Structures against Changes

Again, always:

“How to catch what moves, generates, leaks, becomes, invents, slips, spurges… instead of contemplating what we think is fixe, immutable, eternal, stable, immobile?”

Today I like it because I think about models:

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth”

– H. Skipper

So there’s a bias: the propensity of the thinker to believe that the model IS the principle of people’s actions. That’s wrong because “Haecceity”: people move, mutate, and invent!

We have time to think outside of life, but when we’re inside of the flow, models and rules are just “grids”. Life’s more about strategies, hesitations, adaptation and attempts. We try to plug!

Nevertheless, structures are useful, they are tools to watch, magnifiers or rulers.

What I’d like to study, in a given field, is “how structures change”.

We also could study the difference between structure (or model) and practices, or how it is a mistake to trust “habits” and customs. In fact: surprises!

Working with models is great but they are virtual cages, and we lose a substance: the complexity of the human mind.

That’s the purpose of the at-the-top quote: “How to catch what…”

Thanks for reading!

The Persian Letters Tool

Nestor Almendros is a great cinematographer, and in a documentary I just watch about this “craft” (men who take care of light in movies), he says mischievously that most of great cinematographers in cinema come from other countries – which is true!

The need to have a fresh eye…

Which made me think about one book : Persian Letters, by Montesquieu, recounting the experiences of two Persian noblemen, Usbek and Rica, who are traveling through France.

Like when one says that one good part of the philosopher’s job is to not understand.

The capacity to see things “as they are” (and not for granted) is a strange funny power, all society can become a carnival, and what is human becomes singular, crazy, mechanical, dumb, and all conventions become hilarious and sinister, unbearable, unbelievable!

So this book, France seen by two Persians, is disconcerting, on purpose. You surprise people with what they are, what they do. You show them that all the fabric of their lives is relative…

To conclude, let’s think about this : The Persian Letters was written by… a French, of course, who must have “this” state of mind :

“Taken for granted” questioning

If you have that, you have a great tool, but it’ll put you on an island. So what?

Have a nice day!


“Make some Heaps” : Swiss, Happiness & Photography

I don’t remember exactly the whys and wherefores but I know that Pierre Bourdieu (the French sociologist) was in Swiss and he was questioning about the “Swiss happiness”, and with the help of medias he and his team received tons and tons of photographies, daily, normal, families photographies.

They got so many of them that he asked each people, around the table, to choose a bag of photographies and… to “sort” them.

In the end, the talking with each member of the team, while they were watching the heaps of photographies chosen by A or B, became a reflection on “Why did you choose these?”.

The qualities and the beauty of the photos? The historical informations? Knowledge about family lives? Colors?

Bourdieu, in a way, as a non-specialist of the photo area, transformed the material in his sociologist way. It became a study about “How to we choose? How do we sort?”. It became a reflection about the idea of choice : make heaps.

Well that’s all. I’m sorry I don’t develop more. This article is pure bricolage, makeshift. I thought one of you could do something with it. And also : how do we see things through our eyes? How do thinkers pull out all the stops?

Have a nice day!


Instagram : karine.tuil

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” – H. Skipper

“A model is a lie that helps you see the truth” is a quote by Howard Skipper, an American doctor.

Here I try to extend this pattern, replacing “model” by cousin ideas : “pattern”, “structure”, “map”, etc.

So what? A “model” is not the real world, it’s a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

A MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY, right? A map is a LIE, it doesn’t give you changes, colors, moods, light, temperature and life. But it’s a useful, thought, for a purpose…

You can be very serious while modeling things (in Science) and an architect will build models (in cardboard or on computers), but you can also be a little casual “just to see what you’ll see”.

For example you can see each of these things : a school, a couple, or a battle, as : a machine, a living creature, a computer, a kingdom or a business company. If you “apply” your model, you’ll rule out something, but you’ll find interesting things too. Then, trash the model. Because it’s a LIE, of course!

A model is a construction made to help us to understand the real world.

It can be using a structure and also “a way to explain how it works”, moves and evolves. Let’s use the model of “a business company” to study “a married couple”. Who’s the CEO, how does the money flow, what are the goals, etc…

It can be more like a skeleton, a complex map of “what it is”, or a single archetypal word :

  • Mauss studied suicide or gift and made entire books about these. A way to search for “what is common”, the “fundamental characteristics”.
  • Simmel studied the bridge : it links two territories, it is a territory itself, it “shows itself” as a bridge, and it is a “will of connection” (over a river, for example).

Yes, this leads to Archetypes (Jung)

a statement, pattern of behavior, or prototype (model) which other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy or emulate

To Forms in philosophy (Plato)

pure forms which embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing in Platonism

and to the most precious diamond : the Symbol.

a symbol is a mark, sign, or word that indicates, signifies, or is understood as representing an idea, object, or relationship. Symbols allow people to go beyond what is known or seen by creating linkages between otherwise very different concepts and experiences.

(All quotes from Wikipedia – I bolded some words)

Questions :

Who’s right? Skipper who uses the word “lie”, or Plato and Jung who seem to seek a “pure form”? Is all this a search for a link, common aspects in different things, or are these just tools to explore a concept , moving aside difficulties and details? Are you more interested in details, or structures? Why do we say that there are only a few ways to tell a story (Google : Seven Basic Plots)? What are the “order” games like MBTI, Zodiac or Enneagrams? Is a symbol the tiniest and more radioactive possible model?

Let’s say you’re introvert, fast, jealous, a father, a murderer or a valet. Is it a lie, because it’s true but way too simple (and a label on your face) – then you list the subtilities, the movements, the reasons, etc -, or is it a funny truth which could lead you to make decisions, or find other archetypes to think about?

You can also read : Ecceity

Yeahh, overthinking, I know…

Thanks for reading!





The “Uncanny valley” of Sick #Robots

Wikipedia : The uncanny valley is the hypothesis that human replicas which appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers.

So, a robot should look like a robot. If it’s too close of a human being (“near realistic but imperfect”), it’ll be rejected. Because, probably, your instinct sees something slightly wrong, and therefore the robot seems ILL.

Of course, it’s interesting to try to understand how it works, because it’s more subtle than that. And also : what are the ways to avoid this uncannyness? Can people get used to it?



Instagram : ___bodylanguage___

“Haecceity” : it’s about Labels on your Forehead – #Deleuze

Haecceity. I learned about this strange word in a book about Gilles Deleuze, a French Philosopher.

When we argue, when we talk, when we define ourselves, when you get an official letter, it puts a label on us. It says : “You are that”. So there!

It depends on the box, it depends how the society calls you :

Sociology, Psychology, Religion, Morals, Urbanism, Politics, Literature, Anthropology : every discipline PINS you on a board, as a woman, a muslim or a lover, a mother or a manager, et voilà!

The problem is WE ARE NOT AN ELEMENT OF A STOCK. We are human beings, and that implies that we are plugged, we change all along the day(s), we grow, we stop, we meet, etc.

Haecceity, says Deleuze, says that we should use more the word AND. Jean is a woman and a mother and a knitter and a fan of this group and has four good friends and likes France and just decided to divorce and plans to move and just began to blog and loves to bake with fruits, etc, she’s an INFINITY, and a moving one!

We are made of a series of events, of connections, of changes, and what defines us is our nature but also, a constant variation of plugs and deplugs, multi-events, joy, powers, feelings, intensities…

Wiki says :

Haecceity : the discrete qualities, properties or characteristics of a person that make it a particular thing. Haecceity is a person’s or object’s thisness.

There’s a danger is the way we write “We Are”, which label us and then put us “stuck in a stock”.

Deleuze says we are more accurately longitudes and latitudes, a group of different speeds and slownesses, an individual, a singularity, constantly inventing grapes of possibilities, a play of forces or encounters.

So play with words. Let people define you and other people. But don’t forget they are words. You are more than that.

There’s a article on WordPress about Deleuze’s singularities here.

Thanks for reading!

#bench #france #lille #rainyday

The Extreme Upper Register of the Bassoon, story of the Wrong Tool

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

The opening solo of The Rite of Spring, by Igor Stravinsky, is played by a bassoon playing out of its normal register. It’s written “out of range”, and the result is a quite weird melody.

Musicians and analysts have been wondering about that for years. How to play this machin ? Le Sacre du Printemps, is about primitive rituels, it’s full of danses sacrificielles and other étranges processions. Soooo… I like the idée to play it weirdly, strangled or lost, lost in a forest, œuf corse…

By the way, héééé, you know the bassoon, this instrument : it’s like a tree, un arbre ! It’s long and made of wood, it’s a tree. A tree without the branches, d’accord.

OK that’s useless, but the idée of beginning that “pagan mass” (of mess) of broken dances by this “out of range” melody played by a bassoon is giving me the chills.

Well. OK. So what ?

Francesco Alberoni is an Italian, a professor of sociology. He wrote a très utile book named Falling in Love, which is completely… out of range for him. As a sociologue, he knows how to study collective movements, and certainement pas some couples and lovers. No no no no. Mr Alberoni, vous n’êtes pas du tout dans votre domaine de compétence…

He is NOT skilled to do that. Toutefois, et néanmoins, he DID it ! He used his sociologist tools to study two persons who fall in love, pfffff. Unappropriate ! Fool !

The result ? A classic, a best-seller. And it’s still a best-seller, more than 30 years after the first print. And it’s a great book by the way. Useful if you’re a broken heart – you’ll understand once you need it, trust me…

I let you elaborate the links between le livre Falling in Love and la musique de The Rite of Spring. It’s Tool Time now.

Tool :

Maybe sometimes, in life or at work, in a brainstorming session or in the middle of a battle, you just have to pick the wrong tool. Or pick the usual tool, and use it the wrong way. Use it nevertheless. Whatever ! Zut ! Maybe you’ll explore a new way to lead the victoire, after all ! Maybe you’ll be enough étrange to surprise everybody, allies and ennemis. You go boy and girl ! You go !