Stories

The Things I Know

I am a fact motivated person. Maybe fact isn’t the right word–I naturally connect trivia to other trivia. I compulsively share them. I’m trying to connect with people like someone might talk about sports, or new diets, or astrology.

If I am having a conversation, there’s often a flare up of something I’m reminded of. It could be a metaphor or a scientific principle, or a story I heard on a podcast. I call it ‘bus stopping.’ My thoughts are a bus on a big, dark metropolitan bus network, that when I’m talking, will suddenly light up and the bus will stop at 30 bus stops at once. I can’t help myself from talking about the bus stops as they come up.

I’ve come to accept bus stopping in myself, and understand it’s not for everyone. Those people who don’t like it should run from a conversation with me because I can’t stop it. My loving family has a cruel impression of me, pointer finger up, droning about the beauty of mathematics. You know you’re something if there’s a caricature of you.

But I like these bus stops, and like describing them. I also have recently learned about meta-knowledge from “On Being Certain” by Robert A Burton (bus stop!), or how we know that we know something, what is that feeling like. These facts and trivia are lying dormant in my mind, until someone triggers the bus network, and I remember all that I know.

I’ve started to list some of these bus stops in my notes. and will start to write little blurbs about them. Map out the bus network.

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Collaborative Art Project: the Butterfly Effect

The name is sort of low-hanging fruit, no?

I was asked to run an art project for my company’s corporate retreat (read: debauched psycho reunion, very fun). The idea was that it could be collaboratively done by a steady stream of distractible people, some who would like to contribute but not be tied down in case the bar opened.

I searched around for such a project and found a good one for “older primary children.” That roughly equals drunk adults. It’s worth it to mentioning the beautiful art it’s based on, Will and Caro.

But we needed a test first. So my roommate and I did some planning and dragged our idea to the park.

Alice struggles

Above, Alice struggled with the supplies, and we set up the instructions for passersby. We were testing how hands off we could be.

 

The children help out

Mostly parents with children came by, as they were glad for the distraction. Everyone else thought we wanted money so avoided us at all cost. It became clear very quickly that people needed a lot of origami help, and then could place the butterflies on their own.

There wasn’t enough time to finish the test, but it was everything I needed to know. I was ready to do my favorite thing–painting huge canvases in a hotel room.

 

It worked! Everyone who participated felt like they had done something significant, even if they only made one butterfly. And now it’s hanging up in Atlanta, looking fresh.

photo 3 (2) photo 2 (2)