Currents 061: Nora Bateson on a Return to Earnestness

Jim talks with Nora Bateson about ecologies of communication and the value of earnestness…
Jim talks with Nora Bateson about ecologies of communication and the value of earnestness. They discuss simple irony, dramatic irony, post-irony, & meta-irony; irony & the ecology of communication, the mistake of pitting earnestness directly against irony, questioning forms of cynicism vs despairing cynicism, the conditions for morale, full honesty as a starting point, rebuilding the meso-scale, the institutional systems of industrialization that developed around the 1870s, the invention of normalcy, building intersubjective consciousness of Game-A malware, free will as veto power, teaching individuals earnestness & making earnestness welcome, considering “aliveness” of information over qualitative-/quantitativeness, the seduction of optimality, the danger of systems holdback, the necessity of conceptual confusion in a time of transformation, and much more.

Nora Bateson is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and educator, as well as President of the International Bateson Institute, based in Sweden. Her work asks the question, “How we can improve our perception of the complexity we live within, so we may improve our interaction with the world?” An international lecturer, researcher and writer, Nora wrote, directed and produced the award-winning documentary, An Ecology of Mind, a portrait of her father, Gregory Bateson. Her work brings the fields of biology, cognition, art, anthropology, psychology, and information technology together into a study of the patterns in ecology of living systems. Her book, Small Arcs of Larger Circles, released by Triarchy Press, UK, 2016, is a revolutionary personal approach to the study of systems and complexity.