Dominator – Co-operator

crystal heartDominator – Co-operator

Masculine – Feminine

Extrovert – Introvert

Rigid – Soft

Confining – Expansive

Straightener – Crooked, curvaceous, louche


How does Co-operator Culture successfully Kounter Dominator Culture? Game theory suggests that in the long run, Co-operator culture will succeed over Dominator. Yet when Co-operator is the dominant ethos,  any Dominator culture that arises will quickly succeed and overcome Co-operators, because  Co-operators are too ‘nice’ to oppose Dominators. Or perhaps they do not understand the behaviour sufficiently well to deal with it.

However, direct opposition, tit-for-tat, is not good strategy either, as it can continue for centuries on end (witness Albanian culture).basket building

Some kind of smothering effect would seem to be better and more effective, annihilating the culture and the action, but not the individual perpetrator. Enclose with a wall, a soft, impenetrable wall, a pink fog motivated by loving kindness and not revenge. Calming, accepting, and yet not appeasing.

Opposition, stamping out, attack – none of these work, although the failure of these approaches only leads to more of the same.”If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Time, surely, for something new.dancers

Our preference as a culture for ‘leaders’ who proclaim their own fitness for leadership by being loud, forceful, certain, is a recipe for disaster, as these sure and certain people can be sure and certain about things that are obviously and demonstrably wrong. Yet their forthrightness encourages their faithful followers to follow them right over a cliff, if that’s where their certainty leads them.graff

A person who has examined the facts (that’s a cliff there!) and drawn conclusions (falling, or jumping, off will lead to injury or death) may well sound a note of caution and warning. But who wants to listen to a dull egg-head when the bright and glorious leader is trumpeting his absolute certainty that he is right and you better believe it.queen of heaven

Introspection, forethought, consideration, facts – these things are not of value. Stand up, stand firm, shout – so long as you sound as though you know what you are doing, folks will follow you anywhere you lead them.

This is not to say that everyone who is certain is always wrong – only that it pays to pay attention to the message as well as the messenger.A third to a half of the population are introverts, even in ultra-extrovert America, where the leaders of the future are trained in brassy extrovert certainty as the quality of leadership.  Constantly networking and being ebulliently assertive are taught as desirable qualities of leadership, despite all evidence to the contrary.

This is, to put it mildly, a dangerous quality in the world’s ‘greatest’ power. Where are all the introverts? Either in hiding, or pretending to be extroverts, both as acts of self-preservation in a forcefully extrovert society.a mandala

Some of the ideas in this post came from my reading of

Introvert Power – Laurie Helgoe

and Quiet: The Power of Introverts – By Susan Cain

and Martin Nowak’s   “Super Cooperators – Evolution, altruism and human behaviour”

Photos 3 to 6 in this post were taken on my phone – it’s still phoneography month, after all.

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: Future Tense

Vague reflectionThe future is unknown, and unknowable in it’s details, as mysterious as I hope this picture is!

But we can make educated guesses.Yarn stash

This bag full of yarn, which I rescued from the op shop/thrift store where I work, will in the future be transformed by clever people with knitting needles and crochet hooks, after which it will become a Yarnbomb – to celebrate my other place of voluntary work, the Ararat Regional Art Gallery.

Flower bomb

Which is where I was today, crocheting flowers (amongst other things) for that future yarnbomb.Follow your dreams...

The best way, I think, to approach the unknown future, is to follow your dreams. It might not (probably wont!) go according to plan, but you can have fun trying. And maybe, despite everything, you may succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

The great American philosopher, Garrison Keillor, had this to say on the pursuit of dreams, however…

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.”

Baby Giraffe

In the future (not terribly far into the future) I will be adding ‘granny’ to my list of attributes. It’s not something I thought I wanted, but I’m guessing I would have if only I’d known!

Three More Quotes.

Morgen, snug“…true love – any true love, no matter how impractical, improbable, or inconvenient – is not just one of the things around which to build your right life. It’s the only thing.”

Martha Beck

‘The Joy Diet’

Love colour“For emotional health, be true to yourself and follow the road that allows you to do the things that are appropriate, rewarding and relevant to you as a unique individual.”

Mary Dean AlwoodBalance

“The only responsibility you have is to work on yourself to raise your energy. That will become your gift to the world…nevermind security: preserve your soul.”

Stuart Wilde

PS bookAll these quotes are, pretty much, saying “To thine own self be true.”

It’s a well known quote, but one that bears repeating, and expounding, because, in the press of life, with so many demands on our time and energies, it is so easy to forget.tele photo Kurt Cobain

‘Colour – love it!’, is from an altered post-card book, ‘Balance wildness and control’, from an Artist book called ‘Gridwork’ (featuring a lot of images of grids of various kinds), and the last book is one I made to hold the lyrics of Patti Smith’s “About A Boy”.

I love art, the act of making; it’s the road that allows me to be the most myself.

I also love duct tape…

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: Lunchtime

Apparently it’s a very adolescent thing to do., photographing your lunch.

That’s what my kids said when I showed them photos of  some of my meals in America…hot dog emp

I may never eat a hot dog at the Experience Music Project in Seattle again. Of course I took a photo!

brownie empAnd of the brownie that came next.Lunch time

Lunch time in the Seattle Center on another day – soup and sandwiches. The soup was broccoli and cheese – a method of turning a healthy vegetable into a potential heart attack – delicious. We are Australians. We didn’t eat those pickle spears.Oregon blackberries.

Lunch one day in Portland, at one of the Farmer’s markets. A punnet of blackberries…Divine Pie

and an aptly named Divine Pie, sufficient reason in itself to want to return to Portland asap!Mason Jar lunch

Next stop, Olympia. We found the Mason Jar, a quirky Diner entirely staffed by nanas, across the carpark from Safeway, and had a delicious , home-style lunch.Indian at the Farmer's market

Another day in Olympia, we went to the Farmer’s market, where the local Indian Restaurant does lunches. Heaven.

I want to live in Olympia, just to go to the Farmer’s market every day.Susie's cakes

Not exactly lunch, but Susie’s Cakes had the best pecan baklava! We went there on the way back to Aberdeen from Hoquaim, and I’m not sure which town we were in – they kind of overlap.

pizza in Ocean ShoresThe day we went to the coast – Ocean Shores – it rained in proper PNW fashion, and we took refuge in a pizza joint, more or less until the bus was due to take us back to Aberdeen. We were ravenous, and ordered far too much food. Junkyard fries

None of the other photos were phoneographs – I didn’t have a camera phone. But when my son took me to Misty’s Diner in South Melbourne for an American-style lunch, I had to get the phone out and take pictures!

That’s Junkyard fries, above. Yum.Chili

My chili. I’d already eaten quite a lot. Can you tell?milkshake

Alex finished off his lunch with a gaudy milk drink. I settled for coffee.

If you are ever in Melbourne, and really hungry, track down Misty’s Diner! You’ll be glad you did.

Last Week At The Corner.

I went to Melbourne last week for a night out with Lucie.

Here’s what came with my birthday card that morning…TicketAnd here’s what I wrote on the following day, while I waited for the bus…

…I stood within two meters  of J Mascis and his well worn guitar for over one and a half hours last night. SO loud! Lucie had sent two pairs of earplugs, so we put them to good use. Support band Straight Jacket Nation proved to be hard-core as anything circa, oh, about 1985, I reckon. The lyrics may have been deep and meaningful, but it just sounded like Quack! Quack! Aqua! Aqua! Quack! to me* – very forcefully delivered. Fabulous (girl) drummer. She really rocked. They even had a few (circa ’85) slam-dancing boys doing the testosterone pogo thing. In a word – band

Dinosaur Jr had tech problems all night (or Lou did), which made for interesting viewing. It was also f***ing hot in there , although J never broke a sweat. Murph sure did, and got rid of his shirt after awhile. Lou’s shirt was soaked by the end, and at one point his glasses shot off his sweat -greased face on to the stage floor, from where they were rapidly rescued by a roadie-type person before he could stomp on them.J Mascis

It’s funny to watch him and J at opposite sides of the stage – J a picture of calm stillness, eyes closed, totally focused – Zen in action. Meanwhile, stage right, Mr Barlow, overt and flowery in style, large gestures, prancing about, shaking his gorgeous curls. And stopping abruptly to twiddle knobs every now and then. Not that that’s part of his usual style. Between the three of them, earsplitting, beautiful noise. Blurry J

Lou’s active playing style vs J’s calm would explain why Lou was soaked in sweat and J was as cool and dry as the Queen on a tropical Royal Tour. To get lost in the details, I watched J’s hands, mainly his left on the on the frets, bending strings, wonderful to watch. What a man can learn to do with years and years of faithful practice! Sorry, what a person can learn.Dinosaur Jr

I’d apologise for the quality of the photos, but it’s phoneography  month, so I won’t!

*That could be my age, or maybe it was the volume.

Weekly Phoneography Challenge: My Neighbourhood

Phoneography, whats that? Sound-drawing??

Once I read the post, I understood – Oh! Phone pictures! I’m generally pretty quick on the uptake, you see…Agave forest

So I picked up my phone (which has minimal reception in my neighbourhood) and took it for a walk.

Those agaves are in my of gnomes

Sandra-over-the-road breeds gnomes – not that you can see many in this pic. I felt a bit awkward standing in my yard taking pictures of hers.our road

My neighbourhood is rural.skyline

But I claim to live on the edge of the CBD.sheds

There are probably more sheds – charmingly rustic, full of spiders – than there are actual houses.School dam

There’s a dam where school children once watered their horses.bush

The horses grazed in this block  while the children worked away on their slates in the school next door.avenue

Our Avenue of Honour ( the pines in the rear), planted to honour soldiers, is one of the few still standing.sunset

There’s one store. It will reopen in a couple of months, after being empty for two years.  The CBD will be back in business.Wills

We have one claim to fame in my neighbourhood, but as a non-sport person, I don’t want to talk about it.roses

The roses are nice, though…rose's frog.

My friend Rose is also keen on garden ornaments.truck graveyard

Whereas some locals like to keep all their old trucks and tractors.  Forever.

So that’s a tour of my neighbourhood , courtesy of my camera-phone.

Daily Post: Playlist of my week.

Because I misread the timetable, and waited 3 long, hot hours in Ballarat for the next bus…

Curmudgeonly is how I  (and nearly everyone else) feels after over a week of over 30c..(86 F and up)

Speaking of which, it feels like we live ‘Up On The Sun’

I turned 57 last week. What more can I say?

Although I did celebrate by seeing Dinosaur Jr the night before I waited forthat bus, and , pure joy, they played “Feel the Pain”

Well, who says you can’t teach an old person new tricks! Thanks Daily Post!

Creativity III: Altered Postcard Books

booksAltered postcard books are a fun ongoing project, using up a lot of little bits of paper detritus and odd bits of time.Be Inspired

I collect postcards – mainly the free advertising kind, for an appealing image, or maybe for the text, or part of it, and I keep them together on my worktable .Amazing You

I also save stickers and labels, the ‘frames’ from postage stamps etc, and randomly add them to postcards – front and back – as the fancy takes me.Return love

Covering part of the message makes a new message. Maybe I add new words.Happy Teapot

Stickers can add to, embellish or obliterate images.Bread and Pop

Paint, stamps (rubber), markers, inks all add new layers of meaning, sometimes deep, sometimes frivolous.Touch

Once I’m satisfied with the alterations, I laminate the cards. This means that some additions only need a little double-sided tape to hold them, and ensures that nothing ever falls off!Laminator

I then punch a pair of holes on one short side, in order to bind with rings, or, sometimes, safety pins.bindingsTags, beads etc can be used to embellish the rings – this helps establish a ‘front’ page, apart from the decorative value.wire

One of the books (I’ve made at least eight, I find) was made to hold an interesting article about creativity from ‘The Age’

I cut it up and divided it between several postcards, adding extra pages to make a small book.selection

The one I’m putting together at present has the popular theme of “Happiness”.You deserve happiness

Weekly Photo Challenge: Lost In The Details

I love it when the challenge asks for something I like to do – then the challenge is about choosing which pictures to share!mmm marmalade

I love getting lost in the detail.

If you look back through my blog posts, you might notice that I have had a long and loving relationship with macro lenses.

That’s marmalade, sunlit in it’s jar.Portland grate

Exciting colour and pattern can be anywhere around us, just waiting for someone to notice, and pull out a camera.

This is a beautiful metal grate on a street in Portland, Oregon. I think it was around the base of a tree, but I was only interested in the detail.Guinea Fowl feather

Here’s a Guinea Fowl feather – see the little barbs on the fronds that ‘zip’ them together? There’s a pencil poking through on the left.

Red red rose

The heart of a red, red rose. It’s called ‘Fragrant Cloud’, with good reason, but the fragrance is one detail that the camera cannot pick up!Blue glass, Tacoma

If you should visit the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, and you cross the famous Bridge of Glass, you will pass two towers of blue glass chunks, high over the highway below. This is a detail shot.empty eggs

I found this tiny detail – empty eggs of some sort of insect, when I was dusting the picture frame. Of course, I went and fetched the camera.

Each one is maybe the size of a pinhead – exquisite.trash for treasure

Many, if not most, of the bits and pieces in this box I have picked up off the ground somewhere, and popped into a pocket or bag for future use.  Much of it will be made into junk charms for bracelets. These are some of the details I notice day to day!blue reflection

One more.

A shiny glass ‘pebble’, but notice the details of the reflections on its surface.

There’s the window behind, the trees outside, a toy fir tree on the right, a bunch of cocky feathers to the left.

There’s a whole world of details to lose yourself in!