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[Xmca-l] Re: The 5thD in 2D

Happy New Year!  And thank you, Mike, for kicking off with The Video: The
5thD in 2D.
And here is a clip from Huw's feed-back. " Seeing the mediacy is perhaps as
tricky as seeing a "5th dimension".  I like the fact that this film attends
to some of these basic tensions such as the concerns of the people running
the groups, for whom development, leading activity etc is not seemingly part
of the their conscious orientation."
And here is a clip from Mike: "For those of you interested in the line of
work, it is probably 
> relevant that we began arrangements for this film several years ago, 
> at a time when we could show three living systems created on 
> principles of CHAT as I misunderstand them were all in operation at once."

First I want to note that the solitary paid staff, Veverly Anderson,
Director of Town and Country Learning Center, completely grokked the
contribution of the "buddies", their allure, their connections linking with
the kids who participated in the project in similar family structures,
upbringing, and opportunity.  She could hope and appreciate the "dream of
university education" that could take kids on to higher education and bring
someone back to take her place.  That is forward looking!  I also want to
note the reflection of the student participant who said she wants to
"give-back," giving back to the community after it has given her so much.  I
think that is "built-in" to CHAT as I understand, with Mike's avowed
disclaimer in place. The ideal synchronicity that made the drive to the
project 20 minutes instead of hours does not escape my scrutiny, either. 

I think it fair to say that I misunderstand General Systems Theory, but I am
a practitioner nonetheless.
The beginning of a new year allows one to pause to reflect on the past year.
Four "thread" from XMCA are big in my mind: 
1) The death of adjunct professor of French at Duquesne who died in poverty,
starved, alone, deeply in debt with medical bills is huge.  As I near the
age of 60, I had thought that after retirement I might also teach in a
community college or other institute of higher learning.  Now "adjunct" has
become the equivalent of the term "wage slave" which compares work for
gainful employment with slavery.  If the institutions of higher education
can demand highest level credentials for cognitively complex work that is
grueling and give NO benefits or "safety net" it is a national and
international scandal. Helen Worthen, on Sept. 22 said: " So yes, it makes a
ghastly a snapshot but what's also important is the flip side of the story
-- how to change things so that it doesn't happen again and again. This is
not a snapshot. It's a long, long story. But it's the same story. The two
need to be told together." We can shift things. 

2) I remember the video of Lincoln High and David H. Kirshner's 9/16
comment: " Mike, There's not much context given, but one assumes this change
in the culture at Lincoln High is a result of a concerted effort by one or
more individuals. 
The changes seem to include some pretty dramatic reorientations in identity
structure of some students. These changes seem to have to do with a social
analysis of some sort, reminiscent of Freire's work. The kids who have
changed have come to see themselves as authors of change. The question I'd
like to take up concerns scale-up. Can whatever was done at Lincoln be
transported to other locations?"  My two connected thoughts. A) The video of
Lincoln High coupled with the 5thD in 2D video are a breath of fresh air
after the scourge of drugs and crystal meth devastated communities.  We can
turn it around! David Kirshner's questions need to be asked in every
institution of higher learning training the leaders, teachers, and policy
makers, including lawyers and politicians.  What incentives can be brought
to bear in communities to train and hire to build healthy productive
communities.  Answer: the answer is not money. B) David mentioned Freire's
work. Freire was also mentioned in the context of the discussion with Dr.
Paul C. Mocombe.

3) Dr. Mocombe said, "Contemporarily, the haitian government is pushing
education as the solution to haiti's problems.  I disagree.  For me it is
part of the problem.  It is the violent means by which we are brought into
the dialectic of the capitalist world-system, which begs the question is
there a liberating educational pedagogy?  I disagree with Paulo Freire by
the way."  The highly enlightening discussion bounced back and forth for a
while.  Paul paused on a pessimistic note. We rushed into year-end
activities so I was unable to frame the question: "What's wrong with Paulo
Freire?" I've worked with The Pedagogy of the Oppressed, also Myles Horton
and Paulo Freire We Make the Road by Walking, and Dewey's Democracy and
Education. It is not so easy to come up with a road map.  So what if "The
Map is Not The Territory"(Wittgenstein). With google maps these days you can
change your view of everything by changing the scale of the view.  Academia
has scale in its hands, but funding comes from grants, and grant signify
money, money signifies power. The power to grant money is the power to
determine focus.  Dr. Mocombe suggests that the disease of capitalism and
therefore violent overthrow is inevitable.  I am committed to disagreeing
because of philosophy and wisdom and DIALOGIC development which leads to:

4) How we talked about play!  A wide ranging history and survey of play,
games and stage and ventriloquation.  I have not got the time to review all
that we said, how it kept on going, how it chimed in with other strands.  My
last words are unconnected and exuberant! The joy and creativity of the baby
using a symbolic key!  How do we prove it, how do we discuss it, how does
Waldorf education, Rudolph Steiner, brain wave research and Suzuki violin
training with child and mother all fit together with experiential learning
and CHAT!!!  These and other random queries will encourage me to "plow on"
through another year of teaching Freshmen and Sophomore English.

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
[mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Huw Lloyd
Sent: Friday, January 03, 2014 11:19 PM
To: Mike Cole; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Cc: xmca-l@ucsd.edu
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The 5thD in 2D

"Potted" in British english also means "preserved" or a to put in condensed


One of the challenges, I think, is the question around "how is this
development?"  In environments such as these that have a compelling and
inviting immediacey, it requires some work to see the mediacy.  Seeing the
mediacy is perhaps as tricky as seeing a "5th dimension".  I like the fact
that this film attends to some of these basic tensions such as the concerns
of the people running the groups, for whom development, leading activity etc
is not seemingly part of the their concscious orientation.

Those four bits give you 2^4 more variety if you use them right.  :)


On 3 January 2014 01:46, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote:

> With respect to the Video about conducting three "5thD systems at one 
> time."  I personally thought that Andy brought out the feel of the 
> doing of the work in a way that is quite difficult to communicate in 
> print.
> The film was scheduled to coincide with my elevation to rank of 
> professor emeritus last June, but life has a way of getting in the way, so
to speak.
> It was nice to have it appear, as if brought by the wizards 
> themselves, on new year's eve.
> I am not sure the shape of the pot you are thinking of, Huw. I will 
> assume its a pot for a plant? A growing thing in its environment. If 
> so, I like the idea of the film as a potted version of the 5th D; the 
> change in medium and the perspective of a film maker who has his own 
> point of view on the whole enterprise, create an interesting way of 
> "shaping" the growth process.
> For those of you interested in the line of work, it is probably 
> relevant that we began arrangements for this film several years ago, 
> at a time when we could show three living systems created on 
> principles of CHAT as I misunderstand them were all in operation at 
> once. The rule of threes is big in my life, and three is the minimum 
> number we needed to represent the overall conceptual foundations of 
> this line of joint activity between university and community setting. 
> I knew this from personal experience-- whenever a visitor came from 
> afar to see "The" 5thD I would always make sure that the person saw 
> three such systems as a minimum. The reaction to the first encounter 
> is "Oh,so that is how *IT*is done." The reaction to the second 
> encounter is "What? How is the one the same as that one I saw 
> yesterday?" The reaction to the third encounter is "Oh, I get it. Each 
> is its own thing, living as part of the social body within which it 
> has "taken root," "planted there" by some mixture of university and 
> community people/entities."
> I can report that in a message such as this, but what kind of 
> ridiculous evidence would that be? So how about a narrative by a 
> sympathetic outsider with the skills needed to provide a 
> representation that could communicate to a broader community?
> In the film, the community is UCSD. My residence. UCSD is undergoing a 
> multitude of simultaneous changes along with 99% of the post-secondary 
> educational institutions in the US. We are so predominantly Anglo- and 
> Asian American in our makeup that it is now officially embarrassing. 
> So one audience here was my colleagues at UCSD. Couldn't we address 
> issues of diversity very effectively through such courses? And achieve 
> other presumably valued pedagogical goals at the same time?
> A second audience were those who fancied such modes of pedagogical 
> activity in higher education a walk in the park on a breezy June 
> afternoon. Its a long walk through sometimes rough terrain. To these 
> people we want to provide a demonstration proof of that such forms of 
> activity can be created and sustained. We do not go into detail, but 
> it requires at least the combined efforts of local citizens, 
> university faculty and students, and the university administration.
> The third audience are those among you who are interested in the 
> relationship of all this work to Vygotsky and CHAT. For you it does 
> not suffice as theoretically explicated. Rather, it is an alternative 
> representation (perhaps an anecdote) that enables you to figure what 
> in the hell is behind the fourbit words in the academic stuff we write.
> Note however, when Jay starts to professorize about cognition and 
> emotion he is a whole lot easier to understand than his writing.
> And, if you want the written stuff, there it sits on its developmental 
> spiral. :-))
> mike
> PS- (Fourbits is how much the price of a scientific concept is worth 
> these
> days) (In 1950 terms it was four
> quarters or one dollar). :-)
> On Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 4:50 AM, Luisa Aires <laires11@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Dear Mike
> >
> > This is an amazing way to begin the new year.Thank you for sharing 
> > this fantastic project.
> >
> > Here, we can find a good way how to think, ground and develop theory 
> > and ethics in collaboration. And a good motive to rewrite texts ;-)
> >
> >
> > Happy new year to all XMCAers
> >
> >
> > Best wishes,
> >
> > Luísa
> >
> >
> > On 31 December 2013 22:19, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > Its great to have a potted 5d open film.  The "simplicity" helps 
> > > to
> bring
> > > out the variety of challenges.  Its nice to have to simply watch 
> > > and
> > ponder
> > > too.
> > >
> > > I had to skip about a bit to work out what "the bus children being
> > squeezed
> > > out" (15 mins) meant ("bus kids" came from the inner city -- i.e. 
> > > buses used for distance rather than safety).
> > >
> > > Best,
> > > Huw
> > >
> >