Foxery is Mêtis’ Cunning

The concept of Mêtis comes from the ancient Greeks. It is a strategy involving “the cunning of intelligence”.

Mêtis is practical, it’s about “what happens”, the moment and the now, changing things, unpredictable things needing immediate action.

It is like a “fight with reality” (or a dance) to maybe save the day, including technical matters: the archetype then becomes the artist, the craftsman, the handyman – with a use of a global knowledge, playing games, inventing solutions.

Cunning against what (or who) is stronger, using hiding and secrets.
Intelligence’s strength stays sometimes in the Art of not being seen, therefore the other is stupid! This includes the use of lures and ploys.

Good examples are the Trojan Horse or archetypal characters like Robin Hood or Zorro.

This idea of “honest cunning” has been written “renarderie” in French, it could be Foxery.

The idea of “now adaptation” and cunnings sounds very Chinese to me.

See: Cunning Intelligence in Greek Culture and Society Jean-Pierre Vernant and Marcel Detienne, and of course the 36 Stratagems.

I’m sorry for my improbable Frenchy English. This was just a casual article, just a seed for thoughts.

Thanks for reading!

When the pleasure is in the comparison

ONE

I just watched Seven Samurai (Japan, black & white, 1954), then The Magnificent Seven (1960).

It’s a big pleasure watching both, but each time it’s very different. Kurosawa’s movie looks very odd, because of the culture, the language and the well known Japanese actors’ intensity. The US one is much more easy and comfortable, with stars (Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner…).

But there’s a “side-pleasure” : you compare. The stories the paces, the ends, the bad guys, the fights…

TWO

Traveling! Tourists have many ways of being tourists : in a group, alone, moving around and visiting, or staying in one city (choose Paris, OK?) and walk “going whichever way the wind blows” (we say “le nez au vent” – nose in the wind).

It’s beautiful or not, deceiving or marvelous, you take pictures or you chat with your spouse. But you have to admit :

The pleasure, again, is in the comparisons game.

THREE

There’s a game I love : learning another language. It’s absolutely full of delights. Culturally. Translating. Discovering idioms. Trying to find out where translated words don’t really fit, match the other language. Finding similar words… or traitors (a library (bibliothèque) is NOT a librairie (bookstore) in France…).

It is, constantly, a game of comparisons.

FOUR

I strongly think that a big part of our inner life is linked to the world with the concept of Analogy. We endlessly get informations with our senses (about places, culture, and people, everything we meet) and then we braincompute them with what-we-already-know with analogy.

Then, we compare. Then, we decide.

This decision can be : run away, explore, smile, talk, anything.

OUTRO

Where else does it happen to you? Where could you trigger a “game of comparisons”? How is it an enrichment? Where is the effort? What about memories? Analogy with them?

Thanks for reading!

IMG_0523.jpg

 

Continue reading

Wrong way up for children : Tablets & TV

Parents think that their child is a genius, or at least, “is on advanced for his age”.

Thus, a computer tablet looks like perfection : with letters, words, multiplications, that’s very cool!

But many studies showed something : there shouldn’t be a single minutes of “screens” time before the age of 3. And no tablet before 6.

Child development is a big thing. They have to grow so many aspects! TV before 3 and tablets before 6 is messing with motor and language development, socialization skills and empathy.

I talked many times with speech pathologists who say that screens (TV all the time, tablets for preschooler) are a disaster. And they told me it’s becoming a real problem today…

And also this : “High exposure to background TV has been found to negatively affect language use and acquisition, attention, cognitive development and executive function in children younger than 5 years”

In France, one man (Serge Tisseron) studied that for years. He talks about the rule of 3-6-9-12

  1. No screen before 3. Not a minute.
  2. TV OK, but no video game or tablet before 6.
  3. They’re OK, but no Internet before 9, with a parent.
  4. Internet OK after 12, with care.

Before 5 years old, never more than an hour a day.

Google : “screen time children development”

What do you think?

 

t100_tv_spongebob_free1.jpg

Unusual Stratums & Facets

Yesterday a friend told he liked to watch Boulevard du Palais, a French crime TV series.

Unlike his smart wife, he told me, he never really understands what it’s all about with the complex story, many characters, dead bodies and interlocked investigations – which seemed to be boring to him. He said he loved it because of the detective – the actor, and the way this man was performing.

This idea itself is a perfect seed to think about what is entertainment, an audience, an actor, etc…

As usual, it’s a bunch of questions :

Artists

  • Are you aware of all the facets which could be loved in your work?
  • What if you decided to focus on an unusual one?
  • What if the “main thing” (in a crime novel : the story) was a fancy dress to reach the audience with another stick?
  • You’re, for example, staging a theater play, or rehearsing a symphony. Could you write the most complete list of elements you work on? Then imagine one person in the auditorium focussing on an unusual one? If you do that, what do you learn? What do you lose? So what?

Audience

  • If you dislike a piece of Art (music, movie, poetry, etc), did you look for the right door to enter it? Is it worth it? Any clue?
  • Do you have to find your own casual way to explore something? The bass only in music, the light only in a movie, the style in a crime novel?
  • If you can have pleasure with an element only, why wouldn’t you imagine to “read” impossible things for you, just to find YOUR way, your facet – letting got the “real thing” to gather your own shells?

Extensions

  • In your field, how could you use this idea?
  • What if, to find ideas to blog about, you read completely out of your expertise?
  • What is the eye of an expert? Can he really understand all the stratums, the levels of a work?
  • What is a masterpiece? There are many criterions, but what happens when many levels of reading are amazing?
  • If you work on a mainstream piece of work, where do you hide subtleties?
  • If you’re a photographer, you probably read a cook book or watch a movie differently, you have “your” facet-seeker ready. So… what do you miss? Is your expertise blinding you? 

 

What do we watch in classics ? In A Tramway Named Desire, are we amazed by Kazan’s work as a director? Brando’s performance? The way they used the set? The words of Tennessee Williams? The way the scriptwriter changed it? The complexity of characters’ evolutions?

All of them, more or less. Right?

Thanks for reading!

1200760370622085472_1204809845

Instagram : __bodylanguage__

Dowsing Reality in my Head : What is “Emotional Reasoning”?

You feel an emotion, so you think it “proves” something is true, this is called Emotional Reasoning. Wikipedia gives a good example of that :

…even though a spouse has shown only devotion, a person using emotional reasoning might conclude, “I know my spouse is being unfaithful because I feel jealous.”

This is a good little clockwork to watch and to take to pieces, right?

Of course people use this concept as a negative thing, a flaw, a disorder. Path to depression and all…

You have to think about Reason :

“Reason is the capacity for consciously making sense of things, applying logic, establishing and verifying facts, and changing or justifying practices, institutions, and beliefs based on new or existing information.”

We all know that, and we also know that within the informations we gather (facts, things we see, informations, things people say), our emotions have a power : they color all of these, in bright light or in shades of darkness.

So if I understand well, Emotional Reasoning is a disorder, when we narrow reason only on emotions. OK.

I need my readers. Help! This concept triggers questions and subtleties. Could this be a positive thing? Where do you put the instinct, in this process? How can reason and emotions weave together to make a strong tool? Can an emotion trigger a seek of informations? And what about the fact that new informations would braid with feelings, instinct and therefore emotions to help us draw maps for living? Where is the balance to find? How to wring a disorder into a power? Imagine your have this disorder : does it prove that if you feel something is true… it’s not? Mmhhh…

Sorry for my wobblenglish…

Thanks for reading!

 

IMG_8255.JPG

11ritt.jpg