, but awareness and general balance - things settling down - should come to arrange that.
1) If the sober life if the alcoholic somehow drives him to drink or proposes the first step toward intoxication, it is not to be expected that any procedure which reinforces his particular style of sobriety will reduce or control his alcoholism.

2) If his style of sobriety drives him to drink, then that style must contain an error or pathology; and intoxication must provide some - at least subjective - correction of this error. In other words, compared with his sobriety, which is in some way "wrong," his intoxication must be in some way "right."
Gregory Bateson, The Cybernetics of 'Self': A Theory of Alcoholism, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, p310

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