Arggghhh: Anecdote: I once took a seminar with Mike Lieber on Gregory Bateson's "steps to an ecology of the mind". Have you ever read something, and been confused as to what it is that you just read? Such a work is Bateson's "ecology". I read, then re-read, then re-read, and got no where, really darned confusing even with known reference points. So, i headed to the library and checked out everything they had by Bateson, and asked for works not in the library. Starting with his first published works, I read everything he had published, including commentaries on other works, and slowly followed the ecology and changing style of his "mind". It was a darned good thing that I had spent time with Bucky Fuller previously, as more perspectives to known reference points added alternate perspectives to Bateson's own words. Slowly, and I mean s l o w l y, I began to "feel" the path of the narrative, until, finally, I could read "ecology" without having to read and re-read, and re-read. Mike was an eclectic, brilliant, eccentric professor whose mind was seemingly going off in a dozen different directions at any given moment. He was the sort of professor, who, when you asked him a question, would rattle off a reading list of 12-20 books. 27 people had signed up for that seminar, on the first day, 19 showed up, by day 3 we were down to 5 and the following week, just 2 students and mike. Curious, i went to the office and asked my favorite secretary "Why 25 out of 27 had dropped the seminar?" and she said, "They found out who the teacher was". Later on: One of my sculpting models was a 70 year old guitar man. I went to the bar wherein he was performing, and up on the stage accompanying him was Mike Lieber playing a mean banjo and wild piano. It turns out that the guitar man was staying in mike's house while in Chicago(small world). (I'm off to check the trot line--more later) (caught 2 fish a 5 pound channel catfish and a bigger carp, filleted the cat and breaded with a mix of cornmeal, rye, soy, and rice flour with salt and spices- and fried up the smaller pieces in olive oil---so much for breaking my fast.) back to: and re-read...etc. Bateson took me on a journey that led back to Skinner, Meade, Laing, and LaoTzu, and on to everything the library had by Daisetsu Teitaro Suzuki. with each step, I understood gregory bateson just a little bit better. Finally, everything he had written, including "ecology" made perfect sense which I understood on a very intuitive level to the point where I knew the subject of the next paragraph before reading it. So, end of term and it was time to write a paper derived from the studies. To be a "full time student" at that University, 12 credit hours per term were required. At 18 hours, the computer kicked all out, and I usually carried an average of 34 hours(this becomes important shortly). Now, we are nearing the point of this narrative. OK. So I composed a 17 page paper entitled "Zen in the art of schizophrenia", and handed it in. A couple days later, mike handed the paper back to me asking me to "clarify or elaborate on" certain parts of the paper. So back to a rewrite. I didn't type then, and still do not do it well, so I always had to hunt up a typist to produce legible copy. Rewritten and re-typed, I handed in a paper of 23-25 pages. This is now entering "finals week" and I'm darned busy with other classes, other papers, other tests. A couple days later, Mike handed me back the paper all marked up in red and green ink demanding that I "clarify or elaborate on"... . Gee DARN! So back to another rewrite. This time, no typist who was conversant in the lexicons of the fields under study was available. One of my regulars sent me to a beach along lake michigan in search of a woman with henna hair----found her sunning herself on a lounge chair, and began to beg and plead for her to type the paper ("anything it takes, money, cunnilingus, voluntary servitude, anything---you name it").Finally, she agreed(sigh). So, there we were in the wee hours with her typing and me proof reading. Not knowing the lexicon, she had a tendency to replace words with which she was unfamiliar with those she knew. Gee Darn.-------In this paper, I borrowed an entire paragraph from Bateson that referenced the words and works of the above mentioned, in bateson's own peculiar style. Finally, the paper seemed done and I thanked the typist and we fell into a much needed slumber. The following morning, I handed in a 27 page paper, that I thought almost anyone could understand. Oops. The next day, mike handed me back the paper-------all full of red and green ink. He had large brackets around the bateson paragraph with large printed letters proclaiming "THIS IS WHOLLY UNINTELLIGIBLE!!!!!" Oh my fucking god---gee goddamned damn. (she had forgotten to include the quote symbols, and I had missed that) Deep into finals week, over worked with too little sleep, I stood there depressed, despondent, confused, and aghast, beginning to think that i just might be experiencing a laing/suzuki schizophrenic break. Finally, i said "Fuck it mike, just give me an incomplete". ................... incompletes turn into "F's if left incomplete, my only F in 5 different universities. I had said all I intended to say, and never revisited it. Years later, sitting to supper with mike and his wife ester, (there had been a hiatus in our relationship as they were raising their sons, and becoming ever more "jewish" to the point of referring to me and those like me as goyem or gentiles). I brought up the ill fated paper, and said that "I thought that the reason mike had thrown the seminar, was that he did not understand what bateson had been getting at". Ester commented that "that seemed harsh". "But", said I, "not wholly incorrect", to which mike acquiesced.