Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

perspectivism in action

Why did I call this journal perspectivism? Because it's supposed to be about how where I am changes what I see. How circumstances change perceptions, how moods affect options.


  • Most days, I get surprisingly sick of every physical toy: computers, cars, chairs. I want it all wireless, always-ready, a million miles an hour, anticipating my every desire. I obsess over perfect seamless interfaces, ultimate usability. I take time to seek out perfect accoutrements, teapots that never spill -- because I know how turned off I get by any repeated frustration. Any fixed physical attribute can grate so quickly. Crazy example: I haven't been using a digital camera, because to pull & set & point & click somehow seems so much trouble. Intending to change that!

    Tonight, I noticed how working out, strenuous physical exercise, affects all that. Pumping iron makes me viscerally appreciate physical challenges. After a workout, I'll find the camera & take a few shots just to keep moving. Perspective shifts toward: do physical things, and don't expect them to be so easy! The habit of pushing hard extends beyond the gym time.

    It feels so good to recast repeated frustrations as novel challenges!

  • I do a lot of metacognition. That means I focus on how my mind tends to work. Some cognition styles are more natural to me than other styles, and I especially notice when my thinking style tendencies shift -- even temporarily. Major temporary influences: drugs (like Jim Morrison in the desert, baby!), conversations (based on what I know of my partner, the patterns we've built together, and her present tendencies), recent activities (after 10 busy hours judging a speech/debate tournament, my mind hurried through new stimuli for hours), location (when visiting Houston, where I used to live, my vocabulary of working concepts feels supported by a whole other set of concretes!), and goals (they're like gravity wells, bending everything their way ever so slightly...).

    I've learned to identify specific times when I gain a lot through those temporary thinking style influences. At such times, I should try drugs, conversations with influential friends, or -- as a lesser resort -- new activities or locations. When I'm stuck on something, any fresh perspective, any change in thinking styles, can be just what I needed. When I face a hugely important question and I have the time, I carefully think about it from as many different states -- with as many different cognitive tendencies -- as possible. The right drug or the right conversation partner at the right time, the right altered state, becomes a startling first encounter with an identical twin who thinks just a little differently and always understands me completely.

    But it gets better. It's also being that identical twin!

When you think about it, I haven't written much about my perspectives.

Here's why I haven't shared more: When I'm not feeling social, I don't write anything comprehensible. My private thoughts, my own inner landscapes, stew as a messy blend of auditory words with kinesthetic-visual vector spaces. When I am feeling social, I'm almost always more motivated to spy on other people's perspectives than to translate & share my own. Both these reasons have grown stronger in me over the last year.

To keep a livejournal at all, given that I never find the mood to write for it!!, I quote others who are more composed. In most cases, the ones I quote are saying a healthy fraction of what I would say if I'd found the composure. I barely comment, I rarely even summarize. I let ambiguities stand, and I refuse to argue. All this serves two of my main purposes, to remember what I was thinking about and to get some small feel for how others (livejournalers) see the same data (my quote & paste posts).

Really, I gave up on conversation. I long ago consciously gave up on a lot of real shared meaning: human connections about the same things in the same ways.

That suggests another meaning of perspectivism: I long ago gave up on trying to make many people into one person, now I've gone beyond & am making one person into many people. Different perspectives, multiplying like bunnies.

I seem to invent a lot of high-falutin' reasons for something pretty simple: refusing to talk.

Through critically questioning what I gain through conversations, I stopped making the effort to have them. Here's what hurts most: In the process, I've been giving up personality. Killing me softly with no song...

I'm still not sure any valuable conversation is likely. But personality sure is!!!! *smile*

In a world without deep shared dialogue, at least we can experience each other's personalities. And, maybe, sharing personality can become what matters most.

What subpersonalities will you let loose today?
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