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

Thanks for the long and thoughtful commentary on the film and the
discussion around it, Valerie. As a means of retaining the dia-logic nature
of this exchange, I will go through and comment in between paragraphs of
text where it seems helpful.

On Sat, Jan 4, 2014 at 7:50 PM, valerie A. Wilkinson <
vwilk@inf.shizuoka.ac.jp> wrote:

> 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."

The there is a tension of going deep vesus going more broadly in
representing the flow of activity, which itself is part of a complex
socio-cultural ecology, only a small part of which is open to
investigation. Therefore, the
developmental processes involved are, so to speak, "short circuited." Huw
noted this weakness of the representation. I totall agree with him.

To overcome this weakness would have required more temporally sustainable
infrastructure than we could
muster.;... I N THIS MEDIUM. (Note that we have student field notes going
back 20 years in the electronic
archive). At the moment is an archeological problem which we do not have
the time to address yet.

> 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."
> That is a terrible mashing of two thoughts. 1) We needed to have three in
operation at the same time and
2) many different CHAT principles came in to play to motivate this need.

> 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.
> This speaks to constraints on creating the representation given the
> materials we were able to muster
AND the constraints on the medium. And you are right on about Ms. Veverly.
She is amazing.



> 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.
> The project is trying to take this truth seriously. It motivates my
> interest in a meso-genetic methodology, because, when we combine
> different sources of descriptions, at different levels of the system of
> which the activity and its idioculture are (also) constituitive.

> 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.

But it might be that institutions of higher education, in so far as they
publicaly espouse
a commitment to diversity , in their own espoused self-interest, support
this form of undergraduate
education? Or not? And if not, why not?

With respect to the connections between points A&B.  The film created by
David Gonzales grew up as one of the focal activities in a U-Clink program
that allowed Lincoln hi students in the-then, school of social justice, to
make a film with communication students from ucsd. David is doing a
multi-modal thesis around the kinds of tensions that come out so clearly
when High School kids and College "buddies" collaborate in making a film
"from the kid's point of view".

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:
I am disabled from this conversation by several years of dense experience
of Russia's
great socialist experiment. However, I believe it was Korzybsk who coined
the phrase
"the map is not the territory." Please check provenance (he wrote, holding
a chair whose founder is a devotee of general semantics!) :-)

> 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.

I think the idea of tertiary artifact works well at the organizational
level of the various joint
activities. Play/work/caring/winning/losing are somehow bracketed so that
within it, the pursuit of romantic science in an environment less grim than
a neurosurgical rehabilitiation unit, where play is harder to find, and
other motives crowding in. And I have NO IDEA of how one would import such
activities into classrooms in the junior or senior colleges around, Not
even if those who carried the load were properly paid to do a proper job.

I also think I am unbelievably lucky to be able to spend my time thinking
about such matters, fully cognizant of how tough it is for all but the very
privleged. At last a way to get an insitutional title with some power in it!

mike the VP

> -----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
> form:
> http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=potted&allowed_in_frame=0
> 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.  :)
> Best,
> Huw
> 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
> > > >
> > >
> >