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[Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA



Hi Henry,

I subscribe to a rather canonical interpretation of activity theory to
which all of which we have been discussing fits.  You're correct in stating
that there is no non-arbitrary division, but then this applies to any
phenomena when viewed from a genetic or dialectic approach.  What we can
look to, however, is that which originates and that which comes to govern.

Best,
Huw

On 14 October 2015 at 18:09, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:

> Huw,
> Does this work for you?:
> Gesture as basically acting. Doing.
> Orientation as basically thinking. Construal.
> Gesture and orientation are construed as being on a continuum.
> At the same time: Gesture is a proper subset of orientation.
> Alternativeky, orientation is ground for gesture.
> Langacker construes grammar as symbolic in nature, with phonological space
> a subset of semantic space. Keeping in mind that semantic space, meaning,
> is contextual, both spatially and temporally. Gesture is prototypically
> material, indexical. Orientation is prototypically cognitive and affective.
> Yet there is no non-arbitrary division (dichotomy) between gesture and
> orientation.
>
> I think I am in way over my head regarding set theory, but do any of your
> “trigger scenarios” fall into a trap of dichotomization, where the
> participants in a project push for a checklist of properties to determine
> what an object actually is, rather than admit to fuzziness of categories?
> The work of Rosch comes to mind. I am also thinking of scientific and
> practical concepts and an article by Peter Smagorinsky about those ideas.
>
> Tentatively,
> Henry
>
> P.S. A vigorous nod to Peg and Huw regarding “allos”, as in allophones. A
> great example of the the relationships between the concrete (phonetic
> realization of allophones) and the abstract (the phonemic unit that
> “represents” the “bundle” of allophones). The -etic and the -emic. Again, a
> continuum, rather than a simple dichotomy. I want to recognize that there
> are some lingusts who do not ascribe to phonemes at all, think that such an
> abstract representation is not required to model language, especially as it
> applies to the production and comprehension of language with computers.
> Again, over my head.
>
>
>
> > On Oct 14, 2015, at 10:04 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >
> > Huw, thanks a lot! Your experiences is very valuable for what I am
> looking at now, really. I'll definitively keep you posted on what I get up
> to.
> >
> > Alfredo
> > ________________________________________
> > From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Huw
> Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> > Sent: 14 October 2015 17:50
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA
> >
> > Alfredo,
> >
> > Regarding "how the situated work taking place during a shift of
> > (computational) paradigm would differ", generalising from my experience I
> > usually see a breakdown in communication and an approach is taken in
> which
> > the program is inched forward, perhaps akin to tacking to a coastline.
> >
> > What was a reasonable strategy for a quick solution transforms over time
> > into an abuse of the language, such as 20 files consisting of nested if
> > statements that are several hundred lines long used to parse text files.
> >
> > Depending upon the experience, common trigger scenarios might be:
> >
> > Object oriented programming.
> > Inversion of control (using frameworks)
> > Multithreaded programming.
> > Functional programming
> >
> > But even when the language constructs are well known there can be
> > disagreements concerning other basic representational and orientational
> > constructs, such as what an event is, whether an input is interior or
> > exterior to an encapsulation, whether value objects or identity objects
> are
> > used, and whether the problem domain is actually articulated in the
> > software.
> >
> > Regarding gesture, I would say that gestures index orientation mediated
> by
> > conscious goals.  So I would agree that gesture, rather than mere
> wording,
> > helps to orient.  But I would tend to disagree that gesture is
> > 'foundational'.  For me, orientation is king.  It would be interesting to
> > see if you make something else of it.
> >
> > Best,
> > Huw
> >
> >
> > On 14 October 2015 at 15:44, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
> >
> >> Huw,
> >> thanks for the reflection, it brings a very interesting distinction. The
> >> software developers case that I mentioned is more on the contained
> sense of
> >> "unknown", as you mentioned, not involving a shift of computing
> paradigm.
> >> Yet I could observe lots of work performed by the developers for them
> to be
> >> able to do intelligible enough reference to the feature thereby being
> >> designed. This work, which I glossed as "naming", included not just
> >> (technical, specialized) names already familiar to them, but also
> drawings,
> >> gesturing, and performance. So, the words were not enough, and there was
> >> some form of imagination going on. So the distinction you introduced
> makes
> >> me wonder how the situated work taking place during a shift of
> >> (computational) paradigm would differ with respect to the one that I am
> >> observing, that is, involving only a "minor" innovation.
> >>
> >> Henry's connection with the moving from verb to noun that we reported
> with
> >> respect to boundary objects is interesting here because it brings
> attention
> >> to objects (materials) and their relation to our sensitivities
> (bodies). I
> >> am thinking if this connection might be of help to understand the
> >> differences between the work that minor innovations involve and the
> work of
> >> producing major paradigm shifts. Perhaps, more than a shift in the kind
> of
> >> situated social interactions that we observe, we should (again) attend
> to
> >> Latour's discussion on inter-objectivity, and see how the
> >> material-historical arrangements in the setting set the conditions for
> >> those shifts to occur. At the level of interaction, I can imagine (!)
> that
> >> both going through a minor innovation and going through a major shift
> >> involve some movement from not being aware of a possibility to orienting
> >> towards that very possibility. Studying differences there would be
> >> interesting. But I guess that the key lies in the prior historical
> >> conditions for the innovation/shift to emerge. Imagination may, in this
> >> account, be a form of perceiving things that, to be so perceived, need
> to
> >> lend themselves to those perceptions and apprehensions. If imagination
> >> takes place first as performative work, and not as mental operation
> alone,
> >> it needs to rely upon the possibilities of manipulation that the
> materials
> >> offer. And those possibilities, of course, include possibilities of
> naming,
> >> of using words.
> >>
> >> Alfredo
> >> ________________________________________
> >> From: xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >> <xmca-l-bounces+a.g.jornet=iped.uio.no@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of
> >> HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> >> Sent: 14 October 2015 01:38
> >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA
> >>
> >> Do I recall (and understand) correctly Alfredo’s and Rod’s article (on
> >> boundary objects and building museum spaces) that gesture preceded
> naming?
> >> I mean that the boundary object started as collaborative/coordinated
> >> movement. It was a perfomance before it was a thing that could be
> named. A
> >> verb before it was a noun. And does this have anything to do with Huw’s
> >> conjecture about a continuum of kinds of projects, at one end those that
> >> replicate (with minimal creativity) and, at the other,  those that “get
> >> outside the box”? Academic discourse tends to be very nouny, Latinate,
> >> loaded with bound morphemes. Such discourse serves important purposes
> when
> >> operating on the generalization and abstraction side of things, amongst
> the
> >> experts. But boundary objects (as observed by Alfredo and Rod) assume
> the
> >> project members are strangers to one another’s way of generalizing and
> >> abstracting. Could gesture then be “rising to the concrete” in discourse
> >> generally? That would provide nice praxis.
> >>
> >> Respectfully,
> >> Henry
> >>
> >>> On Oct 13, 2015, at 4:45 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Alfredo,
> >>>
> >>> I suspect the quality of the unknown thing here would need
> qualification.
> >>> Experienced practitioners in software are often dealing with
> >> to-be-designed
> >>> artefacts, although these mostly fall into a more minor category of
> >> things
> >>> conforming to well-known conceptions or abstractions, hence they are
> >>> usually only unknown in a rather contained sense (a bit like roughly
> >>> knowing what kind of model you need to build out of lego).
> >>>
> >>> Contrary to this, computing problems entailing a new computational
> >> paradigm
> >>> would certainly throw such programmers into a genuine unknown (the
> >> dawning
> >>> realisation that one is working with a different kind of kit).  Also,
> >> with
> >>> respect to requirements, the real unknowns are usually the soft
> >>> requirements on agreeing what the problem is in the first place, which
> >> will
> >>> be largely governed by the social situation of said programmers, i.e.
> >> being
> >>> paid to get something built.
> >>>
> >>> Naming is very important in software in order to try to communicate
> >>> functional intent, hence practitioners would no doubt be comfortable
> >>> establishing agreement about naming before moving on.  Nonetheless you
> >> may
> >>> well be identifying some form of design mediation at play too.
> >>>
> >>> Best,
> >>> Huw
> >>>
> >>> On 13 October 2015 at 23:08, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Henry, all,
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> I am at this moment going through a video database on design work in a
> >>>> software development company, and, observing a discussion between two
> >>>> developers who talk about features of the software that are not yet
> >>>> developed, but which could be, ??the insight came upon me that, to
> >> possibly
> >>>> create anything together (and there is no other way to do it since one
> >>>> alone has not the tools/competence to do it), they had to name it. So,
> >> the
> >>>> developers were talking about something that does not yet exist but
> >> which
> >>>> nonetheless needs to be referred to in order for them to even begin
> >> working
> >>>> on it. And naming something that does not yet exits does not happen
> >>>> immediately, because they do not have a name for it. Naming it takes
> >> time
> >>>> and space, that is, work. So, I think the notion of "displacement"
> that
> >> you
> >>>> mention, if it captures this work that talking does to the imagining,
> >> very
> >>>> relevant to what I am witnessing in my data. And, given the salience
> of
> >>>> "place making" in the thread, the term "disPLACEment" may be timely
> >> here.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Alfredo
> >>>>
> >>>> ________________________________
> >>>> From: HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com>
> >>>> Sent: 13 October 2015 23:34
> >>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> >>>> Cc: Alfredo Jornet Gil; Rolf Steier; Geoffrey C. Bowker
> >>>> Subject: Re: [Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA
> >>>>
> >>>> Mike,
> >>>> In your original post on Oct 10, you  suggested that we might "...come
> >> up
> >>>> with a deeper understanding of the interlocking issues involved". As
> you
> >>>> say, each chatter will have their own response to that. Mine is that I
> >> can
> >>>> relate the three issues to displacement, which is arguably the most
> >>>> important property of language as a semiotic system. It is the ability
> >> of
> >>>> with language to refer to and construe aspects of the world removed in
> >> time
> >>>> and place (from the here and now) and to the "make believe"
> >> ("irrealis").
> >>>> I was reminded of this on re-reading an article by Bruno Latour on
> >>>> Interobjectivity that Greg Thompson posted back on Aug 18. Most
> people,
> >> if
> >>>> asked, think of language primarily as something for communication.
> >> Animals
> >>>> communicate, but, as far as we know, do not displace. (Though It might
> >> be
> >>>> argued that animals do a better job of communicating than people.!) I
> >> would
> >>>> like to emphasize the importance of the temporal domain, as well as
> the
> >>>> spatial, with displacement.
> >>>>
> >>>> Henry
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >
>
>