Uh, oh! Our emails crossed and we are now, unfortunately, out of sync. How do we fix it?
On Feb 26, 2016, at 8:58 AM, Christopher Janke wrote:
AWESOME! I love this so much. I’m in blue below.
I am intending to continue to strip names out of this correspondence but to continue posting to the rules discussion blog.
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2016 10:59 PM
Subject: Re: Rule Group
My responses are in italics below and are to be considered part of a rules discussion not necessarily solutions to issues of concern and some responses are, in fact, new concerns.
On Feb 25, 2016, at 5:18 PM, Christopher Janke wrote:
Ok – HI Rule Group.
Thanks for your service to The Watching Club.
I’m suggesting some methods for solving our potential problems below. I’m eager to hear any solutions you have, especially if the one’s I’ve suggested don’t seem right to you…
I’m going to type in CAPS below with suggestions to the current issues.
pLEASE DO let me know your thoughts on these hot issues…
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2016 11:22 PM
To: MM, KC
Subject: Rule Group
I now call to order a de-facto meeting of the rule group that serves to guide the activities of The Watching Club.
We now have a website…
And we have other people interested in joining.
This e-mail will serve, for now, as a discussion for the Rules Group. If you no longer wish to be part of the Rules Group, please let me know.
If you want to remain a part, I’d love to know your thoughts on the following issues needing resolution:
-Cellphone policy. I SAY NO CELLPHONES.
-Moving one’s chair. CHAIR MUST REMAIN IN PLACE FOR AT LEAST 45 MINUTES.
Disagree. moving one’s chair works against the goal of developing a new way of paying attention. Members of The Watching Club should be intensely disciplined and committed to “watching” with the intention, say, of knowing every inch of a setting and understanding its common interaction with humans. Members should be interested in joining The Watching Club BECAUSE, as I did, of their desire to immerse themselves in the concept of watching so as to develop a sense of observation that results in a superior way of paying attention.
Ok. I have a few thoughts here. First, I don’t think we should at all require a specific motivation for being a part of the group. I think we can set parameters for behavior, but should stay away from rules regarding thought or motivation, right?
That being said, I DO think we get to determine behavior for watching as part of the watching club.
And I accept that there are parameters.
My experience this last week surprised me. I watched intensely for about an hour and got too cold to concentrate at that point, and I moved around, moved the chair, and never could settle back in. During the hour, though, I had more than one intense moving experience, was brought to tears. And after the hour I was surprised that I was feeling a little overwhelmed. There was possibly just too much to see and watch, so the fact that we’d set aside only an hour and a half (and then didn’t even do all of it), was a relief – not because I didn’t want to watch but because I felt like the watching had already been somewhat transformative and that more time didn’t feel like it would necessarily produce more “result.”
I watched over a large area, and there was no way for me to know “every inch.” There were too many inches, feet, acres, people, clouds, etc. (I’m tempted to do an “inadvertent” documentation here by talking about some of the things that were beautiful but I’m resisting.) Again, this is perhaps a commentary on motivation – or perhaps also on intended outcome. I don’t feel the need to “understand.” Indeed, I think that I understand “understanding,” it’s either incomplete, and in a way made more incomplete the more one is paying attention, or “understanding” is in the service of something and is maybe not understanding or understanding as dictated by a specific perspective. So, I guess in a similar vein to my comment above, I think that watchers need not have an aim of “understanding.” Shouldn’t each watcher watch for their own reason? I mean, we might suggest, as I guess the initial rules did/do, that there is a purpose but perhaps it should be vague or changing or perhaps the purpose should be removed. Right now the rules say “The Watching Club is an experimental democratic group that aims, for now, to make beauty through observation only. ”
I should have debated this definition democratically. I think motivation is, in some way, part of this. Perhaps not as you describe the need to understand the watch and its results but certainly as a reason to participate in the concept of watching. The first time it was presented there was a clear statement about improving the art of paying attention.
I should say too that regarding the last watch, I recognize too that if I’d been required to do 2 or 3 or 5 hours, who knows what other discoveries I would have made, especially if not cold, especially if I didn’t have to pee.
Members should make a conscious decision to pee before watching, as one would do before a road trip to, say NYPOP.
-Moving while watching; does it count? NO SIGNIFICANT BODILY MOVMENT; NO WALKING. TO WATCH FOR THE WATCHING CLUB, YOU MAY NOT WALK. SITTING IS THE PREFERRED POSITION FOR THE WATCHING CLUB.
-Abbreviated periods of watching (less than 3 hours). Is there a minimum amount of time? ONE HOUR IS THE MINIMUM.
Disagree. It should be a minimum of at least 2 with no maximum ( see explanation under “moving one’s chair”)
-Multi-locational watching. MULTI-LOCATIONAL WATCHING IS ACCEPTIBLE, BUT IT MUST BE SYNCRONIZED IN TIME.
Agree. But would add synchronized with subject.
YES, OF COURSE. Yes!
-Invitations to be part of the watching group; can anyone join? How do they join? Do they have to watch with another member or not? If not, do they simply send an item to be added to the list? Does the watching have to be roughly synchronous? How many watchers need to be watching at one time for it to count? WATCHING MUST BE COORDINATED BY THE RULE GROUP, SCHEDULED AHEAD OF TIME AND WITH PRESCRIBED RULES.
TO JOIN, PEOPLE JUST NEED TO SAY THEY WANT TO JOIN AND THEN THEY GET AN E-MAIL ANNOUNCING THE NEXT WATCH WHEN IT HAS BEEN DETERMINED BY THE RULE GROUP. IT’S BASICALLY A ONE-WAY COMMUNICATION. THE RULE GROUP ANNOUNCES THE NEXT WATCH AND THE RULES FOR THAT WATCH. POTENTIAL WATCHERS RECEIVE IT AND WATCH. THEY THEN REPORT BACK A SHORT LINE-ITEM OF WHAT WAS WATCHED, PROVIDED IT FITS WITHIN THE PARAMETERS .
Agree. Watchers must be members.
But to be “members,” they just basically need to sign up for the e-mail that announces the next watch, yes?
LIKEWISE, TO JOIN THE RULE GROUP, PEOPLE JUST HAVE TO SAY THEY WANT TO JOIN THE RULE GROUP AND THEN THEY BECOME PART OF THIS E-MAIL DISCUSSION WITH FULL PARTICIPATION. FOR NOW, ALL E-MAIL SENT TO THE RULE GROUP FOR DISCUSSION ALSO BECOMES PART OF THE RULE GROUP BLOG.
To join the rule group the sayer must participate for a TBD term.
OOO. Terms! What should the term of a rule group member be? How long are you committed? What happens when someone quits without serving their whole term? Do their contributions to the rules remain or would the rule changes that occurred during their tenure be voided?
How is “full participation” determined, then? I suggest a lifelong term to be interrupted only by serious illness or the termination of the club for lack of membership. No voiding during tenure otherwise there would be no motivation to fully participate.
-Website: thewatchingclub.org Suggestions? I’m managing it right now. Is that ok? Who should manage it? Also: email@example.com I CAN CONTINUE MANAGING THIS. Agree.
-Possible inclusion of The Watching Club in a show in NY. I’d like to post the rules and to schedule a watch that people could pick up information about I’M GOING TO MAKE SOME KIND OF SOMETHING FOR PEOPLE TO PICK UP.
ALSO, can we schedule a watch IN the NYPOP space or near it? Too obnoxious? I’d like to schedule a few watches for the next few weeks.
WATCHES I WANT TO SCHEDULE:
3/3 (THURSDAY) SYNCRONIZED TO OR 3/4 (FRIDAY) SYNCRONIZED TO 11A-2P – IN/NEAR AN ART GALLERY (NYPOP SPACE IN NY IS WHERE I WILL BE AND WHERE THE WATCHING GROUP RULES WILL BE DISPLAYED…)
3/13 (SUNDAY) SYNCRONIZED TO 11A-2P EST : A 7/11 OR EQUIVALENT
I would participate so, not too obnoxious. It occurs to me that we are, currently, a three generational club at the moment.
<<The above is also posted at: https://thewatchingclub.org/2016/02/24/the-watching-club-rules/ >>
- In and around West Cemetery, Amherst MA. 2/21/16 from approximately 3:10pm until about 4:20pm.
- Watched Anderson and Our Savior Lutheran Cemeteries from road between them 2/21/2016 from 12 noon to 3 pm pst in Stanwood, WA.
I’VE CHANGED THE LIST STYLE TO HAVE A SINGLE LINE ITEM TO REPRESENT THAT THESE TWO CEMETARIES WERE WATCHED REALLY AS PART OF A SINGLE WATCH. Agree but would like to proofread the line item before publication.
New agenda for this de-facto rule group meeting:
I think often about defining or, actually, re-defining certain words as they apply to The Watching Club. I am concerned, for example, with the words club and group which, as of now don’t apply. The word “group” is defined in most dictionaries as a “collection” or “assemblage” of persons with the same interest; often you will see the word “together” in the definition. The concept, of course, is that the Watching Club would be together watching at the same time in the same place. While watching last week, I felt alone, left out, and spent too much time wondering what other members were seeing, feeling and even wearing! The definition that DOES fit us for “club” is: “a heavy stick thicker at one end than the other”….West Coast being the “other”. I have no solution except to add worn-out adjectives like “spiritual” or “virtual”…meh. I wish there could be some reference in the rules of the fact that it is an interstate club and that a founding member of importance watches during Pacific Time. Is that a concern that demeans the goals of the Club? Is it selfish?
Hmm. The rule group meets via e-mail so far. We’ve never really met in person, so I feel comfortable calling it a group, but I’m game for other words. I do like the simplicity. I don’t think
Fwiw, our watching last week was done silently, and I don’t know if you and Kelly corresponded afterwards, but we had talked (I suppose as an ad-hoc rules decision on the fly) about the possibility of allowing texting and talking about the watch but not e-mailing, to keep with the spirit of the non-documentation but to allow for the idea of talking when in-person talking isn’t possible.
I really like that we’ve been able to keep the club going despite the physical distance, and I think that our precedent for multiple locations is exciting for the possibility of adding members.
I don’t like that you feel alone or left out. I feel fine with some kind of communication before the watching, perhaps a phone call, to start the watch synchronously? Or even skype? Or gchat? (What happens if there are four locations?)
As for the pacific time, it’s in THE LIST, which is, in a way, the most important and only real documentation of each watch. I guess you don’t feel like that’s enough, but I think of it as quite significant. I like that you included it.
And I think we ARE a club, not just one for beating things with, except, perhaps, in my case and my over-verbose and somewhat perverse love of the adjudication of our rules, beating herein the dead horses known as rules and the rules that make the rules & c.
I actually like the cudgel definition of club if only it didn’t imply weapon ….. I love being the handle of it.