I really enjoyed this book and want to share my excitement with anyone who might be interested. I have a good familiarity with Gregory Bateson’s later work from the 1970’s and this book gave me the deep background from his prior years to fill in what I didn’t know and give me greater context for understanding what I did.

His work was a seminal part of my thinking as I developed my method of counseling/art psychotherapy and was lucky to have known a former student and friend of his, Janie Rhyne, with whom I collaborated for presentations at conferences of the American Art Therapy Association, and Rodney Donaldson, Bateson’s archivist, who  I knew though the American Society for Cybernetics. Any of you who heard my talks at conferences, took a class with me, or saw mw for therapy, might recall how frequently I mentioned Gregory Bateson.

The author provided a great deal of information about Bateson’s place in the changes that took place in science, psychotherapy, and even politics from the 50’s through the 60’s. The author, Anthony Chaney, showed how Bateson’s theory developed and held strong through the years and changing contexts.

I came away with a greater appreciation for Bateson, someone who I even greatly admired before. And I appreciated the authors attention to detail which, mostly, was not a drag on the flow of the reading experience. At a later point in the book Chaney writes that to go on into Bateson’s later years would double the size of the book, so he stopped where he did. I, for one, would love to see the sequel.

If any of you do go and read this, please return here to comment and let me know your experience or your discussion about Bateson.


Lying and Creativity

December 16, 2009

It appears that there is a link between lying and creativity. Jonah Lehrer, in his blog, The Frontal Cortex, writes about this and links it as well to the ability of jazz musicians to improvise. Interesting subject. Looks like a blog worth following.

From TED.com one of my best resources, this: "Philosopher-comedian Emily Levine talks (hilariously) about science, math, society and the way everything connects to everything else. She's a brilliant trickster, poking holes in our fixed ideas and bringing hidden truths to light. Settle in and let her ping your brain.(Recorded at TED2002, February 2002, in Monterey, California. Duration: 22:52.)" 

Watch here, below, or go to TED.com.


This article from Wired
is about how human memory works and how
computers can enhance it- not by storing more data for retrieval but by
training the mind. It is remarkable to read how different our expectations for learning and memory are from the results of this research. To be in accordance with the patterns of learning that are described here would require some significant divergence in lifestyle from what most of us currently do- as well described in the piece.

I wonder if these new discoveries in learning and memory are as much a result of computers’ influence on us as the influence of the human’s development of computers.