Saturday, September 4, 2010

meeting the hunter

I've often found meetings to be a waste of time - not always - but especially when it comes to creativity, you can't schedule a good time for everyone to be on the ball.
This insight into Inuit hunting (below) was, for me, not a revelation, but an affirming articulation of some of the process that I've always felt a meeting can't address, and of course the idea of "long range planning" (some of which, granted, is good and required) is also shown to be artificial as events continuously shift and change:

Hunters make thousands of critical decisions each year. The processing of this information leads into the domain of spirituality and metaphor, where accumulated knowledge, intuition and the subtlest of connections with the natural world can generate choices on a basis that is quicker and surer than a narrow rationality. In this way, the decisions of hunters are close to certainties of artists. By denying a reduction to a limited set of variables, the fullness of both culture and consciousness come the bear on each day’s activities. The mobile and flexible behaviour of hunters is inseparable from this state of consciousness, this form of decision-making. Actions cannot be planned long before they occur; too many of the important variables are constantly changing. There can be no long interval between a decision to act and the action itself. By the same token, there can be few simple continuities and little formal organization: hunters must respond to an ever changing environment with quick alertness. Each individual or small group plans and alters plans with spontaneity as swift as it is subtle. There is no room for committees, organizers or institutional formality.

Living Arctic: Hunters of the Canadian North. Hugh Brody

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