In the process of writing my academic memoirs spanning a period of more than thirty-five years, I discovered how crucial the work of Gregory Bateson had been to my life as a teacher, a scholar, and a relational partner. In this paper I celebrate Bateson's charming and incisive ideas about how communication works, his deep reservations about the worship of quantification, and his astute analysis of what is at stake when we make epistemological errors in everyday life. Reviewing a turning point in my academic life—a conference held in 1979, I reaffirm the importance of warm ideas and provide a story that illustrates the potentially monstrous consequences of epistemological error.
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