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Bateson found himself "as I was writing, mind became, for me, a reflection of large parts and many parts of the natural world outside the thinker." ""Break the pattern which connects the items of learning and you necessarily destroy all quality." [...] Why do schools teach almost nothing of the pattern which connects? Touch of death etc. "We have been trained to think of patterns with the exception of those of music, as fixed affairs. It is easier and lazier that way but, of course, all nonsense." In truth, the right way to begin to think about the pattern which connects is to think of it primarily (whatever that means) a dance of interacting parts and only secondarily pegged down by various sorts of physical limits and by those limits which organisms characteristically impose." -Bateson
Compare with something like biology, where the first thing we learn about cells is that they are physically bounded in space- not that they are a dance of interacting parts. This is perhaps, why we have difficulty relating to other creatures, because we place them in the categorize them as objects bounded by space, some other space than 'our' space, and therefore put into that category which English teachers refer to as "The Other." If, instead, we focus on how the dance of interacting parts is in fact a pattern that we recognize, since it is comparable to our own, it becomes much more difficult to dismiss the idea of other beings having an inherent value of their own, since they share the same pattern as we do; the unicellular bacterium, a fly, our neighbor's dog, a foreigner on the other side of the world- all have processes in common. (expand on processes, e.g. metabolism, reproduction, companionship) (lay out a butterfly effect where the (recognizable) metabolism of the bacterium attracts the fly, which bothers the dog, which prevents a human from phoning the foreigner on the other side of the world) "Most of us have lost that sense of unity of biosphere and humanity which would bind and reassure us all with an affirmation of beauty. Most of us do not today believe that whatever the ups and downs of detail within our limited experience, the larger whole is primarily beautiful. We have lost the core of Christianity. We have lost Shiva, the dancer of Hinduism whose dance at the trivial level is both creation and destruction but in the whole is beauty. We have lost Abraxas, the terrible and beautiful god of both day and night in Gnosticism. We have lost totemism, the sense of parallelism between man's organization and that of animals and plants. We have lost even the Dying God. We are beginning to play with ideas of ecoogy, and although we immediately trivailize these ideas into commerce or politiics, there is at least an impulse stillin the human breast to unify and therby sanctify the total natural world, of which we are." (Leopold's golden rule!) Bateson- criticism of mechanism (descartes?) "But we shall see as every schoolboy out to know that logic is precisely unable to deal with recursive circuits without generating paradox and that quantities are precisely not the stuff of complex communicating systems.
In other words logic and quantity turn out to be inappropiate devices for desricbing organisms and their interactions and internal organization. the particular nature of this inappropriateness will be exhibited in due course, but for the moment, the reader is asked to accept as true the assertion that, as of 1979, there is no conventional way of explaining or even describing the phenomena of biological organization and human interaction."
Williams cuts right to the heart of the difficulty of assessing Homo Sapiens' actions in relation to other species by pointing out the inherent uncertainty of our our epistimology of nature, we can't decide whther we our inside our outside 'Nature' "It is now well known that as a species we grew in confidence in our desire and in our capacity to intervene. But we cannot understand this process, indeed cannot even describe it, until we are clear as to what the idea of nature includes, and in particular whether it includes man. For, of course, to speak of man 'intervening' in patural processes is to suppouse that he might find it possible not to do so, or to decide not to do so." Williams points out that we can only do this because we of the 'abststraction of Man' Harraway pokes fun of the seperation of mammals and man by pointing out the inherent patriarchy involved in "the interface of the Age of Mammals with the Age of Man," which is particularly cutting when we realize that we are just one four extant genera of the Hominidae family. Tounge in cheek, Harraway details how a diorama with a stuffed gorilla was built in the "Garden of Eden," the American Museum of Natural History: "So it could inhabit Akeley's monument to the purity of nature, this gorilla was killed in 1921, the same year the Museum hosted the Second International Congress of Eugenics. From the dead body of the primate, Akely crafted something finer than the living organism[...]Life was transfigured in the principal civic arena of western political theory--the natural body of man." It is interesting to note that Harraway critiques the Teddy Bear Patriarchy because "it is in the craft of killing that life is constructed, not in the accident of personal, material birth."....connection to the loss of Shiva, "both creation and discussion but in the whole is beauty" (Bateson) Harraway points out how our culture, encapsulated in the cyborg version of urban life, can seemingly only reach out to a cartoon version of Nature, in this case Akeley's diorama, with a typcial heavy dose of sarcasm: "Each diorama has at least one animal that catches the viewer's gaze and holds it in communion.[...]The specular commerce between man and animal at the interface of two evolutionary ages is completed. The animals in the dioramas have transcended mortal life, and hold their pose forever, with muscles tensed, noses aquiver, veins in the face and delicate ankles and folds in the supple skin all prominent. No visitor to a merely physical Africa could see these animals. This is a spiritual vision made possible only by their death and literal re-presentation. Only then could the essence of their life be present. Only then could the hygiene of nature cure the sick vision of civilized man. Taxidermy fulfills the fatal desire to represent, to be whole; it is a politics of reproduction."