A&O 2021 meeting 7 – March 9




notes for meeting 7

TUESDAY March 7, 2023

including likely agenda & comments from previous meeting


    • CHECK-IN: a few comments identifying yourself to the rest of us
    • COMMENTS: Today’s key ideas from CORE CONTENT–our scaffold, always mindful of PERSONAL CONNECTIONS to the content and FREE ASSOCIATIONS (mind-maps) about it.
    • CHECK-OUT: what stood out for you (from notes taken during seminar) if there are doodles and/or a mind-map, attach to e-mail after class
    • THIS WEEK we will emphasize some aspects of DEEP ETHOLOGY: PHYSIOLOGY (stress), EVOLUTION (riualization), and PERCEPTION (visual experience) 



  • REVIEW & jump forward: 
    • what we’re learning about STRESS.   IT IS perhaps the supreme physiological process by which challenges to meeting needs are recognized and coping responses evoked.  Understanding the phenomenon is a powerful way to conceptualize the links between Development, Ecology, Evolution, and Physiology.      
      • How does stress energize specific cell or tissue or organ systems to meet specific (real or perceived) biological NEEDS

With respect to meeting needs, humans compete and cooperate, depending on their context– cultural as well as natural ecology.  Although we often help each other, it is not necessarily with thoughtful deliberation.  We are an intensely social species (recall “apart from community, we are as beasts lor gods” )  AND CREATIVITY plays in here.  Look at our notes on creativity (and find their link to THE WOUNDED HEALER.  

      • Evolution meets Ecology: How does the ability to meet needs determines how well SELECTION PRESSURES are met to enable expressions of BIOLOGICAL FITNESS. (master your understanding of other central concepts of “selection pressure” and “adaptation”)


  • NEW
    • PERCEPTION – Recalling an Emersonian commitment to the beauty of the mundane and often unnoticed phenomena we experience,  Maria Popova, in her wonderful blog, The Marginalian), considers how our growing powers of technologically aided observation have contributed to our diminished attentiveness: quoting botanist botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer,

“We poor myopic humans, with neither the raptor’s gift of long-distance acuity, nor the talents of a housefly for panoramic vision. However, with our big brains, we are at least aware of the limits of our vision. With a degree of humility rare in our species, we acknowledge there is much we can’t see, and so contrive remarkable ways to observe the world. Infrared satellite imagery, optical telescopes, and the Hubble space telescope bring vastness within our visual sphere. Electron microscopes let us wander the remote universe of our own cells. But at the middle scale, that of the unaided eye, our senses seem to be strangely dulled. With sophisticated technology, we strive to see what is beyond us, but are often blind to the myriad sparkling facets that lie so close at hand. We think we’re seeing when we’ve only scratched the surface. Our acuity at this middle scale seems diminished, not by any failing of the eyes, but by the willingness of the mind. Has the power of our devices led us to distrust our unaided eyes? Or have we become dismissive of what takes no technology but only time and patience to perceive? Attentiveness alone can rival the most powerful magnifying lens.”

But (we are reminded) the rewards of attentiveness can’t be forced into manifesting — rather, they must be surrendered to.



    • Considering how often the concept of LOVE pops up (e.g., Goethe), it is time to visit on A&O notes on LOVE 
    • Look at RULES again … especially sprezzatura  about CREDIBILITY



      • RITUALIZATION–an evolutionary process that enables progressively more effective coping and (arguably) is responsible for Art and Science as we know it.         
      • To open the door here, watch “MY STROKE OF INSIGHT — a neurologist’s experience adapted into a TED talk.


Most Recent DRAFT of mutual CONTACT INFORMATION for seminar participants (with likely Term Topics) is at end of this page


SOME IDEAS THAT STOOD OUT FOR YOU LAST WEEK  from your check-out postings after last week’s discussions:

  • stress
  • frisson 


THINGS TO DO or THINK ABOUT BEFORE MEETING 8  (be prepared to comment on this during check-in or discussion):

To reassure me about your mastery of some KEY ideas from DEEP ETHOLOGY and PRODUCTIVE/RECEPTIVE ART…

PREPARE & POST by e-mail (or bring to class on March 21)

  1.  Identify a specific key behavioral pattern associated with your semester project topic ; describe in detail, AND THEN
    1. Ask a question about its DEVELOPMENT
    2. …its ECOLOGY
    3. …its EVOLUTION
    4. …its PHYSIOLOGY
  2. Identify & provide example (if possible) of
    1. YOUR OWN PERSONAL CREATIVE PROCESS … possibly related to the project   AND
    2. a WORK OF ART that EVOKES or REPRESENTS the FEELING… speaking in particular to how that works: e.g. how it makes YOU feel.   

The earlier I see these the earlier I can get feedback to you.  AND I am, as always, available to answer question.


  • Link phosphenes, dreams, and pareidolia …  then, for fun, throw synesthesia into the pot.  


  • MORE “DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE, DESCRIBE”  Speaking to this,  Gina Baucomb (A&O-2019) shared a quote by Edward Abbey: “Any good poet, in our age at least, must begin with the scientific view of the world; and any scientist worth listening to must be something of a poet/, must possess the ability to communicate to the rest of us his sense of love and wonder at what his work discovers.” As for Love, we must connect with Goethe’s idea, that one cannot understand what one does not first love. (think about this)    
  • SPIRITUAL concerns or interests were expressed in some check-outs, often in connection with thoughts about infinity.  To be one with the truth one seeks is the spiritual goal of the artist and scientist, and its hallmarks include wonder, love, beauty and the sublime.  (A&O noes on Science and Spirituality)


CONNECTIONS (it should be clear now that there are connections within and between levels of organization):

here are e-mails to enable connections with each other

Anthony Huang  (INK MOTION”) thuang6@vols.utk.edu
Brittany Okweye (“THE GAME OF LIFE”) bokweye@vols.utk.edu
Brooke N Stillson (“INNER WORKINGS”) bstillso@vols.utk.edu
Delaney Reilly (“DEEP Sleep”)  dreilly2@vols.utk.edu
Eliza Frensley efrensle@vols.utk.edu
Emily Paige Brock (“CREATE UTILITY”) ebrock10@vols.utk.edu
Gino Castellanos (“KILLING URIZEN”)  gcastell@vols.utk.edu
Grace Cochran (“The Beauty of Being Anonmous”) gcochra6@vols.utk.edu
Haleigh Ann Eicher (“Transcendence and the Sublime in Nature”) heicher@vols.utk.edu
Hayley J Eliz Simpson (“Pain & Pleasure”)  hayjsimp@vols.utk.edu
Hannah Langer (“Walking Among Skeletons”) hlanger@vols.utk.edu
Hayden Morris cmk468@vols.utk.edu
Kaitlyn Anderson (“Interdependent Interactions”)  kande113@vols.utk.edu
Keller Alexander (The DEE Ethology of Flying Ants”)  walexan9@vols.utk.edu
Kyle Michael Cottier (“A Gesture of SURRENDER”)  kcottier@vols.utk.edu
Sophie Greenwell (“Deriving Art frfom the Senses”) sgreenw4@utk.edu
Zoie Lambert (“Beauty in Breaking: Self-Sabatage”) tlambe12@vols.utk.edu