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[Xmca-l] Re: Solids and Liquids/Entities and dynamic flows

Yes, mike, and as you have pointed out before the scale issue applies not just to timescales but also to spatial scales. At the sub-atomic level, the table appears to be mostly empty space whose thingy-ness is up for grabs.
At the quantum level, it truly can be said, "all that is solid..."


Sent from my iPhone

> On Aug 6, 2016, at 12:58 PM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Rod, Larry, Rein, et al--
> I, like Rein, worry about the cup metaphor. I was writing quickly and using
> the cup as only one example. In some ways an unfortunate example, The
> spilled liquid could be absorbed by a table cloth, fall through slats in
> the floor, etc. Contained, managed .....
> The cup metaphor is used widely in connection with the term, context, which
> Ray McDermott criticized effectively back about 1993 in the Chaiklin/Lave
> book on activity and practice.
> I would like to suggest an additional way to think about solidity. In terms
> of the time scale of change.
> I often give the example of a table. A table seems like a good candidate
> for a solid object. In discussing this in class, I sometimes slam my hand
> unexpectdly again the desk of podium and everyone jumps while i have to
> nurse my hand which is red and it stings.
> That table sure seems solid to me and to the audience as well.
> But the table is only solid relative to another object, in this case me. It
> is changing on a very different time scale, constituted as it is of wood,
> formica, and a bit of metal. Come back in a thousand years and all that
> will be left of that table, if that much, will be the metal parts, even if
> the table is not recycled by human beings and global warming or war does
> not de-compose the table along the way.
> The issue of scale is beautifully illustrated in "Powers of Ten," a
> ten-minute film on line if you enter the title. Starting with a scale that
> encompasses two people lying on a blanket along the lake shore in Chicago
> and goes out ten powers, and then rapidly reverses and goes powers of ten
> micro into the constituents of matter. Perceptually, what is solid and what
> is empty space changes dynamically as one moves along the scales.
> Hopefully useful.
> mike
>> On Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 10:04 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>> Thanks for forwarding, Peg et al.
>> mike
>>> On Sat, Aug 6, 2016 at 9:14 AM, Peg Griffin <Peg.Griffin@att.net> wrote:
>>> down.cenet.org.cn/upfile/19/20064111162198.pdf  but it downloads the
>>> whole 390 + pagebook
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman
>>> .ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
>>> Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2016 11:22 AM
>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Solids and Liquids/Entities and dynamic flows
>>> My apologies for not appending the reference. For some reason part of my
>>> message disappeared, the ref included. Odd wanderings of fingers not under
>>> proper control. I only have this book in hard copy. If anyone has it in a
>>> pdf, please send to the group.
>>> If nothing turns up in the next day or so I will scan the chapter and
>>> post it. I do not love all that it has to say, but it seems worthwhile for
>>> those interested in the issues.
>>> mike
>>> Adams, G., & Markus, H.R., (2003). Toward a conception of culture
>>> suitable for a social psychology of culture. In, M. Schaller, M., & C.S.
>>> Crandall (Eds.). *The Psychological Foundations of Culture. Erlbaum.
>>> Mahwah, NJ. pp.
>>> 335-360.*
>>> On Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 11:58 PM, Rod Parker-Rees <
>>> R.Parker-Rees@plymouth.ac.uk> wrote:
>>>> Many thanks for this, Mike.
>>>> I too would love to read this article. I am particularly interested in
>>>> the way many cultures (some more than others) tend to nail down flows
>>>> and processes by turning verbs into nouns. While there is a
>>>> developmental model which emphasises flow and change there are others
>>>> which aim to halt or dam the flow by identifying stages (like locks
>>>> along a river?) which can be thought about more as things. And there
>>>> are versions of social psychology which focus more on relationships,
>>> interactions and intersubjectivity.
>>>> I think there is something about the necessary abstractness of
>>>> concepts (which have to be sufficiently pulled out from specific
>>>> contexts to allow them to be shared) that draws them towards
>>>> reification, turning a flow into a thing (the river, the flow!). But
>>>> in our lived experience the past runs into the present and the future
>>>> also shapes the flow. I think the idea of perezhivanie catches this
>>>> idea of a reciprocity between our past social experiences and the way
>>> we make sense of what flows our way.
>>>> Sorry if this seems vague and fluid!
>>>> All the best,
>>>> Rod
>>>> On 6 Aug 2016 1:23 am, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
>>>> I stumbled over an article on the "the psychological foundations of
>>>> culture" with a summary/discussion article by Adams and Markus. (ref
>>>> below). The authors contrast two prominent definitions/theories of
>>>> culture prominent in the literature on the relationship between
>>>> culture and human psychological processes. The characterization struck
>>>> me forcefully as an example of Bauman's solid-liquid distinction in a
>>>> different discourse stream, providing food for thought on the topic of
>>>> mind, culture, and activity.
>>>> One approach is closely related to developmental approaches such as my
>>>> own, Barbara Rogoff, Patricia Greenfield, Mike Tomasello). It traces
>>>> its origins to ploughshares and agriculture, the process of making
>>>> things grow, nurturing. a process transpiring over time. The other
>>>> (Social Psychology) adopts "the customary beliefs, social forms, of a
>>>> racial, religious, or social group."
>>>> The first, developmental approach is said to view "culture as dynamic
>>>> process or flowing medium" while the second, social psychology view is
>>>> described as an "entity conception of culture." The entity conception
>>>> "implies a conception of culture as a relatively 'fixed' system of
>>>> "customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits." It also
>>>> associates this system with readily identifiable 'racial, religious, or
>>> social group."
>>>> The authors then list "several undesireable consequences" of adopting
>>>> the entity point of view. I found these very interesting. I will just
>>>> list them. If there is sufficient interest I can get a scan of the
>>> chapter made.
>>>> Stereotyping
>>>> Homogenizing
>>>> Essentializing
>>>> Reifying
>>>> There is, unfortunately, no similar list for the liquid,
>>>> developmental, perspective. Liquids, Bauman remind us can spill and
>>>> spoil the rug and need to be contained. They flow, to be sure, but
>>>> that flow is constrained by a cup.
>>>> The authors adopt a view they call "culture as patterns."
>>>> The juxtaposition of these readings and the ongoing discussion of the
>>>> 11 ox paintings has induced me to think again about long standing
>>>> ideas. Always enlightening. Thanks.
>>>> mike
>>>> --
>>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
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>>> --
>>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an
>>> object that creates history. Ernst Boesch
>> --
>> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
>> that creates history. Ernst Boesch
> -- 
> It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
> that creates history. Ernst Boesch