About awareness of context and links

click on images for full-size:

Peripheral awareness

Awareness of physical and social context (Tokyo)

Stoic acceptance. . .

Our awareness of links and of our insertion in the process of inhabitation shows in an expansion of the field of possibilities "on the horizon" rather than as explicitly focal self-reflection. We can widen our peripheral vision for links and possibilities, joinings and discontinuities.

-- This sounds nice, but what does it amount to in daily life? Isn't it a bit like saying you can be free in your mind even though you are physically in chains? I get the point that a wider horizon is supposed to change the meaning of what you encounter, and so encourage creative moves, but you ignore the numbing ideological powers that block our vision and thin our imagination.

-- I have felt that at times that I was veering a little too close to Stoic acceptance instead of reformist ardor, but on this point I don't think so. Widening peripheral vision or adding possibilities to the horizon changes the contrasts that give meaning to focal things, so more actions become available. When numbing ideological powers are seen for what they are, there is more imaginative room.

None of this, it is true, solves the issues like shortage of resources or police abuse, or the "concrete" issues of design, but those are variable with each situation and seldom have solutions dictated by general rules. They are matters for practical wisdom, in Aristotle's sense. What I'm concerned with is finding ways to make the perception of the particular case more subtle, which is what Aristotle says is needed for practical wisdom to function.