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



p.s. I hope that wasn't too blokey!

Martin

On Nov 27, 2014, at 6:46 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:

> I have been reading McLellan's "new abridgement" of Capital recently.
> Probably my most powerful impression is the prevalence of the conditions
> Marx documents.  Unlike writers of fiction today, it is quite clear to me
> that his contemporary, Dickens, was barely required to lift a few stones to
> find the extremes of luck, fate and chance that he also portrays.  A
> second, more palliative, impression is the documentation of the source of
> so many of the problems arising in working conditions that remain with us
> today, albeit in more 'civilised' form.
> 
> Regarding 'muscularity', I find it interesting to consider how technical
> utterances and work-a-day competences do tend to carry a certain kind of
> muscularity in a literal sense of holding steady.  To be technical is to be
> precise under varying conditions in which one holds those conditions steady
> and it is normal to hear technical discourse with some degree of
> articulatory stress and moderate facial tension etc.  Under such
> circumstances, one doesn't merely pile up the words in additive form but is
> concerned with their configuration and placement.
> 
> On the business of the objectivity of consciousness and focal distinction
> between the experience of consciousness and that which yields it, I think
> we can make the same statement about any scientifically studied phenomena.
> We are not aware of the internally manifest form of any kind of internal
> calculus undertaken by a studied system, yet we may study it from without
> (with meter readings etc) and perform equivalent calculations and follow
> the transformations taking place.  Alternatively, we can study that
> calculus as a system itself, which will have, again, its own internal
> manifestation.  That's how we come to improve our approximations...
> 
> Best,
> Huw
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 27 November 2014 at 07:07, Patrick Jaki <patrick.jaki@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
>> Am sad about the uncalled for attention. We can still debate robustly and
>> at the same time remain civil.
>> 
>> Patrick.
>> 
>> On 27 November 2014 at 08:48, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> 
>>> Carol Et al
>>> 
>>> It is a short holiday week in the US and I am on the road visiting family
>>> and friends. I have only limited access and am trying to think about what
>>> it means to have participants with such varied histories with the
>> discourse
>>> community and its topic and such varied backgrounds. Uncharted territory.
>>> 
>>> For those who care to see XMCA continue, I suggest that you read and
>>> reflect on the 30+ history of this discourse community. The summaries
>> that
>>> I know of can be found at
>>> LCHC.ucsd.edu under history archives. There are two summaries there that
>>> go
>>> back to roughly 1983.
>>> 
>>> Further comment without people stopping to familiarize themselves with
>>> prior history and without having participants ceasing to seek  solutions
>> to
>>> the current confusions in the iniatives taken by others rather than in
>>> collective action in which they share responsibility seems unlikely to
>> bear
>>> fruit that can nourish a productive future.
>>> 
>>> All sorts of alternatives are possible.
>>> 
>>> One alternative is not possible, and that is to eschew personal
>>> responsibility and lay it on the shoulders of a 76 year old "retired
>>> professor" whose inadequate understanding of the core issues of the role
>> of
>>> culture in the development have been thoroughly documented by numerous
>> real
>>> experts over decades.
>>> 
>>> The record is there, open to all.
>>> Check it out. Then we can assess the future.
>>> 
>>> Good luck to us all
>>> 
>>> Mike
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, Carol Macdonald <carolmacdon@gmail.com
>>> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','carolmacdon@gmail.com');>> wrote:
>>> 
>>>> Hi
>>>> 
>>>> 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?
>>>> 
>>>> Carol
>>>> 
>>>> On 27 November 2014 at 02:49, Martin John Packer <
>>> mpacker@uniandes.edu.co>
>>>> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> 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
>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal with a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch.
>>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> --
>> *Patrick Jaki*
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> *P. O Box 505 WitsJohannesburg2050South Africa*
>>