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[Xmca-l] Re: Fate, Luck and Chance [Language as a form]


There have been some off list postings about this phenomenon. None of it
complimentary.  This cannot be sorted out in one move.

I propose that we move onto a different thread -  topic.

Mike, would you like to start us off on something new?


On 27 November 2014 at 02:49, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>

> Andy, if you're going to retire, then retire. But don't aim one or two
> more underhand blows behind the feint of retiring.
> Martin
> On Nov 26, 2014, at 7:24 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
> > Well this bloke will retire again at this point. I thought for a brief
> moment there, I thought we had a breakthrough. Certainly, Huw's "real
> illusion" is perfectly apt to my mind (it's an expression Marx uses), or
> in  Eric Fromm's words, an illusion with "survival value." Martin says
> "Consciousness is an objective process that *sometimes* can *give rise to*
> illusions." As Vygotsky says "For him psychology is partly phenomenology."
> > Andy
> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > *Andy Blunden*
> > http://home.pacific.net.au/~andy/
> >
> >
> > Bruce Robinson wrote:
> >> Henry,
> >>
> >> Your wife's question leads to another: who speaks for the silent
> majority, many of whom, like me, must be getting fed up with what David K
> calls a "rather blokish struggle for power over particular words'? [Not
> Richard Nixon :)]
> >>
> >> Bruce R
> >>
> >> PS: You may also note that I have not changed the subject heading of
> this message so that it bears no relation to the content. Something else I
> find irritating...
> >>
> >> On 26/11/2014 17:16, HENRY SHONERD wrote:
> >>> Sister Analisa,
> >>> Thank you for responding! I was just talking to my wife (getting
> personal!) about the chat. She asked me, "How does anyone get to
> participate in the (XMCA) chat if only a few people take part?" I wondered
> in my email below if too much was expected of written communication in the
> XMCA chat. With 800 people potentially taking turns, well...what is even
> possible logistically? Mike Cole has talked about this, and, I think, has
> some suggestions on how to deal with the bottlenecking. But even small
> scale communication can be daunting. I watched, with my wife, a Richard
> Linklater movie last night, "Before Midnight". Two people, face to face, in
> a totally committed relationship, smart people, good people, trying so hard
> to get it right. Always a work in progress. But it's worth it. The
> alternative is despair. I am sure of this: This chat, which seems to get
> bogged down in abstractions, pure thinking in the mud, is really
> consequential beyond the sensitivities of academics. I said we
> >> va
> >>>  lue Vygotsky's "heroism", but that's too macho. I should have said
> courage.
> >>>
> >>> The Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis is a powerful idea, often called
> the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis. Google it. Really. See what you think. One
> gauge of the power of an idea is if it has found its way into popular
> discourse. I just this morning heard an NPR radio program (thanks again to
> my wife, who was listening when she heard something she thought I would be
> interested in) that dealt with the Whorf/Sapir hypothesis in its strong and
> weak form.
> >>>
> >>> Henry
> >>>
> >>>> On Nov 25, 2014, at 10:11 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu>
> wrote:
> >>>>
> >>>> Dear Henry,
> >>>>
> >>>> Thank you for your reply.
> >>>>
> >>>> I don't think being personal (or even personable) requires being
> heated. Does this have to do with my comment of warmth as a sign of welcome?
> >>>>
> >>>> To speak about culture non-personally is not something I am adept at
> doing. We are always speaking from where we stand, the culture that we are
> in or from, what-have-you.
> >>>>
> >>>> Respectfully, I do not know what "linguistic relativity hypothesis"
> is. So please be patient with me while I connect this academic idea you
> have offered to this conversation so that I can relate that to my personal
> experience speaking on this thread, though clearly I'm not speaking
> literally right now, but it is speech from me, not a sock puppet with my
> voice thrown from the position of objective reality.
> >>>>
> >>>> You are talking about speaking two languages. But it seems we are all
> speaking English on this list. So I'm a bit lost right there what you are
> trying to say to me.
> >>>>
> >>>> Then, you speak of metalinguistics and how it represents different
> worldviews, if you don't mind me swapping your use of "perspective" for
> worldview. There is a lot of time clearing muckups to get it right. I'm not
> sure that it ever gets right though, which troubles me. I have found that
> many people who have different worldviews communicate by "talking to,"
> rather than "talking at." I feel, for example, you and I are talking to one
> another, despite our likely different POVs.
> >>>>
> >>>> I don't know what the "perish and dapple of Andy" means when you say
> that. From what I can tell he's trying to define something for himself
> asking for the help of others. That's fine and I'm learning that
> definitions are very bas-relief for him. I think my interests are a little
> different. So I'd prefer to orient to my interests, if that is OK.
> >>>>
> >>>> Speaking of metalinguistics, rather than debate over definitions, I'm
> more interested in speaking to the very different people who are on this
> list. The rumor is there are 800 folks out there. Where are you? :) To
> reference a highly academic quote from the Wizard of Oz:
> >>>>
> >>>> "Come out, come out wherever you are, and meet the young lady who
> fell from the star!"
> >>>> --Glinda, the Good Witch from the North (waves magic wand)
> >>>>
> >>>> I'm curious how others have been inspired by Vygotsky and
> sociocultural theory, and even other manifestations of his ideas, such as
> CHAT, etc and how people are using these approaches in their work. What is
> that like for you? And to be more specific, what is that like for women and
> people of color? I'm also interested in thinking-out-loud with others about
> Vygotskian concepts that are not easy to understand; to employ in real time
> dialogue and social interaction to leap over zopeds together. Isn't that
> what a listserv is for? Or am I being too idealistic?
> >>>>
> >>>> I have tried to speak in an open, easy, and immediate manner, to
> allow others to engage. But I fear that engagement is never going to happen
> because all that persists are conversations about definitions, or whether
> nothing can come from nothing, and voila! subsequent debates ensue. Or
> someone will say, "We already discussed this 20 years ago!" Which means I
> missed the party, I suppose. Unfortunately, if I disagree with a position
> because I interpret differently, then I'm told to go read something without
> really a clear explanation why I'm supposed to go read something.
> >>>>
> >>>> I don't really agree with the approach of "read this," as an academic
> argument. Anyone is free to use it, and I have myself, but because I know
> how obtuse that can be, I couch it with my reasons why I think it would be
> a good read for that person, and what I think there is learn from reading.
> I think the "read this" approach, when it is offered with the tone of "now
> go eat your vegetables!" fails in the making of speech between people. All
> it does is shut things down.
> >>>>
> >>>> If the reading truly is relevant, it seems far more productive in the
> moment of speech to cue a person what to look for, to supply a context,
> especially when referencing an entire book, for example, or the link to an
> entire website full of texts.
> >>>>
> >>>> Your assessment in the physicality of language is something with
> which I am completely in agreement. Especially since we all seem to agree
> with the material aspects of language. So the question at hand is a matter
> of form. Form has an aesthetic but also has a purpose. Are we throwing
> ropes or throwing boulders? If throwing boulders, where does that need to
> throw boulders come from? If throwing ropes, then at least connections are
> being made for those who might not be very clear about ideas and who may
> require a helping hand.
> >>>>
> >>>> Then there's the old, but handy, elliptical comment, something like a
> boomerang... meant to be subtle or ironic at the expense of someone who may
> not understand.
> >>>>
> >>>> At this point, I'd to emphasize that being ignorant is not being
> stupid, but it seems someone who is ignorant is frequently treated as
> stupid (um, on this list). This "phenomenon" has made me reflect upon how
> little time is spent upon the nature of ignorance in education and the
> dynamics of ignorance in speaking. Every one of us is ignorant about most
> things in the world. And yet being ignorant is seen as an embarrassment, a
> deficiency, a lapse in character. I vehemently disagree with this reception
> to ignorance. Even Einstein said something like, "The more I know, the more
> I see how much I don't know." Such an aggressive position toward ignorance
> is nothing but hurtful, even arrogant. Arrogance is a blister, a defense
> mechanism from previous hurt. A person who is honest about one's own
> ignorance is a very strong person and is showing a willingness to learn
> something. I think all teachers will agree that a person who knows one
> doesn't know is an easier student to teach tha
> >> n
> >>>   one who doesn't know one doesn't know.
> >>>> Iconicity is something I can hang my hat on. I see it is related to
> pointing. What I like about pointing is that it is a gesture, which implies
> movement, in the way the word is also movement. I hope I have made
> sufficient personal connections to your concepts without the heat. Thank
> you for offering them to me.
> >>>>
> >>>> Kind regards,
> >>>>
> >>>> Annalisa
> >>>>
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >

Carol A  Macdonald Ph D (Edin)
Developmental psycholinguist
Academic, Researcher,  and Editor
Honorary Research Fellow: Department of Linguistics, Unisa