excerpt 1:Very few species, however, have made the leap from merely social to eusocial, “eu-” meaning true. To qualify as eusocial, in Wilson’s definition, animals must live in multigenerational communities, practice division of labor and behave altruistically, ready to sacrifice “at least some of their personal interests to that of the group.” It’s tough to be a eusocialist. Wouldn’t you rather just grab, gulp and go? Yet the payoffs of sustained cooperation can be huge.
excerpt 2: Our hypersocial spirit is both a great blessing and a terrible curse. Experiments have shown that it is shockingly easy to elicit a sense of solidarity among a group of strangers. Just tell them they’ll be working together as a team, and they immediately start working together as a team, all the while attributing to each other a host of positive qualities like trustworthiness and competence—an instant five-star customer review.
Yet we are equally prepared to do battle against those who fall outside the fraternal frame. In experiments where psychologists divided people into groups of arbitrarily assigned traits—labeling one set the Blue team and another the Green, for example—the groups started sniping at each other and expressing strong prejudices toward their “opponents,” with the Greens insisting the Blues were untrustworthy and unfair. The “drive to form and take deep pleasure from in-group membership easily translates at a higher level into tribalism,” Wilson says, and can spark religious, ethnic and political conflicts of breathtaking brutality.
Wilson also traces what he considers the tragedy of the human condition to the private struggle of us versus me. He sees us as a kind of mixed economy, the complicated fruit of a sharply disputed process known as multilevel selection. By this reckoning, some of our impulses are the result of individual selection, the competition of you against everybody else for a share of life’s goodies. Other traits are under the sway of group selection, prompting us to behave altruistically for the sake of the team. It appears our individually selected traits are older and more primal, harder to constrain, the ones we traditionally label vices: greed, sloth and lust, the way we covet our neighbor’s life and paper over our failings with pride. Our eusocial inclinations are evolutionarily newer and more fragile and must be vociferously promoted by the group if the group is to survive. They are the stuff of religions and Ben Franklin homilies and represent the virtues we admire: to be generous, kind and levelheaded, to control our impulses, keep our promises and rise to the occasion even when we are scared or disheartened. “The human condition is an endemic turmoil rooted in the evolution processes that created us,” he writes. “The worst in our nature coexists with the best, and so it will ever be.”
Black Mountain Research explains its mission. James Elkins kicks off the three videos embedded from BMR’s archive. He’s going to bridge the research element and self-reflexivity, and, the practice-based credential (Ph.D.) formally theorizing artistic practice.
Over the last 20 years art has eased its way into academia. Past the door of the artist’s studio and up the back stairs it tiptoed until, in a very bold move, it seated itself in the commissioner’s chair. Where once art reacted against academies from the outside, art, and the artists who make it, now work from within the institution. Artists interested in pursuing a doctoral degree will have heard time and again about ‘the critical function of art’. Indeed, many theorists would insist on art being defined from this state of opposition (the ‘avant-garde’). But to understand the potential of art today it becomes impossible to separate it from the academic institutions that use its name to label their distinctive, often daring, new departments. – Daniel Rourke, Thoughts On Art Practice PhDs
“Knowledge is and will be produced in order to be sold, it is and will be consumed in order to be valorised in a new production: in both cases, the goal is exchange.” Jean-Francois Lyotard (from D.Rourke)
“Practice is a set of relays from one theoretical point to another, and theory is a relay from one practice to another. No theory can develop without eventually encountering a wall, and practice is necessary for piercing this wall.” —Gilles Deleuze
Research that takes the nature of practice as its central focus is called ‘practice-based’ or
‘practice-led’ research. It is carried out by practitioners, such as artists, designers, curators, writers, musicians, teachers and others, often, but not necessarily, within doctoral research programmes. This kind of research has given rise to new concepts and methods in the generation of original knowledge.
It is important to make a clear distinction between practice-based research and pure practice. Many practitioners would say they do ‘research’ as a necessary part of their everyday practice. As the published records of the creative practitioners demonstrate, searching for new understandings and seeking out new techniques for realising ideas is a substantial part of everyday practice. However, this kind of research is, for the most part, directed towards the individual’s particular goals of the time rather than seeking to add to our shared store of knowledge in a more general sense. Scrivener argues that the critical difference is that practice-based research aims to generate culturally novel apprehensions that are not just novel to the creator or individual observers of an artefact; and it is this that distinguishes the researcher from the practitioner (Scrivener, 2002).
excerpt, Practice Based Research: A Guide, Linda Candy (pdf)
This interests me, cybernetically, as a paradoxical instigation of the academy, resolving as it does an education given to mediate to some degree the contradiction between ‘elite exchange’ and ‘elitist knowing;’ (my terms.) At the same time, informally, my own art practice is coordinated to (re)search at the scale of its art making, so is research through, and with, art making.
The four panel valence differentiator of Boston Consulting Group fame, (or what I term the four square matrix,) and the circular cycle used to show both a linear course of change and a completed course of development, are both the main forms for schemas which I collect.
Here are a bunch of such schemas. My aim here is to create a temporary counterpoint.
Epistemology establishes how we understand reality, what we believe the world to be made up of. If library directors do not have a way of knowing what is, how are they to know how to act in a time of crisis? (Phenomenology, Aesthetics, and Planning for the Artful Library Director, Kenneth Warren, 2014)
A leading moral and political philosopher, Kwame Anthony Appiah is Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University. He explores the ideas of the philosopher Hans Vahinger, who argued that our theories of the world involved understanding things “as if” what is in fact false were true.
I had begun this article with reference to Hans Vaihinger’s examination of the two simple words, as-if, which he posits as a fictive device. Until I read his book I was completely unaware that I used them in daily life. Once I did, I couldn’t get as-if out of my mind. Not only that, I found it was fascinating to observe how other people used these words. When I asked if they were aware of the fact, invariably the answer was no. Nevertheless, once they did, they were delighted at finding a treasure right under their noses. From these observations I gathered that the various ways we employ as-if reflects a desire to step outside the routine of daily life, the easiest way being to entertain fanciful thoughts. Such thoughts aren’t to be dismissed outright as a waste of time. If we were asked about them, we’d respond that they constitute an important part of our lives, indeed, are essential to our psychic health. At the same time these thoughts have basis in reality–they arise from experiences in real life–and can reflect our deepest desires. excerptSome Reflections on Hans Vaihinger (Richard McCambley)
Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down, and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split. (Annie Dillard)
The fundamental premise of alchemy is that there are precise correspondences between the visible and invisible worlds, the worlds of matter and spirit, inner and outer, heaven and earth.
With reference to conversation or dialogue, a sketch of how the Reduced Bateson Set might be employed to draw out some tacit assumptions goers like this:
1. What are the systematic assumptions that support the amplification of a thought into a spoken presentation?
2. Are any of these identifiable assumptions traceable to a, in a, history of their inception?
3. What do those histories suggest when a history is compared to another history?
4. Are there underlying assumptions that are brought to light in doing this process of comparison?
Krishnamurti said that “to be” is to be related. But relationship can be very painful. He said that you have to think and feel out all your mental processes and work them through, and then that will open the way to something else. And I think that is what can happen in the dialogue group. Certain painful things can happen for some people; you have to work it all out.
This is part of what I consider dialogue—for people to realize what is on each other’s minds without coming to any conclusions or judgements. In a dialogue we have to sort of weigh the question a little, ponder it a little, feel it out. You become more familiar with how thought works.
It isn’t necessary that everybody be convinced to have the same view. This sharing of mind, of consciousness, is more important than the content of the opinions. You may find that the answer is not in the opinions at all, but somewhere else. Truth does not emerge from opinions; it must emerge from something else—perhaps from a more free movement of this tacit mind. David Bohm, For Truth Try Dialogue
Proprioception (PRO-pree-o-SEP-sh?n), from Latin proprius, meaning “one’s own”, “individual,” and capio, capere, to take or grasp, is the sense of the relative position of neighboring parts of the body and strength of effort being employed in movement.
In my view, “thought” is a kind of ruler that imposes its rules, hence it suppresses the spontaneous emerge of natural coherence. Any imposition by “thought”, such as a particular ideology, religion, or a predetermined topic, or having some kind of agenda, would ultimately block the natural flow of the dialogue which must be free to find its own way towards coherence. It cannot be brought about by conscious attempts.
“Thought” does have an important role to play; not as a ruler but more as a servant: it should serve to carry out the implications of what is revealed by the natural coherence that emerges out of the chaos resulting from anarchistic dialogue. So, the first thing “thought” must do is to become aware of its purpose and stop suppressing the very thing it should serve. But it is a rare ruler who voluntarily becomes a servant. William van den Heuvel, Dialogue and Anarchy
David Peat recounts: “In an earlier posting we saw how Bohm believed that the laws of physics were contained within his physical body. On occasion he experienced this directly. Once when working on an equation he felt a strong sensation within his body and, as he continued to work, a counter sensation. These sensations appeared to correspond directly to the mathematics he was writing down.
Bohm spoke to Einstein about this who told him that when working on his field equations he would squeeze a hard rubber ball and note the sensations in his arm.
When thinking Bohm also had the habit of tossing a group of coins from one hand to another. This annoyed Robert Chambers who occupied an office separated by a lightweight partition from Bohm’s. Month after month he had to put up with the sound of Bohm’s pacing up and down and the jingling of coins.” via The Bohm Documentary
Three types of incoherence of thought:
1- Thought is oblivious to its being participative.
2- Thought stops tracing reality and autonomously executes like a program.
3- Thought establishes its own abductions, frames of reference, and methods for fixing problems, without also deconstructing how thought is a feature of the problem
“The actual order (the Implicate Order) itself has been recorded in the complex movement of electromagnetic fields, in the form of light waves. Such movement of light waves is present everywhere and in principle enfolds the entire universe of space and time in each region. This enfoldment and unfoldment takes place not only in the movement of the electromagnetic field but also in that of other fields (electronic, protonic, etc.). These fields obey quantum-mechanical laws, implying the properties of discontinuity and non-locality. The totality of the movement of enfoldment and unfoldment may go immensely beyond what has revealed itself to our observations. We call this totality by the name holomovement.” David Bohm
In the free play of thought, creative intelligence responds to opposition and contradiction with new proposals.” David Bohm
For me and my research into serendipity the notion of hidden connectedness yields to the notions of uninstantiated contingency and radial contingency. In the free play of uninstantiated contingency, sensitive (to radial contingency,) intelligence responds to possible fortuities and unknown potentials with new conjunctions.
Radial contingency means the possibilities that are located at the end of the spokes of a observer/participant’s awareness, as this awareness radiates outwardly toward other locations of awareness.
“The quantum field contains information about the whole environment and about the whole past, which regulates the present activity of the electron in much the same way that information about the whole past and our whole environment regulates our own activity as human beings, through consciousness.” David Bohm
Also, my experiential aesthetics being rooted in a theorization of generative learning are deeply informed by Bohm’s conception of enfoldment.
“Everybody has seen an image of enfoldment: You fold up a sheet of paper, turn it into a small packet, make cuts in it, and then unfold it into a pattern. The parts that were close in the cuts unfold to be far away. This is like what happens in a hologram. Enfoldment is really very common in our experience. All the light in this room comes in so that the entire room is in effect folded into each part. If your eye looks, the light will be then unfolded by your eye and brain. As you look through a telescope or a camera, the whole universe of space and time is enfolded into each part, and that is unfolded to the eye. With an old-fashioned television set that’s not adjusted properly, the image enfolds into the screen and then can be unfolded by adjustment.” David Bohm
Loss of a person, of a close frriend or of a family member, presents a challenging process which won’t let go as it impels me through its requisite travail.
At the same time, the outward conventions of concern and courtesy basically allow for a restoration of human contact in the collective terms of concern and courtesy, and, sure, in the terms of grief and mourning.
These expressions are helpful, even as the expressed kindnesses and concerns seem to me to reach around the really bare, and profoundly forward-pitched facts. Of course, I would do the same thing, in approaching somebody’s loss, in approaching a ‘death in the family.’ Except, at the same time, I would be always holding back my usual, or my habitual, curiosity.
I would reign in my researcher’s soul.
What is actually going on?
I previously mentioned, or I think I did so, that in the weeks between meeting Ken for the first time and our second meeting, he reported to me that he had read my entire web site and blog. At the time he made this report, I didn’t know really what kind of ‘reader’ was Ken. Still, I was very impressed because he had begun what we came to call, ‘the forensics;’ and I had begun the same process. Furthermore, apparently, we shared this similarity, we both knew more data is better than both a little data, and, the thin positive capability through which a little data and bad guesswork are joined together.
Gone! Okay, what is actually going on with you Stephen? This is the question that can be addressed to me.
I do bring in, and try to warmly receive, the heartfelt substitutions for this non-obvious question. Oh, it was not a non-obvious question to Ken. When my mother passed away in early 2012, he asked me,
“What is going on?”
And, he kept asking. I’ll miss his researcher’s tenacity! If somebody doesn’t ask me this question, he or she is missing the boat. I’m not missing it, I’m in it.
I have put much of the actual goings on ‘with me’ in the aftermath of my loss, ‘out there,’ here, on my blog. (This blog is iteration number three, begun five months after meeting Ken in the fall of 2004.)
2. the LOVE BASIS
3. COMBINATORIAL questing
4. active DECONSTRUCTION
5. the ANIMA PROBLEM
6. interlude: what you don’t know, give into
7. interlude: process and reality
8. NEGATIVE CAPABILITY, Irony
Ken would have appreciated why the number of posts is eight. Hey, I’m throwing out clues here!
He and I agreed on a great great deal, although as I have tried to make clear, Ken was entangled by his enthusiasms, whereas I am mostly afraid of my own; (so, I trained myself to be a fallibilist.)
Also, I feel as if I need to be careful. But, it isn’t also true that anybody should feel he or she is to be a second fiddle. Heck, go for it. Life is unpredictable. And, you’re unlikely to figure out in advance when your last breath is steaming down the tracks.
Close relations are my second highest value–and are so for reasons I’m able to express. Ask me. Go for it.
The Green Man (Stephen Calhoun
Ken and I spent a lot of time deconstructing what to us–to maybe only us–was the single most bloody problem in the ‘scape of modernity, (that:) the fundamental problem is relational incapacity, not deficits in rationality or critical thinking.
Note, the structure goes from Shock to Negative Capability. It goes from oh no, shit! to soul!
Yes, it was terrific and quite medicinal, perhaps even karmically medicinal, to feel really extremely thoroughly known by Ken, yet, I’ve mapped out the foundation to be: going from the LOVE BASIS to the COMBINATORIAL. Ken and I were sensemakers, this is what we did over many thousands of hours. Why?
What is actually going on?
Why? …such a good question. We never discussed explicitly dialogical recognition (Charles Taylor,) yet when we together took up the cause of the noetic public library we sorted out a deep congruence about the micro problems come to coalesce around the macro problems of–within the pragmatics of praxis in a library–reification, instrumentalism, objectification, dehumanization, and, well, how it is, apparently, easy to rip the fucking heart of a library out of its cavity, and place in this cavity a bunch of 3D printers.
Similarly, most societal problems at the scale of the kind of civics citizens actually can effectively practice, are initiated in the first order by the atrophy of the human ability to actively know one other. Ken and I understood our diagnosis would deconstruct this order of knowing. Then, for the sake of reanimating the civic heart and civic capacity for making sense, we worked over how in a city or in a library how citizens might collaborate on a new, deeper (3rd) order of interpersonal and intrapersonal knowing cum relationship.
In the light of the ideal of authenticity, it would seem that having merely instrumental relationships is to act in a self-stultifying way. The notion that one can pursue one’s fulfilment in this way seems illusory, in somewhat the same way as the idea that one can choose oneself without recognizing a horizon of significance beyond choice. Authenticity a picture of what a better or higher mode of life would be, where better and higher are defined not in terms of what we happen to desire or need, but offer a standard of what we ought to desire. (Charles Taylor)
Ken and I spent zero time slapping each other on the back when we discovered, for example, we both were familiar with Paolo Freire. It was all matter-of-fact because it is who you are, not what you know, and, so, study for the love of the quest. Train first! Deploy, drill down, together stick our hands in the muck.
What is actually going on?
When we turned this around, our critical chops came to meld Ken’s learned Saturnian thrust with my edge-seeking Promethean swing. Ken possessed this aspect, one that was like the boy with a hammer, the boy who would swing his hammer at everything; and, I, an actual complexed puer, possessed a kind of penetrating Apollonian cynicism, and, also I, a Batesonian, was able to stand back a bit. (Well, I didn’t want to get accidentally rapped by the hammer.) Yet, when we got going. . .
we’d cover stuff very very quickly. ‘Marx was not even a horrible psychologist, yet Russell was on the money in noting Marx was a Christian heretic.’ ‘Jung only had an inkling that he had birthed a psychology and its daughters from his lapsed Lutheran brow, and that his psychology’s wider applications were somewhat covertly undermined by this creation story.’ ‘There are short paragraphs in the Tibetan Canon, or the best haiku, which could right now replace and improve every word Ken Wilber has ever scribbled.’
‘cover’ doesn’t mean getting it correct.
Ken, by the way, fulfilled the demands of authentic relationship with many many people. He and I were in a synergistic profoundly complementary relationship, and spent no time gratuitously or otherwise aggrandizing how great was our relationship, except we did once briefly consider some of the contingencies and fortuities and errors which had to slowly collapse, like a holy wave function organizing its effective reality, or ‘reality,’ and do so over two lifetimes, all for the sake of being able to efficiently and cleanly deploy together the practical and/or explosive tools our dialectical instigations, spontaneous poetics, and channeled intuitions, came to evoke and muster.
Did it help our effort that we happened to have both traveled through some of the same ideational and metaphysical lands? See: Interlude #3 tomorrow.
Nevertheless, our learned congruency was like a picture pasted to the jig pieces of a puzzle. With time, and it still is going to take time no matter what, two people working together can piece the puzzle together without having to refer to the ‘parted’ picture on the surface of each piece.
What Ken and I disagreed about: particular ramifications. For example, the ramifications implicitly of this perspective:
Ken, you should just give up trying to trick me.
Ken respected where I could not go. I had occasion to remind him earlier this year that “such respect then leads irrevocably to my Promethean liberation of Astrology and Psycho-astrology,” (and how I came to amputate various fixities from their thin causal relations.)
I had planned to take him (this summer) through The Reduced Bateson Set. (Oh well.) We had begun to recast some of the developmental fixations in learning theorizing and in specific theories, like the theory of my friend, David Kolb. Obviously, to where the action learning of our entwined dialectical picking and drumming would have led to, is about as unknowable as an unknown could be.
I had submitted a Cube-O-Probe, as a visual poem, to House Organ. Ken rarely specified the ways in which our workplay was influencing his numerous other projects. But, he was a boy with a hammer! He took his set #2 of Cubes and fearlessly interpreted their message on behalf of astrologers, poets, and nieces.
One deep congruency we arrived at, we came to right at the beginning. Love basis.
Another lesser, and vital congruency, brought forth one of the essential fundamentals able to support our mindful and creative travels: as it happens, an exquisitely sensitive humane esotericist breaks bread with a mercurial edge-seeking flatlander because the whole cause of inverting assumptions and sometimes having to mulch them is shared and equally served by two radically different sensibilities–except for, as Rumi noted, our “fleshy hearts.”
We traveled and never went anywhere. We made a road trip to the Target in North Olmsted for the sake of a veteran who had just rented a crib in Lakewood but didn’t have a bed.
h/t Lakewood Observer
We made a bunch of trips to Wadsworth in support of our fellow traveler, Daniel and his public library.
“Ken, would you please try to keep at least one hand on the wheel?”
When I had reason to remind Ken that I am, by disposition, a “deep ironicist,” he told me this assertion perplexed him. I told him,
“Come on Ken, you’re the one who titled me, Dr. Puck.”
Then, I explained to him what imperatives are driven by chops, negative capability, good/bad fortune, large collections of devices and heuristics, multitudes of perspectives, plus the ability to rappel down to the “meta,” and, I went on,
“then there are also all those just-in-time intuitions blowing into your scheme like neutrinos stream through the material world, except you and me grab at ’em and we bring the intuition back alive, from wherever was its ‘wild,’ and you stick ’em to your wall, They always seem to stick.”
A hallmark of sincere and authentic and audacious post-conventionality could be: daring.
This would go along with understanding that the call beyond conventions promotes radical, storming kinds of engagements with one’s own self, with the world, and with other people.
But, the “could be” is my hedging as against the conventions of the theorization of the post-conventional. Affirmative Post-Conventional themes are, in the main, elementally meta-cognitive predicates, and these themes also reflect a kind of instrumental positivism. Some lip service is paid to the varieties of deconstruction, although, there is no deconstructive literature to be found in the field’s small, (and revealingly tidy,) body of work.
The post-conventional move into epiphanic knowledge–which is somewhat covered under the fuzzy rubric given by Ken Wilber’s causal level, the so-called path of sages–is also the move into post Post-Conventional being. The other move is not found in Post-Conventional theory , (or Wilberian theory.) There are no lively treatments of anything functionally equivalent to ecstatic intuition, or equivalent to its applications.
Ecstatic Intuition is: spontaneous development due to spontaneous insight. Its most well-known application is given by the conception of synchronicity in the Analytic Psychology. squareONE’s applications similarly provide concrete enactive engagements with procedures which elevate novel data into the learner’s field for the purpose, instrumentally viewed, of spontaneous decodification and “instant self-discovery”
What I termed twenty years ago, ecstatic organization, shadows and inflects the problem of daring. Another feature of this problem (of daring,) is recovered by extracting the direct polarity: competency <—> ecstatic intuition from the array.
My sense is that the scientism implicit in the meta-cognitive bracket helps secure the means, and the developmental applications, which all aim to build practical post-conventional capabilities. Whereas, what I term the meta-enactive bracket, (or what might be viewed as the interface, dissolves scientism, is spontaneous and oft spontaneously messy, and is altogether forcefully disposed toward post developmental, or non developmental, modes of being and being-in-response. Ecstatic organization and ecstatic intuition is impractical, (and may even be anti-fragile per Nassim.)
If you, reader, are able to sense this bracket’s dynamic quotients of: the irrational, of eros, of soulmaking, of Bateson’s conception of mindedness, and, sense also its more direct route away from the neocortex and intentionality, you’ll also recognize I really meant it when I first spoke of daring.
Lastly, the scope of unlearning, of learning to unlearn, is discoverable in the daring foray to be made through the Coincidentia Oppositorum, into the Oppositorum. This means going in the direction away from what you know, how you know it, and, as dear Desse put it many years ago, also means going in the direction away from how you know it is that you know.
One view of the reduction to practice, or to application.
In the fall of 1968 I entered ninth grade. I was, up to ninth grade, a lackadaisical student. What was at the time termed social studies, and english, were my favorite subjects. However, I was dreamy and had not internalized the point of it all. At the same time I had spent a good chunk of 1964-1966 reading/skimming through my family’s 1962 World Book Encyclopedia. All sorts of stuff fascinated me and I was a voracious reader.
Here I am describing experience that began to gather together the elements of my personal culture. (This was happening in the First Order of my self-constitution, because at the time I knew nothing about culture or intentionality!)
Late in September 1968, the head of the experimental program that had been implemented for ninth graders at Roxboro Junior High, a chain-smoking professorial type named Jim McGuinness–teachers smoked in the classroom in this era–asked me into his office, where also sat an english teacher, Ron Palladino.
The shorter version of this meeting was that Mr. McGuinness requested Mr. Palladino
“Take Stephen under his wing and support in any way Stephen’s quest for knowledge while also helping Stephen organize particular presentations which will verify his learning.”
(His directive to his colleague was something like this.)
Oh, I went to classes too. Yet, the eventual upshot was: ninth grade was my single all-star year in the sweep of my formal education. I aced everything and, moreover, I learned a lot and learned I love learning.
One year later my parents had managed to leverage this stellar performance into my admission to Hawken School, a college preparatory day school. I did well in everything but the two subjects that came to thrash my transcript, spanish and math.
But, with the exception of an art teacher and a cross country coach, I was subject to educative mechanics which neither served: my narcissism, or my intrinsic motivation, or my developing culture. I learned mountains more from reading my way independently through a variety of subjects, until, I came onto my social personality in the counter-culture milieu devised by the affluent sons of the professional class, constituting a hippie tribe at prep school. Mainly, I was bored and turned off by the first institutional fault, no teacher cared to massage my narcissism by taking my wide-ranging fascinations seriously.
I loved learning on my own, loved learning with customized support, but, I didn’t get school. And I surely didn’t understand that the purpose of schooling is potentially fulfilled when the student gets school. Nor did the fear factor over school performance and adult outcomes introduced into the mix by my professional parents take hold. Nor did either ever ask about or cared to understand my motivations. I arrested my development in one direction yet liberated it in another dimension.
All of these elements are crucial aspects of what is today, at sixty, my own personal culture. In turn, my personal culture reflects how it came to be, and, what are its main and side and untravelled roads.
My own culture soon evoked the independent, wandering, perennial student, and this in turn is the ocean underneath the present-day experimenter, theorist, artist, and, colleague.
As a practitioner, and taking my lead from Jim McGuinness, it is required groundwork, when possible, to learn what are some of the cultural features of the learner. Practitioners carry their own unique culture into the situation of practice, and, every such situation also instantiates the culture of its subjects, those who are the unique individuals come to find themselves in the specific situation.
Where the tips of educator and learner intersect is the point at where the twined reduction of the total genetic systems of experience, learning, knowledge, and personal culture of both persons comes together and, out of these now entangled wellsprings, there is newly constituted a co-creative unique cultural production–so-to-speak.
Slides from my recent presentation at the quarterly EL-COP session.
No matter how complicated the background of practice may be, at the point of application there is a reduction to application-in-situ in the ad-mixture of the now entangled unque cultures of practitioner/client.
In the example of one-on-one practice there would be the point of contact constituting the reduction, and, underneath this contact, are two vast generative oceans of prior experience and learning.
The key question able to excavate personal culture, echoing the pragmatic turn of William James and John Dewey, is:What interests you?
Three schema purloined via google image search that suggest to me vectors for investigating personal culture, and this includes the kind of auto-ethnography a person can do for themselves, about their self.
Caveman A caveman seeks revenge on a much larger competitor for the hand of a beautiful cavewoman.
Directed by Carl Gottlieb. Starring Ringo Starr, Dennis Quaid and Shelley Long.
Dr. Puck’s Prejudicial Proposition Number One:
If you step backward in time step by step, eventually every bright idea and every idea falls away.
Azerbaycan Rock Art
(Genealogy Of Religion) Aside from the usual concerns about over interpretation, some wondered whether there was any justification for assuming that Paleolithic people had an essentially modern aesthetic category which might be called “art.” If they didn’t, it would follow that artistic interpretations of the cave paintings were just that and shed little light on Paleolithic minds.
Frustrated by the sense that we weren’t getting any closer to understanding Paleolithic symbols, some began searching for alternatives. One of the more compelling came from cognitive archaeologist David Lewis-Williams. Having studied rock art around the world, Lewis-Williams noticed that certain kinds of symbols regularly appeared across time and space. This was an enigma, given that the peoples producing these recurring symbols had not been in contact with one another. These symbols were not, in other words, the result of cultural diffusion. Lewis-Williams calls these symbols “entoptic forms”:
This result, schematically presented above, is fuzzily right inasmuch as the KERP is able to capture some of the qualities of me–who in the normative sense of the term educator is not an educator–yet, is an educator-of-a-sort. What kind of sort?
This raises the question of how to get at the term for my sort. Perhaps, it’s best to ask the subjects of whatever it is that qualifies and names what I do. I do aid experience-based transformative learning. Yet, there isn’t a clear educator’s role in what I do, except, the learning relationship is certainly educative.
Here’s my Kolb LSi 4.0 “kite.” (My own sense is that it presents–something like–my genre of experiential learning style because as a visual and musical experimenter the kites which would correspond to those contexts would look radically different.)
In my one-on-one learning collaborations, I’m an intuitive, experienced re-worker.
Mindfulness exploits the fact that two key points of leverage in managing the unexpected are expectations and categories. People who persistently rework their categories and refine them, differentiate them, update them, and replace them notice more and catch unexpected events earlier in their development. That is the essence of mindfulness. – Karl Weick
Where is mindfulness located in the Experiential Learning Cycle of David A. Kolb?
David A. Kolb’s experiential learning cycle helps me channel my introspective sense of my role:
In the literature and movies of the American Frontier the scout is usually depicted as a roughly clad eccentric who leaves the safety of the settlement and reappears unpredictably, bringing a mixture of firsthand reports, rumors, and warnings about the wilderness ahead—together with a tantalizing collection of plant specimens, animal skins, and rock samples, not all of which are fool’s gold. At first the settlers find the scout’s help indispensable; but once their community begins to consolidate he becomes a figure of fun; and finally, after respectability has set in, he is a positive embarrassment. Yet their premature respectability is vulnerable. When the settlement is struck by drought, the scout’s nature lore leads the settlers to hidden springs of underground water, but once the crisis is past, respectability reemerges, and the scout is ridden out to the town line.Within the world of the American behavioral sciences, Gregory Bateson has always had the scout’s ambiguous status.
The Charm of the Scout Philosopher of science Stephen Toulmin reviewing Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity (Gregory Bateson) in The New York Review of Books, 1980 – also included in Rigor & Imagination: Essays from the Legacy of Gregory Bateson
It occurs to me my clearest educator’s role is instantiated as the central aspect of my self-education. Ironically, the KERP captures my autodidactic approach.
(I dislike the term coach.) I’m a bit of a guide and a scout. I told Ken, “I’m sort of a Virgil-like figure.”
Ray Winslow: Illich was deeply opposed to being recorded, on audio tape or film. “Modern-day pornography,” he called it. But yes, we are lucky to have this short clip of such an extraordinary thinker and human being.
Following on the post from two days ago, here is a reconfiguration of a learning taxonomy that also elaborates internet modalities and marks them to Bloom’s hierarchy. This comes from–was purloined from–a great page at the web site for Chambersburg, Pennsylvania schools. Deeper on the page the specific modalities (or web apps) are annotated. I’ll drag interesting stuff into future posts.
I’m thinking about public libraries again. Kenneth Warren has engaged squareONE learning to help design and guide a strategic planning inquiry for Wadsworth Public Library. We began the interactive part of the process with a staff day this week.
It went really well both from my perspective and given the appreciative report of the library’s Director.
POSTER: squareONE’s model plus the Kolb Learning Styles
I created a bunch of materials for the walls. I showed them, but I didn’t tell much about them.
These dichotomies reflect the result of our initial inquiry made with the Director. Cut into cards, they constitute an evocative device for exploring questions, challenges, and routes for further inquiry.
When I think about public libraries, I’m thinking about their deep human system and how it nourishes development and education throughout the human life cycle. Of course, how a given library does so reflects the unique human system of that particular library.
When this project is completed I will have lots more to say!