# Re: [xmca] Space, neighbourhood, dwelling in, in*formation as notionswith a "family resemblance"

With respect to processes (rather than mathematical relationships), I think "linear" refers to a kind of sequentiality that might be typified by a factory assembly line. Iterative or recursive processes are less linear in this sense. In real life, of course, departures from this kind of linearity go way beyond iteration and recursion.
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On Mon, 26 Sep 2011, Andy Blunden wrote:

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I didn't realise that Ohio State University was responsible for all this, Michael. The meaning of linear that I learnt from applied mathematics is based on the metaphor of a graph and really means "rectilinear", only "linear" for short. It means more or less if a little bit of something has a certain effect then twice as much will have twice the effect, 10 times as much will have 10 times the effect, etc. "Non-linear" (generally you mean strongly non-linear) means that at a certain point there is a qualitative break and the effect is somethgin radically different, OR, the relation is irreversible so that when you remove the cause, the effect is not removed (since reversibility is usually a corrollary of linearity).
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So I think we are in the same (as you say in the States) ball park.
Andy

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PS. There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary numbers and those who don't.
```Michael Glassman wrote:
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```Hi Andy and Christine
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I think when people use the term linear in the social sciences what they often mean is there is a direct line between an independent variable and a dependent variable. So a linear explanation might be, Andy doesn't know what linear means because he didn't go to the Ohio State psychology program, but if he went to the Ohio State psychology program he would know exactly what linear means and would applaud it. Of course that issue is far more complicated than that and involves many different interactions and transactions you have had over your lifetime. And even the question is much more subtle and multi-dimensional than that, but it is of course not linear. This is the problem in this country for instance with school reform. It is based on a number of linear propositions. If we have a more controlled curriculum and teaching students will do better on their standardized tests. If students do better on standardized tests they will have greater career choices. If students have better career choices they will be happier. There is a great metaphor that sort of goes along with this whole linear thing.
``` 1.   Underwear is the most important thing in the world
2.   We steal everybody's underwear
3.  Something else happens
4.  World domination for underpants gnomes!!!!
Linear!
Michael

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From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu on behalf of Andy Blunden
Sent: Sun 9/25/2011 11:03 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
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Subject: Re: [xmca] Space, neighbourhood, dwelling in, in*formation as notionswith a "family resemblance"
```

Christine, I am never reallay clear on what people mean when they refer
to an idea being "linear." I was brought up in applied mathematics where
the ideas of linear and non-linear had very specific meanings, but I
don't get what people mean outside of this, other than it referring to
something they don't like.
Andy
christine schweighart wrote:

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```Andy,
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I hear your appreciation in a big break from categorizing as primary. I just haven't got really clear in learning from my own thinking experience how relational formation happens in conceptualisation. It's apparent after its produced itself. I have just jumped in and I'm not familiar with Ingold but he seems not to be researching by changing and influencing ,so maybe there's a difference because of ethnographic method? Stages do seem to be useful as metaphor because in that there is 'transition', but perhaps 'line' symbolises something that hides more ( i.e relationally) by removing boundary in it's absolute sense. Going back to organic formation for inspiration, but also to learn from 'living', natures form is not 'boundary lines' , which was something I was exploring thinking about non-causal relations ( after Maturana). Hence my fairly literal pointing out that 'line' isn't indexical to organic formations of organisms boundary relations and structures.
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I came to that after trying to recognise formation, and a desire to make accessible through recogising conceptual relational thinking consciously forming as a 'tool' in environmental management education practice, which in acquisition changes a horizon of possibility. ( Yet accounts of studying this as dual-stimulation , don't appear for me in 'reverse' in Davydov's instruction guiding formal teaching. I am attracted to understand/ make practical action guided by principles informed/ing dual stimulation, but also suspect that we could align better through learning from organic formation in crafting conceptual tools . In this on-going living is always in the present, hence the notion of linear time being a tool of our invention. Maturana's recursion relies upon it though he also recognises its creation in our cognition. Here is an example from Maturana:
```  --To  distinguish
something as  a system of processes ( circular organisation) it needs to
encounter another linear domain ( the medium) that displaces it, that
in our perception of both, recognises iterations and produces a new
phenomenon .  One example is a wheel turning, which becomes circular
against the linear ground/, where in distance covered the phenomemon of
movement appears.  ---
```
Dual stimulation as displacement actions in activity doesn't pan out as cleanly as this non-organic example of a new horizon of possibility phenomena appearing. So maybe 'linear' is not as helpful as we think it is. Ruminations more than gestures for the forum , I suspect. Though I have a strong feeling over-focus on categorizing does not lend itself to help developmental movement in thinking skills for project work affecting the natural environment.
```Thanks, Christine. I do take "lines" as potentially a big break in
conceptualisation. I take it in the sense of lines (lines of
development, lines of events, lines of thought, lines of action, blood
lines, ...) as opposed to groups or cateogries or things. So it actually
functions to do away with boundaries (boundary lines), focus on which is
almost always a disease.
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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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*Andy Blunden*
```
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
```Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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Tony Whitson
UD School of Education
NEWARK  DE  19716

twhitson@udel.edu
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