======================================================================== Cybernetics in the 3rd Millennium (C3M) -- Volume 3 Number 10, Nov. 2004 Alan B. Scrivener --- www.well.com/~abs --- mailto:abs@well.com ========================================================================

Bateson and Me

(Part One of Three)

"[me:] Where does information come from? [Bateson:] From the sky, like fall-out." -- passing notes with Gregory Bateson at Kresge College, 1974 Last weekend there was a conference on the legacy of Gregory Bateson, held at the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, CA. ( www.batesonconference.org ) I was unable to attend, so I am writing this month's e-Zine about my remembrances of being his student. I have, through organizer Gordon Feller, invited the attendees to subscribe to C3M and especially to receive this issue. * * * * * * * * "What is a number that a man may know it, and a man that he may know a number?" -- Warren McCulloch, 1961 The Ninth Alfred Korzybski Memorial Lecture reprinted in "Embodiments of Mind" (1965) ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0262631148/hip-20 ) Gregory Bateson was born in England in 1904. His father was William Bateson, who coined the word "genetics." He was named for Gregor Mendel, who effectively discovered genes but did not name them. Coming from a scientific family he was encouraged to enter a science, and he at first chose anthropology. He was educated at Cambridge. He first achieved a sort of "fame" by having a famous wife, fellow anthropologist Margaret Mead, with whom he had a daughter, Mary Catherine Bateson. But his career arc took him far afield of anthropology, through the founding of cybernetics, into psychiatry (where he came up with the "double bind" theory of schizophrenia), then into zoology, ethology, genetics, and finally epistemology and philosophy. Bateson was charting a course as an inter-disciplinarian. The Macy Foundation's conference on "feedback" at which cybernetics was launched tried to achieve an interdisciplinary approach by inviting many different specialists. In my "Curriculum for Cybernetics and Systems Theory" in the section on "Where Cybernetics and Systems Theory Came From" I describe how this happened: ( www.well.com/~abs/curriculum.html#From ) By the late 1940's, thanks mostly to the growth of electronics, a lot of people were running around with the idea that "feedback" was somehow important. One of them was Warren McCulloch, a pioneer brain researcher who first proposed the mathematical modeling of neurons. He was approached by the Josiah Macy Foundation to chair a conference on the nervous system. The Macy Foundation ... funded conferences on medicine; they had done the heart, lungs, skin, etc. but never the brain or nerves. But McCulloch was determined to make these meetings more than a typical medical conference. He invited physiologists, electronics specialists, mathematicians, physicists, even social scientists -- including husband and wife anthropologists Gregory Bateson and Margaret Mead. The participants met for a few days every six months over a period of several years. At first McCulloch only let the "neuro" people talk; he wanted everyone to understand the great questions facing them before they started looking for answers. But eventually a cautious collaboration developed, as the participants probed their intuition of what was missing from their knowledge of minds. In 1948 one of the attendees, mathematician Norbert Wiener, published a book in which he purported to name the new field of inquiry they were investigating: Cybernetics was the name of the field and the book. This move received mixed reviews from the other participants in the conference. However, many of the attendees did return to their disciplines and begin using the new set of tools provided by the conference, and by Wiener (including two who I had the good fortune to meet and study under: Gregory Bateson and Heinz von Foerster). But Bateson achieved his own interdisciplinary approach by going from field to field solving deep systemic problems. During this rich journey he also transitioned to living in the USA, become an American citizen, and drifted from New York to California to Hawaii and then back to California. It seemed the zoos were interested in only funding animal behavior studies, and the veteran's hospitals in funding mental illness studies, and so on. He kept looking for a place that would let him study what he ended up calling "the pattern which connects." He landed at the University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC) at the age of sixty-nine, too old to be a professor and so hired as a "senior lecturer" with some miscellaneous academic funds at Kresge College. Several brief biographies of him appear on the web, ( www.interculturalstudies.org/IIS/Bateson/biography.html ) ( www2.gwu.edu/~asc/biographies/Bateson/bio.html ) ( www.dragonflymedia.com/cg/cg3111/gregorybateson3111.html ) and there is also an uninspired book-length biography, "Gregory Bateson: Legacy of a Scientist" (1982) by David Lipset, ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0807046639/hip-20 ) which devotes only a handful of pages to his Kresge years. * * * * * * * * "Evolution and cybernetics are going to come together. This is the edge of knowledge right now, and it's right at the heart of education, and the schools don't know it." -- "The Last Whole Earth Catalog," 1971 p. 117, from an article on "Alloy," a gathering of 150 dome builders, commune dwellers and "hope fiends" near La Luz, New Mexico, March 1969 ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0394704592/hip-20 ) I was born in the USA in 1953, the son of an amateur auto mechanic who became a jet mechanic and later and airline pilot, and a mother who studied psychology and ended up teaching parenting skills. My ancestors earned an English coat of arms which included a hand holding a quill pen, for the name SCRIVENER, meaning "scribe." I grew up up in the suburbs of San Diego, in the middle of the middle class and the "baby boom." As a "gifted" student in a conservative school system, I was frustrated by the lack of creative challenges in my education. I didn't like the emphasis on specialized fields of study. Inspired by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, I wanted to become a "Renaissance Man," an academic "generalist." I also was "turned off" by the extreme emphasis on competition, and measuring individual achievement. The only place teamwork was encouraged was in sports. I thought that since we were all going to have to go out into the world and cooperate to solve the major problems facing society (war, crime, pollution, poverty, etc.), we should be learning cooperative strategies in school. One of the highlights of my teenage years was my discovery of the "Whole Earth Catalog." I first read of it in -- of all things -- "Parade" magazine (the newspaper Sunday supplement). My first exposure to it seemed like a bonanza -- I learned about the generalist Bucky Fuller, the science of cybernetics, and editor Stewart Brand's obsession with "understanding whole systems." It became my curriculum for becoming a Renaissance Man. Being middle class meant knowing the importance of a liberal arts education. The question was never "if" but "where" I would go to college. I researched experimental schools, and chose the University of California's newest campus, Santa Cruz, for its redwood forest, "living learning environment" and Pass/Fail grades (later Pass/No Record, i.e., if you didn't pass they tore up the paperwork), and I chose Kresge College for its theme "man and his environment" (later changed to "humans and their environment" about the time the college created one of the first Women's Studies majors in America). I began by majoring in math, the tool of all sciences (I was told) but began looking around for a way to study "whole systems." there was a "computer science" department, later changed to "information and computer science" and then to just "information science." A faculty member explained to me that it wasn't "chemistry and test tube science." From them I took a class called "theory of information and communication." It wasn't what I was expecting. Another Kresge student, Carter de Paul, took the same class. "Great name, huh?" he said of it. I learned a lot about negative entropy, and the work of Bell Labs engineer Claude Shannon. (Scroll down to Figure 5 in the link below.) ( home.mira.net/~reynella/debate/shannon.htm ) My sequence of math major courses took me through calculus to linear algebra, which I didn't get at all, and thought was totally detached from reality. I dropped the class and switched majors to physics. (Little did I know that they were teaching me Ordinary Differential Equations, ODEs, the basic language of general systems theory! At the time it was a taboo in math education to mention what the tools were good for.) * * * * * * * * "Calculus of intention was a concept developed over many years by the cybernetic wizard Warren McCulloch." -- Paul Ryan, 1971 "Cybernetic, Guerrilla Warfare" in "Radical Software" v. 1 n. 3 ( www.radicalsoftware.org/e/volume1nr3.html ) The first time I came across the name Gregory Bateson was in a newspaper-sized newsprint periodical about community video and using the new Sony Portapak to effect social change, called "Radical Software." ( www.radicalsoftware.org ) I acquired volume 1 number 3, dated April 1971, some time in 1973 or 74. (I think I may have bought it during a pilgrimage to the Whole Earth Truck Store in Menlo Park, where the Whole Earth Catalog was published.) ( lists.squeakfoundation.org/pipermail/squeak-dev/2000-November/019510.html ) One of the things I noticed right off was the "Xerox mark," a circle with an X inside that meant "please copy," by analogy to the copyright symbol. ( www.well.com/user/abs/Cyb/4.669211660910299067185320382047/RadSW.jpg ) It reminded me at the time of "copyleft," and reminds me today of the Gnu Public License (GPL). ( www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html ) But there was an exception. There was one article that had a normal copyright, called "Restructuring the Ecology of a Great City." A note said the author "wrote us to say that while he had no objection to his piece running under a xerox mark, that would ironically leave him open to being ripped-off by copyright laws." I thought to myself, "wow, what a paranoid." But I read the article, to see what all the freakin' fuss was over. The article had some interesting ideas: * a city needing a "flexibility budget" * the metaphor of a phone exchange with all circuits busy, on the threshold of "jamming" representing running out of flexibility * the Zen aphorism "To become accustomed to anything is a terrible thing" as a warning against inflexibility Years later I realized this was the first article I ever read by Gregory Bateson. In the fall of 1973 Gregory Bateson came to Kresge. There was a bit of coverage in the school press. It barely caused a blip in my radar. Some supposed deep-thinker was moving into one of the three on-campus faculty apartments. Browsing the campus "Bay Tree Bookstore" one day, I happened upon his book, "Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution, and Epistemology" (1972). ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0226039056/hip-20 ) I flipped through it half-heartedly. "It looks like b---s--- to me," I remember thinking. I believe I was a bit desensitized by the vast quantity of real b---s--- floating around at the time. For example, that same issue of "Radical Software" that had the Bateson article also had an article called "Media Ecology" by Raymond Arlo, which included this: DEFINITIONS/POINTS OF VIEW/SYSTEMS/MEDIA/are like METAPHORS Line vs. Grid PRINT vs. PLUG Consecutive vs. Simultaneous Individual vs. Collection Segregated vs. Integrated Course vs. Attitude Sounds good, but how can you tell if it means something? Are the items on the left "old school" and to be shunned, while those on the right are "hip new metaphors" ready to enlighten us? Whatever. The first real solid clue I had that Bateson had something important to say was an exchange in the Kresge College newsletter, which I was editing at the time. I called it "The Kresge Klein." (The previous year the self-described "gonzo journalists" who edited it called it the "Kresge Clone" for reasons that were never clear. I called it the "Klein" to be "an inside joke with no inside," after the Klein bottle with no inside.) Unfortunately I only have the 3rd and 4th letters in the sequence, but I recall the the 1st letter was a general call for input on the never-ending process of reforming the college curriculum to make it more "relevant," and the 2nd was a short response from Bateson saying we should seek to teach students to identify the "non trivial" as well as Leonard da Vinci could. The above-mentioned information theory student wanted more detail. He wrote: an open letter to gregory bateson c/o the KLEIN gregory, How to recognize the Non Trivial as the Kresge College Curriculum? If YOU are serious, say more... (It sounds too interesting, too practical, too relevant to an involving education, to be possible -- if i begin to understand what you might be talking about...) What are you talking about? OK, what DID leonardo know that we've never been told ? ? ? carter de paul To which Bateson replied: The Non-Trivial Dear Klein, 4 February 1974 Carter de Paul says I should explain -- almost challenges me. What did Leonardo know that Kresge students are not told - ? How did it happen that his Notebooks are full of entries dealing with, e.g., waves, the circulation of blood, the nature of visual images, etc. -- matters which are today the cornerstones of science? How did he know that these particular matters were NON-TRIVIAL? And what sort of curriculum (detestable word) might endow a few Kresge people with a similar ability to have hunches identifying the non-trivial? That would indeed be an education for dedication. So, let's take a 14th-century look at the above examples. 1. WAVES are sort of humps which move on the surface of water. But what moves? The substance, the water to which the attribute "humpiness" is attached, stays in its place. Only the form of the wave moves. "It" (to what does this pronoun refer?) is certainly just like "you" and "me" -- eating up and incorporating new substance from moment to moment, and excreting the old from moment to moment. To what then do these pronouns, "you" and "me", refer? To wandering shapes? 2. CIRCULATION OF BLOOD. Leonardo incidentally had trouble with this one. He nicked a blood vessel in his dissection of the lung and believed that the blood has direct contact with the air in the lung. But he was still right: logistics is a non-trivial component of life. It integrates. 3. VISUAL IMAGES. That's a tough one. Leonardo thought the air between you and me was full of images and that my eye caught images of you -- like a sort of butterfly net, and your eyes like butterfly nets caught images of me. But he also knew that light was somehow the substance of which images were made and he thought that the eye puts out sort of tendrils of light to feel what is around us. Of course any Kresge student could tell Leonardo was wrong, but -- just what are visual images? Not on the retina, for those you do not see. But in the brain? Tell me where is Fancy bred Or in the heart or in the head How begot? How nourished? Reply. Reply. It is engendered in the eyes, With gazing fed. And Fancy dies In the cradle where it lies. Let us all ring Fancy's knell. I'll begin it -- ding, dong, bell. Shakespeare, too, could spot a non-trivial problem when he saw one. With a metaphor strong enough to blow your mind he connects visual image formation with reproduction. It is begot. It is a baby. And how is it that my right arm is an image of my left? This argument leads to a curriculum or "major" in experimental philosophy or empirical epistemology. Very difficult to teach because its subject matter would be everything and its connectedness quite intangible. When viewed in the light of that connectedness, everything becomes non-trivial. Some things illustrate connectedness more vividly, but only the connectedness matters. "An ultimate simplicity costing not less than everything." Gregory Bateson I remember thinking this was some pretty good stuff. Living on campus (around a corner and two doors down from me), Gregory and his wife Lois looked for excuses to interact with students. They began having weekly "rap sessions" in their apartment. At first I stayed away. But then I decided to audition for a part in the play "The Real Inspector Hound" (1970) by Tom Stoppard. ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0571047270/hip-20 ) I was up for ther part of Inspector Hound (but not, it turns out, the REAL Inspector Hound) in a classic British drawing room murder mystery with some "meta" twists. I'd need to do a British accent. Bateson was Cambridge-educated and had just the sound I needed. I went to a rap session to listen to his accent. I realized later that this wasn't just a "hang out" event or a "meet and greet" session; he was, in a low-key way, recruiting students. The discussion turned to myths. Many of us were taking Michael Kahn's "Psych 5 - Humanistic Psychology" class, and had read Joseph Campbell's "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" (1972) ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0691017840/hip-20 ) which talked about the universal structure of all world myths, what he called the "monomyth." I piped up about how "the Wizard of Oz" was an American version of the story, with Dorothy as the Hero. I had been highly influenced growing up by the 1939 Judy Garland movie, ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00000JS62/hip-20 ) based on "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (1900) by L. Frank Baum. ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060293233/hip-20 ) Bateson pointed out that only in the American version of the myth was the wizard a FAKE! That's what made it uniquely American! And he laughed. I enjoyed it, but not enough to go back. I dunno, maybe I was too proud. I felt like I already had too many guru-like professors to choose from at UCSC (Michael Kahn, John Grinder, William Everson) and wasn't eager to add one more to the list. A month or two later school ended, concluding the spring quarter 1974. I got the part of Inspector Hound (not the real...) and signed up for summer school classes, one in writing and a lit. class on "the demonic hero." Before summer school began I took a trip back to my home town of San Diego to visit family and friends. Wayne and Eric, two of my friends from high school, were living in a house Wayne'd bought that they called "Wayne's Oasis." They had a small party that weekend and I was hanging out. "Have you seen this?" Wayne asked, and handed me a new book by Stewart Brand, editor of the "Whole Earth Catalog," called "II Cybernetic Frontiers" (1974). ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0394492838/hip-20 ) The book, on the small side, consisted of two articles Brand had written recently: "SPACEWAR -- Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums" (1972, Rolling Stone magazine) ( www.wheels.org/spacewar/stone/rolling_stone.html ) and "Both Sides of the Necessary Paradox (Conversations With Gregory Bateson)" (1973, Harper's Weekly). ( www.thesa.com/th/th-106-161-169-th-7-182-22.htm ) I was astonished. I sat down in Wayne's living room and read the whole book straight through on the spot, while my friends played with primitive computers (I think there was a Radio Shack TRS-80 there as well as an IMSAI with "dazzler" video card). Wayne had been mostly interested in the "Spacewar" article, partly because he'd played a similar game at Grossmont College in the electronics lab there. But here in the "Paradox" my most credible reporter on all things cybernetic, Stewart Brand, was crowning Bateson king of whole systems, and he'd been right under my nose for nine months! (Literally -- I'd been living in a loft in apartment 187 that looked down on his faculty office window.) One of the ideas discussed in the article was "deutero-learning" or "learning II," learning to learn. (When people talking about the "learning curve" -- and usually they have no idea what they're talking about -- they are referring to a sort of "urban legend" derivation of Bateson's ideas of learning II.) An example of this was given in a story of a dolphin who was -- with some difficulty -- trained to do something "new" on cue. (This story appears on-line, paraphrased as "The Parable of the Porpoise" at the topperformancecoaching.com web site.) ( www.topperformancecoaching.com/cgi-bin/datacgi/database.cgi?file=tpc&report=rptShowArticle&ID=0037 ) About 3 AM I finished reading the book on Wayne's couch and was determined to return to Kresge and study under this great cyberneticist. But when I go back, and told Bateson of my plan, he proposed that I start out by reading the complete works of Dickens, suggested that maybe I was ready for a "psychotic break," gave me a copy of of a book he'd edited for me to read, "Percival's Narrative: A Patient's Account of His Psychosis 1830-1832" (1961), ( s1.amazon.com/exec/varzea/ts/exchange-glance/Y01Y3627200Y7265201/qid%3D1101858936/104-8512881-9480713 ) and took off to spend the summer living with some Indians. * * * * * * * * "A metalogue is a conversation about some problematic subject. This conversation should be such that not only do the participants discuss the problem but the structure of the conversation as a whole is also relevant to the same subject." -- "Steps to an Ecology of Mind," Part I, Page 1 I never did read the Dickens or "Percival's Narrative," which Bateson insisted was important because the schizophrenia patient author was articulate and too early historically to be corrupted by Freud's ideas. And I wasn't very interested in having a "psychotic break," because I knew how society ostracizes people perceived as having mental illness. I still remembered the Thomas Eagleton scandal during the 1972 George McGovern presidential campaign. But what I did do was start hanging around his office, where his secretary, Judith Van Slooten, was working for the summer. I mentioned how my student apartment had looked into his faculty office. Well, during the summer, the college moved me to a different apartment, and moved Bateson into a different office, and I STILL looked into his office, across a small courtyard from my living room. I could see if Judith was in. When I played my Beach Boys tape she asked me to stick the speakers in the window. She was a beautiful blonde surfer chick who had reached middle age. When I saw her in the window I would ask if I could come over, and she would tell me whether she was too busy. Judith became the person I could talk to about Bateson's ideas. She wasn't assigned to be his secretary out of a pool -- she worked for him, not the college -- and she told me that after she'd read some of his work she showed up and announced she was becoming his secretary. She bragged that Gregory had been working on a collection of essays he called "Steps Towards an Ecology of Mind," and she'd convinced him to change "Towards" to be "To," since she said he'd gotten there. She also wrote the uncredited blurb on the first page of the book, the one that begins: "Here is the book which develops a new way of thinking..." And she gave me a copy of "Steps..." to read. I started at the beginning. The first section, his father/daughter metalogues, were delightful -- kind of like eating dessert first. But then I got into the section on "Form and Pattern in Anthropology" and started reading about "schizmogenesis" and bogged down. (This early writing was from a time when Bateson did not yet know the language of cybernetics, positive and negative feedback, etc., and so was struggling to express new ideas.) I spent the bulk of the summer at rehearsals for the play, and hanging out afterwards until the wee hours at The Crepe Place with the other actors, listening to Stevie Wonder's "Hotter Than July" and smoking Sherman cigarettes, which one of the actors used as props. ( www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/12.12.96/dining-9650.html ) I slept in a lot, missing classes, and had trouble doing the assigned reading (which included "Paradise Lost" and "Moby Dick") for the "demonic hero" class. I did manage to read an optional book, though, "Frankenstein" (1818) by Mary Shelley. ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0553212478/hip-20 ) When "The Real Inspector Hound" began performances, my parents flew up from San Diego to see me in it, and stayed in my student apartment. I believe Nixon had just resigned, or was about to. All America was on edge about that. I was also on edge because I needed to tell my parents that I was flunking the summer school classes they'd paid for me to take. I couldn't sleep. I knew they were sleeping in my room while I camped out on my living room floor, and I while I paced around the living room freaking out I began to think I understood why Frankenstein's monster wanted to destroy his creator. I felt guilt at this train of thought. Was I approaching that "psychotic break" Bateson had prescribed? I was beginning to understand that this was a code phrase he used for "Learning III," a major paradigm shift in learning how to learn how to learn. A week later my parents were back in southern California, camping near a town called Idylwild in the San Jacinto Mountains, and I drove up into the mountains to join them. I was sitting and reading John Lilly's "The Center of the Cyclone" (1972), ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0517556146/hip-20 ) and he talked about astral travel. Bateson had taught me that all perception was hallucination, and hopefully some of it was BASED ON reality. I thought that maybe so-called astral travel or "out of body" experiences were just an alternate way to perceive the data in the mind, and nobody actually "went" anywhere. As I sat pondering this possibility among the pine trees, I rose up out of my body about 100 feet and looked down at myself in the woods. Woah! As soon as I realized what I was doing, I snapped back down into my body. Enough of that! I wasn't going to have no psychotic break, no-siree! I told my parents I had to leave, and drove down the mountain. Halfway down I stopped and stood on a boulder, and looked at a strange glowing orange cloud hovering over the mountain top. I thought I was cracking up. This had to be a hallucination. Hoo boy. I continued driving down onto the flats, and the I happened to turn on the radio and hear about the forest fire engulfing Idylwild and environs. When I returned to San Diego I went over to my oldest sister's house and we tried to get a hold a sheriff or emergency services person who could tell us if our parents were OK. Sitting around talking about childhood memories and stories with her, I realized that I REALLY didn't want them to die, and I regretting the idle train of thought from a week earlier. (The next morning they showed up, having been evacuated just ahead of the encroaching fire.) Well that was as close as I got that summer to a "psychotic break." Of course the glowing orange cloud WASN'T a hallucination, but when I'd thought it was, a funny shift was going on in my brain. I felt ready to receive new ideas about ideas. In the fall of 1974, Stewart Brand, who'd shut down the "Whole Earth Catalog" in 1972, came out with its sequel, "The Whole Earth Epilog." ( www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0140039503/hip-20 ) On the first page of the "Whole Systems" section at the beginning, in what used to be the Bucky Fuller spot, was a page devoted to the ideas of Gregory Bateson. Brand wrote: Through Gregory I became convinced that much more of whole systems could be understood than I thought -- that mysticism, mood, ignorance, and paradox could be rigorous, for instance, and that the most potent tool for grasping these essences -- these influence nets -- is cybernetics. Bateson is responsible for a number of formal discoveries, most notably the "Double Bind" theory of schizophrenia. As an anthropologist he did pioneer work in New Guinea and (with Margaret Mead) in Bali. He participated in the Macy Foundation meetings that founded the science of cybernetics, but kept a healthy distance from computers. He wandered thornily in and out of various disciplines -- biology, ethnology, linguistics, epistemology, psychotherapy -- and left each of them altered with his passage. In recommending this book, I've learned to suggest that it be read backwards. Read the recent broad analyses of mind and ecology at the end of the book and then work back to see where the premises come from. Strong medicine. ( www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0GER/is_2000_Summer/ai_63500795 ) Also the college moved me back into apartment 187, and Bateson back into his previous office, so I once again looked right into his window. And, finally, I began studying under him, taking his survey course "Ecology of Mind" in the Kresge auditorium, which we called the "Town Hall" (or sometimes "Clown Hall"). TO BE CONTINUED... ======================================================================== newsletter archives: www.well.com/~abs/Cyb/4.669211660910299067185320382047 ======================================================================== Privacy Promise: Your email address will never be sold or given to others. You will receive only the e-Zine C3M unless you opt-in to receive occasional commercial offers directly from me, Alan Scrivener, by sending email to abs@well.com with the subject line "opt in" -- you can always opt out again with the subject line "opt out" -- by default you are opted out. To cancel the e-Zine entirely send the subject line "unsubscribe" to me. I receive a commission on everything you purchase during your session with Amazon.com after following one of my links, which helps to support my research. ======================================================================== Copyright 2004 by Alan B. Scrivener