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Old 04-10-2019, 09:12 AM   #1
oggbashan
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Free Association thread 6

Free Association Thread 5 is now closed because it had passed 5,000 posts so here's:
Another thread 6

The Original Idea:

Quote:
A remembered or imagined feeling, emotion, idea or sensation linked to a person, object or idea.

Relate anything which comes into your mind, regardless of how apparently unimportant or potentially embarrassing the memory is.

Let's play...

Starting with:

Birds singing
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:21 AM   #2
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The sound of birdsong in the morning was one of the things I missed most when I was in prison.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:09 AM   #3
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The sound of birdsong in the morning was one of the things I missed most when I was in prison.
My sister knew that people who shut out birdsongs create their own prisons
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:15 AM   #4
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My sister knew that people who shut out birdsongs create their own prisons
Birds of a feather, flock together...usually on the limbs directly above your freshly washed and waxed automobile.

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Old 04-10-2019, 11:34 AM   #5
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My sister knew that people who shut out birdsongs create their own prisons
Those are harder to get out of.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:47 AM   #6
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Those are harder to get out of.
I can’t watch a movie in one sitting (it sometimes takes me weeks). I‘m thirty minutes into ‘Get Out’ since February.
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:43 PM   #7
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I can’t watch a movie in one sitting (it sometimes takes me weeks). I‘m thirty minutes into ‘Get Out’ since February.
You would not do well in prison, dear.
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:04 PM   #8
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You would not do well in prison, dear.
Oddly, this is not the first time I’ve been advised that!
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:24 PM   #9
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Oddly, this is not the first time I’ve been advised that!
The difference between you and I is that you paid attention.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
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The difference between you and I is that you paid attention.
Well, I've not been very good at paying attention, but I've managed to stay out.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:07 PM   #11
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Well, I've not been very good at paying attention, but I've managed to stay out.
When I rule the world, very few people will spend time in prison. Yes, there are a few dangerous people who need watching; but most prisoners I have met really needed educating. Just learning to read and write would help a lot more people to find - and stay on - the straight and narrow.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:54 PM   #12
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When I rule the world, very few people will spend time in prison. Yes, there are a few dangerous people who need watching; but most prisoners I have met really needed educating. Just learning to read and write would help a lot more people to find - and stay on - the straight and narrow.
From my experience, the common denominator among most people in prison is a lack of any meaningful purpose in their lives. They don't live for anything beyond getting through the day or the week or until their get hit or the next re-up on their food stamps.

People who lack aspiration are more likely to use drugs and alcohol. At best, they drift from job to job. More often, they look for ways to get through life making as little effort as possible.

I don't think that a natural state for human beings. I think it's a result of generational poverty, institutional discrimination, a broken education system, and a political and media culture that sends out a signal to so many people that no one gives a damn about them.

That's just my opinion, but I've got receipts.
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:46 PM   #13
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A number of years ago the Warden at Rikers Island started a few programs for the regular inmates (the ones serving their time at Rikers, not the ones in holding cells) that apparently proved quite valuable. One of the projects involved cleaning up the grounds and shoreline so the island could once again become the stop over for migratory birds that it had been. The other was a fresh vegetable garden. Turned out that many of the inmates had never learned that food was grown; it was, to them, just something you got at the supermarket. That took money, and robbery was a way to get money. The garden was an eye-opener for those who participated, and many of them went into agriculture after serving their time.
Yes, a meaningful life is better than prison at reducing crime.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:03 AM   #14
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Melissa, Tio, I agree with both of you. My point (based on a year I spent helping out on a literacy programme) was that at least half of the people I met were in prison, in part, because they were functionally illiterate. Being unable to either read or write, they were unable to earn a living. And, unable to earn a living, they resorted to pretty crime which, over time, became more significant crime. And so they progressed.

I remember one chap who was in prison because he had been convicted - multiple times - of driving without a licence. He couldn't get a driving licence because he couldn't read and he couldn't afford driving lessons. The penalties had started out as fines, but without a job he couldn't afford to pay those. If he had been able to read and write, he might have had a job, and he might have been able to afford driving lessons. It's also possible that he wouldn't have hung out with other functionally illiterate people, doing drugs and doing more crime to pay for the drugs.

Life's tricky when you can neither read nor write.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:39 AM   #15
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...

Life's tricky when you can neither read nor write.
My brother did his National Service in the Royal Navy. He was classed as a Coder (ED) for coding and decoding signals. But the ED was for Educational. He spent most of his time teaching other National Servicemen to read, write and do basic arithmetic. He was proud of the fact that all his students left the Navy with the reading and writing skills at least at the level of an average 11-year-old.

One of our former neighbours was illiterate as were her children. Her family were the 'failures' of our local primary school - the only ones who left at age 11 unable to read or write. Our eldest daughter was a friend of one of the children but couldn't believe that a girl apparently so intelligent in other ways couldn't learn to read and write. Our daughter sat down at our house with our younger daughter's reading scheme and tried teach her friend, without success. Then a family friend dropped in for a cup of coffee. The friend was a trained remedial teacher and watched our daughter's unsuccessful efforts. She talked to the illiterate girl for a few minutes then tried a blue film across the page. The girl was an undiagnosed dyslexic, as were all the family. Over the next few years the children learned to read and write with specialist help. Their mum was ashamed to be the only one who couldn't so joined specialist adult reading classes, borrowing many books from our library.

Ten years later the mother was elected to be a local City Councillor.
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Old 04-11-2019, 10:00 AM   #16
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One of our former neighbours was illiterate as were her children. The friend was a trained remedial teacher and watched our daughter's unsuccessful efforts. She talked to the illiterate girl for a few minutes then tried a blue film across the page. The girl was an undiagnosed dyslexic, as were all the family. Over the next few years the children learned to read and write with specialist help. Their mum was ashamed to be the only one who couldn't so joined specialist adult reading classes, borrowing many books from our library.

Ten years later the mother was elected to be a local City Councillor.
I recall a couple of cadets (13-17 year old) who had a similar problem and were greatly helped by coloured glasses and a different fount on the page (comic sans was one).
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:04 PM   #17
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I recall a couple of cadets (13-17 year old) who had a similar problem and were greatly helped by coloured glasses and a different fount on the page (comic sans was one).
In talking with classmates from more than a half century ago, the one thing that constantly comes up is how thankful we all were for the two grandmotherly-type teachers we had in first and second grade.

Mrs. Price and Miss Barrett were both adamant about how important reading skills were to our futures both as students and as adults. It was their mission and number one priority to instill that in us as a necessary foundation for learning not only in the formal educational setting, but also throughout our lives. Their attitude was that without a good foundation, all other learning is made much more difficult and sometimes even impossible.

Sadly, I'm not sure if that wisdom is still practiced or even embraced if it is.

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Old 04-11-2019, 04:01 PM   #18
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Melissa, Tio, I agree with both of you. My point (based on a year I spent helping out on a literacy programme) was that at least half of the people I met were in prison, in part, because they were functionally illiterate. Being unable to either read or write, they were unable to earn a living. And, unable to earn a living, they resorted to pretty crime which, over time, became more significant crime. And so they progressed.

I remember one chap who was in prison because he had been convicted - multiple times - of driving without a licence. He couldn't get a driving licence because he couldn't read and he couldn't afford driving lessons. The penalties had started out as fines, but without a job he couldn't afford to pay those. If he had been able to read and write, he might have had a job, and he might have been able to afford driving lessons. It's also possible that he wouldn't have hung out with other functionally illiterate people, doing drugs and doing more crime to pay for the drugs.

Life's tricky when you can neither read nor write.
I agree with you on all points, but I am looking one step deeper. Why was this man illiterate? Surely, at some point, he knew that there were reading programs available, they certainly are in every American prison. Yet he did not avail himself off the opportunity. My contention is that his illiteracy is a symptom, not a cause. Of course, the symptom itself has wide ranging ramifications.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:56 PM   #19
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I agree with you on all points, but I am looking one step deeper. Why was this man illiterate? Surely, at some point, he knew that there were reading programs available, they certainly are in every American prison. Yet he did not avail himself off the opportunity. My contention is that his illiteracy is a symptom, not a cause. Of course, the symptom itself has wide ranging ramifications.
This discussion prompted me to look up some illiteracy facts & figures. It was pretty shocking and dismal for the good ole USA. In specific response to your question; statistics indicate that "illiteracy" is learned. It is a generational hand-me-down. We've probably all known or seen someone who is proud of their illiteracy. And yes, the statistics are depressing in regard to the predominant future prospects of those who fail to learn both reading and math.

But I never got a chance to talk about birds

My new BB-gun and I were sneaking around in the dry ravines that were carved into the bank going down to the river behind the ranch house. The flutter of bright red wings caught my eye. The Cardinal landed in a small mesquite, more a bush than a tree. Like Roy Rodgers or any of the other cowboy heroes, I threw the butt of the stock to my shoulder and fired with a quick careless aim.

To my shock, the small creature fell like a stone to the ground beneath the brush...not even a flutter. I hurried to where he lay, it was a bright red one so it must be male. I picked up the small limp body, and my heart broke at what I had done. There was no thrill of the kill, only remorse and wishing it away. I buried his small body in the dry barren earth of the gully—was it guilt and shame or remorse and pain?

Even though this murder committed by my young hand went unseen by any human, somehow deep inside I knew it was wrong. A beautiful creature, much prettier than I, had it's life cut short by my flippant hand. That I can still see it all after these many years says it. Some may laugh at my weakness, some may cry at my callous crime—but I am satisfied with my lesson, it has evolved over time. The monk spares even the worm he digs from the garden, knowing that 'life' itself is a mystery that is sacred and divine. I tread lightly now, hoping one day I might meet that wee red bird, tell him I'm sorry and he will be a friend of mine.

This all makes me wonder; If illiteracy is a hand-me-down; What else gets pressed into the minds of innocence that will be inherited and grow into a legacy? So often I see, but cannot grasp the why...like why did I shoot innocence?
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:06 PM   #20
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This all makes me wonder; If illiteracy is a hand-me-down; What else gets pressed into the minds of innocence that will be inherited and grow into a legacy? So often I see, but cannot grasp the why...like why did I shoot innocence?
Perhaps the illiteracy is part of the 'extreme' religious type of living.
I sometimes wonder at these folks who seem to think their religion is THE answer.
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Old 04-11-2019, 06:38 PM   #21
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Perhaps the illiteracy is part of the 'extreme' religious type of living.
I sometimes wonder at these folks who seem to think their religion is THE answer.
Rather than focus on the "religion" aspect, I would focus on a couple of other things. One is isolation. What we do not understand can frighten us. When people stay only in their same town, county, country, it is easy to fall into the trap of fear about the "others". Whatever the focus—religions, race, sexuality, etc. can become hyper focused. This is an illiteracy of culture and the diversity of humanity.

I have heard many people scoff at a college education. It becomes a part of their clique...part of their comfort zone. They get stuck in this—thus they never have much of a chance to experience the diversity of mankind. Travel and experience is a great eye-opener. The poor child of the ghetto may only know his own five blocks—it is his/her world and outside of that be dragons to fear...even if the dragons come bearing gifts of education and opportunity.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:33 AM   #22
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... What we do not understand can frighten us. When people stay only in their same town, county, country, it is easy to fall into the trap of fear about the "others". Whatever the focus—religions, race, sexuality, etc. can become hyper focused. This is an illiteracy of culture and the diversity of humanity.
I have been lucky enough to travel to many places – more often than not with someone else paying me to study what was happening ‘over there’. My conclusion, after 50 or so years of this, is that most of the people in the world belong to the tribe into which they were born. They may or may not be happy with their tribe, but they are, almost without exception, slightly worried – and sometimes very worried – about the other tribes.
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Old 04-12-2019, 02:48 PM   #23
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I have been lucky enough to travel to many places – more often than not with someone else paying me to study what was happening ‘over there’. My conclusion, after 50 or so years of this, is that most of the people in the world belong to the tribe into which they were born. They may or may not be happy with their tribe, but they are, almost without exception, slightly worried – and sometimes very worried – about the other tribes.
This 'tribal' connection is one I often ponder and bring up in conversations. I sometimes wonder if the "human experience" has been thrust into an accelerated state due to the combination of population growth and modern technology. In other words; 'Tribes' have been unnaturally thrust into the orbits of other 'tribes' in ways that never occurred in the recent past—while at the same time evolution has not had time to modify the innate tribalism within most of us. [keeping in mind that 'tribe' can be most anything from local high-school football, to ethnicity, to nations.] One ray of hope in all of this is; In most cases one can find both good and bad members in most tribes. And, I've heard it said too often to not believe that exposure to other tribes, either through education or travel, usually softens the tribalism...lack of that, isolationism, has the reverse effect.

I'm curious; Did your extensive travels have any impact/effect on your own sense of tribe...or the 'worry' about other tribes?
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Old 04-12-2019, 05:49 PM   #24
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I'm curious; Did your extensive travels have any impact/effect on your own sense of tribe...or the 'worry' about other tribes?
I was born on a small farm, just a few miles away from where my umpteenth-great grandfather benefitted from Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. For just over 400 years, most of my ancestors on one side lived and worked within about an hour’s walk of one another.

And then, with the outbreak of The First World War, my grandfather, a skilled horseman and territorial soldier, was on the first ship to Egypt. As a ranking territorial, he wasn’t obliged to serve overseas, but he was curious. He returned to The Cotswolds (and farming) in 1919.

For the last 30 years of his life, when people talked about something happening ‘out there’, beyond the farm gate, a couple of counties away, or across the seven seas, my grandfather used to say: ‘Whatever the story, there’s probably a completely different story behind it.’ I guess I was lucky enough to have inherited some of my grandfather’s curiosity. And I suspect that, over the years, I have become rather tribeless.

Does that answer the question?
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:27 PM   #25
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I was born on a small farm, just a few miles away from where my umpteenth-great grandfather benefitted from Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries. For just over 400 years, most of my ancestors on one side lived and worked within about an hour’s walk of one another.

And then, with the outbreak of The First World War, my grandfather, a skilled horseman and territorial soldier, was on the first ship to Egypt. As a ranking territorial, he wasn’t obliged to serve overseas, but he was curious. He returned to The Cotswolds (and farming) in 1919.

For the last 30 years of his life, when people talked about something happening ‘out there’, beyond the farm gate, a couple of counties away, or across the seven seas, my grandfather used to say: ‘Whatever the story, there’s probably a completely different story behind it.’ I guess I was lucky enough to have inherited some of my grandfather’s curiosity. And I suspect that, over the years, I have become rather tribeless.

Does that answer the question?
I think 'tribe-less' is a clear answer. It does foster a thought though; Is it really possible to ever truly be tribe-less? Considering that by "tribe", we are essentially talking of "worldview". I view myself as generally accepting of other 'tribes'. But if I'm perfectly honest there are some 'tribes' I have to work harder at acceptance...and even then I have to break the tribe down to individual members in order to imagine any common ground with my own self-defined tribe. It forces the question; Are some tribes worthy of rejection...worthy of enmity?

The quote from your grandfather has crossed my mind several times. It's deeper than it seems upon first reading. Specifically; How does my own story get morphed? Which of my views are shaded in colors not true? This can be problematic, telling lies to oneself...and believing them.
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