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[Xmca-l] Re: Reflective Discourse on XMCA



Thank you, Huw! That is very helpful. 
Henry

> On Oct 14, 2015, at 12:06 PM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> 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
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>> 
>> 
>>