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July 2019

The Marvelous Emily Levine

I found Emily on TED Talks. She is linked on our "Links.." page.

But this is a different different one and includes her voice reading a favorite poem called "You Can't Have It All...but There is This" by Barbara Ras.
I hope you enjoy it. The poem is embedded in the article which comes from a blog authored by one of Emily's friends and titled Brain Pickings.

Here's a direct link to the audio on SoundCloud, if you want to skip the article.


July 12, 2019 ~ The Dinner and a Show

What a fun event. I suspect we'll do this, and other social things more often.  One I've thought of is the Ropes Course in town!  Or an afternoon during which we explore our trust issues with a series of games...? 

We watched Antonia's Line together, then discussed our thoughts about it over dinner.  I thoroughly enjoyed both.
We agreed that Antonia exemplified some of our own ideas of what makes for strong women.
We talked about the strong women in our own lives and what we thought some of our own strengths are. Resilience was high in all of these categories.
The film and the discussion touched us in personal ways and increased our understanding about each other a bit.  Details will be held in our memories rather than on paper.

In business, before all the fun started, we mentioned a couple of things that have popped up lately that we felt the group might address.
They are related, but not the same. To my mind the first item is confidentiality. We've always expressed that we keep things said here private.
But, there is the second item, that of adding a couple more people...or not.
We have agreed that these two matters will be the top of the business agenda at the next meeting, July 26th.
How confidentiality comes into the latter issue is in how and when we talk to prospective new members.

Some points that we might consider as we approach the conversation are these:
    A. We are only 10 members at this time; and one of those has not yet attended a meeting...
    B. Six of these 9 are couples or parts of couples. Travel or family things can deplete our numbers and our energy very quickly and could last weeks. And even we singles will leave a hole. Sitting by a recovering friend/family or taking that cruise/road trip we've planned for ages will impact all of us over time.
    C. We've developed a degree of intimacy over these short months; how do we include a new person?
    D. Take a different sort of look at this blog. Could it be an avenue for telling "prospects" something about who we are? I've been careful to avoid last names (though I may have to    refer to Revin as R in the future! :)  )  The Minutes category would include the only posts (I think) where individuals are mentioned. 
Please point out to me ANY place where you feel I have not held to the strictest standard of confidentiality.

My own point of view is that we need to grow. 
And, as I stated during our preliminary discussion, any of you may use my name in connection with this group if/when you want to talk about the group at all. 
I'm confident that we all know that our members' identities are the first and last matters of confidentiality.  We'll figure out the other constraints together.

I found this video interesting and it relates to our confidentiality conversation. I suspect it will be old news to most, but ..
6 Types of People Who Do Not Deserve to Hear Your Shame Story 


Enough of that.... next group meeting is almost here!
    

 


Morning Routines; Do you have one?

I just came across this article from Insight Timer, an app I use and recommend. The app is available from both Google Play and in Apple's App Store.

We have mentioned ritual or Practice or routines a time or two. This article explains some of the reasons that Morning Routines might be very useful and what is going on in our bodies when we first wake. Think cortisol and Circadian Rhythms.

I tend to be very inconsistent about my mornings. I blame it on the cat or on laziness or on procrastination...
At the very bottom, I think all of these have a small part, but mostly, it may be residual old habit energy that I let take over.
So happy to be a work in progress! 

How are you doing?


Can Digital Games Enhance Mobility and Social Interaction?

So it would seem. Check out Sophia's story.  (reprinted here; the linked version includes photos and links to a few other stories you may find interesting.)

"Over the first weeks of July 2016, a strange phenomenon started to unfold in many parts of the world. A mobile game went viral. Streets in Barcelona, Melbourne, Singapore and New York began to fill with hordes digital wayfaring as part of the augmented reality (AR) game, Pokémon Go.

The game popularised the digital overlay technique of AR, in which real-time wayfaring could be converged with digital play.

In its hey-day, Pokémon Go searches surpassed porn on the internet. Then, it became mundane media – and this is when it became really interesting.

Meet the 67-year-old nurse Sofia, who lives in Badalona in Spain. After losing her husband to cancer a decade ago, Sofia initially found it hard to fight the grief and depression. Her daughters and grandchildren helped her in this transition.

Sofia is especially close to her seven-year-old grandson, Diego. They do many activities together, constantly sharing intergenerational skills. It was Diego who first introduced Sofia to Pokémon Go.

As they wandered the streets of Badalona together, Diego would show her the digital overlays of Pokémon Go that reinvented Sofia’s everyday experiences of mundane spaces.

Diego taught Sofia how to flick the touch screen to capture Pokemon. And he taught Sofia digital wayfaring – that is, how the digital is entangled with the body’s movement.

Pokémon Go allowed Sofia to learn some of the multiple ways her familiar city could be reinvented. Eventually, Sofia opened her own Pokémon Go account.

She would sometimes find herself briskly walking the streets in search of Pokémon. Mundane trips to the market or shops became Pokémon Go adventures in which she would reinvent the routes to capture more Pokémon.

The city became a complex overlay of digital, material, environmental and social cartographies.

The game also made Sofia feel fit and socially engaged in her community. And she became an outstandingly super-cool grandmother in the eyes of her grandson, Diego.

The “old media” of Pokémon Go enriched Sofia’s life: it reinvented the city she has lived in for all her life; it allowed her playful ways to further develop her relationship with her grandson; and it afforded her new ways to connect with other generations.

But Sofia’s story is not an exception.

In fact, her story is one example of an increasingly common way “old” mundane technologies are being playfully deployed for digital health solutions, one that brings older generations closer to their urban communities.

Social workers recommend Pokémon Go in Badalona

Badalona is renowned for its innovative and integrated healthcare system, centralised through the city council.

There, social workers are recommending Pokémon Go to clients to boost two key dimensions of ageing well: exercise and social inclusion. Part of the game play involves cooperation, for example, to win in a raid, players need to organise to meet up and battle together.

Our yet-to-be-published research uses data from a meet-up bot we built on the messenger program Telegram, to help people organise Pokémon Go raid boss battles.

Over 6,000 battles were fought throughout 2018, with almost 29,000 individuals meeting and establishing social connections and relationships in Badalona.

What’s more, there is much to learn from the lived experiences of Sofia that requires us to change how we think about play and digital health. For instance, the haptic sensibility of the game (the perception of objects through the sense of touch) privileges motion awareness, so it’s more attuned to Sofia’s fading eye sight.

Badalona is a great example of how intergenerational play can redefine a city by allowing users to navigate through multiple senses – touch, sound and sight – that digital play stimulates.

Play can expose bias in a city

When we spoke to Sofia for our research, we were able to reflect on how games like Pokémon Go highlight the paradoxes of a city that’s datafied to an app.

While Pokémon Go encouraged physical exercise and social inclusion as part of its strategic game play, it also exposed how inherent social, cultural and economic biases in cities become embedded in every day movement.

For example, Pokémon Go’s game engine drew on algorithms of Badalona which had inherent biases in the form of redlining. In other words, peripheral neighbourhoods had fewer Poke stops.

This includes areas or zones of the city with a high concentration of socially excluded people, and the places that are physically further away from the centre of the city.

Play prioritises the human experience

There are many things we can learn from Badalona’s strategies for ageing well, which centres on lived experience. Rather than inventing new apps for the cartographies of the city, they playfully reinvent the mundane. We should look towards civic urban play for innovation.

Play is an interdisciplinary concept linking culturally specific ideas of creativity with expression. And it allows for different forms of social innovation across digital, material and social worlds.

Play can also teach us how to think about the intersection of technology and health in different ways that prioritise human experience.

And in terms of ageing societies, play might hold the key to developing human-centred approaches for the future."

 


June 28, 2019 ~ Antonia's Line; Sleep; & Euthanasia

We did not make quorum for this meeting, but since we never established any guidelines for such stuff, we just carried on.  Made decisions and everything!

The business part of the meeting included talking about the film Antonia's Line that we will watch at our next meeting on July 12, 2019.  As a group, we had not really thought through the idea of watching a film and trying to discuss it, when the film itself is about 1:45hr long. The current plan is now this:
We'll have dinner and a Show! The meeting will be back to the usual 3:00 pm time. We watch first, take a break for supper, then discuss what we saw; though supper and the discussion will probably overlap. Supper will be something casserole-ish that will cook itself, and a salad. At the moment I'm thinking of a big spinach pie ala Spanakopita, and yes, there will be a few things to munch on during the movie). Feel free to holler if you don't like this idea, but really...makes sense to we 5. 

Next, Angela shared a flyer from Rosemary's Herb Shop about a product she offers called Really Deep Sleep.  Angela has not used it for long, yet, but feels that is definitely helping her sleep.

Irma offered to facilitate our 4th Friday meeting and will let us know the topic when she chooses one.   

There are New links up on the Links page.                   end of business, on to topic.

As you could tell from my emails, I struggled a bit with choosing a topic.  And we may revisit at some point my first idea of Ritual or Capital P Practice.

But we went with Euthanasia, a rich and deep and compelling subject. Five of us were here; all of us approve of the idea and want legislation that would make it legal everywhere, even when we might not want to use it ourselves. 

We shared a bit first about what a Good Death for each of us might be. We all had similar ideas of how that might look:

  • Pain-free was a high priority!
  • With friends/family
  • By choice if at all possible
  • At home
  • Laughing
  • Conscious and aware

We had similar ideas about when the right time might be:

  • a terminal diagnosis
  • dementia or Alzheimer's
  • uncontrollable pain
  • when we can no longer do the things that 'feed' us, whether that is our shared life with a sp0use, hobbies, music or art, etc.

We heard about the Neptune Society from Angela. The Neptune Society is a national organization that sells cremation services in 45 locations, including Albuquerque.
There are other companies who offer similar services, and most local funeral homes will allow you to pre-pay for the services you want.

I may have Death Cafe linked elsewhere on this blog, but I'm putting it here, anyway; (two links).   This article is from NPR.

Exit International is a site I mentioned to you, having heard of it from someone who had first-hand knowledge of the successful use of it's non-medical information for ending one's life. From this link here, you can learn about the company, founders, mission, etc. I have linked to a specific article on Euthanasia on our Links page.  I have signed up to get their email newsletter and let you know what I think.

We felt also that this subject, Euthanasia, is one we may want to pursue in greater detail. Particularly information from sites like Exit International, because no form of assisted suicide is legal in New Mexico. Or at least, not now. The latest efforts to pass a bill were defeated in March of this year. Kate suggested that a small committee might want to take on further research. Mostly we agreed on that, but felt that a larger number of members could make a better call about that. It won't be a topic on the 12th, but it will come up again, I'm sure. If you are intrigued by this subject, as I am, share whatever you find, or post here in comments.

 

Disclaimer:  Links to businesses selling or offering anything, whether product or service or information, are there For Your Information Only.
Neither I, nor any member (or friend or associate of a member) is a substitute for your own good sense and/or your own research.