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[Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change



First let me say that it has been an honor and a privilege to be a participant on this list.  Mike and LCHC blazed some extraordinary trails.  I hope somebody writes a really good history of the list - it needs its own Howard Rheingold.  One of the amazing things about it was the list had few technologists (were there any) but for a time was I think one of the most advanced uses of our new technologies.  Truly extraordinary.

I also remember the issues of gender imbalance among other power and communicative relationships.  I think one of the things that it was difficult to realize, is difficult to realize, is that the Internet (in all its guises) can't in itself change human behavior.  Just because the technology is advanced does not mean the behavior on the technology is advanced.  I think it is mostly a mirror of the way we are, the worlds we live in are, at the time we are using it.  We lived in academic worlds with unbalanced gendered relationships and conversation reflected our online lives, if sometimes in a funhouse manner.  One of the best things of the current presidential election is that it is bringing issues and gender and power to the forefront, much the way Obama's presidency brought racism to the forefront.  The gender dynamics of our place based worlds played out in our space based worlds.  At this point I'm not sure it could have been any different no matter how hard some tried to move the needle.  

We will see as the experiment continues I suppose.  Viva la' evolution Alfredo!!

Michael

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of David H Kirshner
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 5:44 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change

The dynamics of participation are really complex, and not just along gender lines.

In my early years on the list, I sometimes offered posts that provoked considerable criticism, often based on criteria that I didn't understand well enough to respond to, or even to question. These criticisms were not cruelly administered, but were painful, nonetheless. I'm sure the extent and nature of my participation on the list was influenced as a result; sometimes I withhold comments that might put me on shaky ground, and my feelings of centrality also are affected.


And on occasion I've seen others' posts critiqued, including posts that seemed to me to lack sound foundation or potential, sometimes offered by individuals whose personality rendered them relatively insensitive to their reception by others.


XMCA is an ecology, not a neutral environment. It thrives because a high quality of posts is maintained, but that high-quality participation is mediated by very human interactive elements. How easy it would be to institute some sort of "objective" criteria for participation to attain "fairness"--but undoubtedly that would come at the cost of quality, and eventually at the cost of survival of the listserv.


I really miss many of the voices of women that left to form/find a more fair venue for participation--some really exciting and inspiring voices. I hope they've succeeded. But these human qualities of participation are too complex to ever really figure out, and there is always room for "objective" criticism that can scuttle even the best intended communities.


David


________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of Jay Lemke <lemke.jay@gmail.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 3:51:23 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change

At the risk of re-opening old wounds, I'll recall for the group and especially the more recent participants that long ago there was a rather explicit (and in some ways brutally uncomfortable) airing of the issues around gender imbalance. At the time quite a few women members left the listgroup (and for a time created one of their own).

My memory of the outcome of the soul-searching at the time is that many male frequent contributors found themselves confounded (and for some in serious denial) of the perception by women (and many lurkers) that the dominant "core" was intimidating in tone or style of response, oblivious to their privilege as either more senior academics or just as men, and particularly of their totally unconscious sense of their right to hog the stage, as it were. Some of the women saw this as a failure to recognize gender privilege and deal with it. Many of the lurkers (male and female) felt that the heavy presence of a very few (almost all male) voices on the list was in itself off-putting to others, regardless of gender. A few voices were also raised saying that the native English-speakers were oblivious to our privilege and insufficiently sensitive to the positioning of others (ditto to some extent for those from outside N. America).

Mike himself was largely exempted from these critiques explicitly, but implicitly I think he felt some responsibility for not having paid more attention to these problems before they found their critical moment.

Most of the core contributors, as I recall, were rather defensive in their responses. I tried to be a mediating voice, and Mike asked, with his usual practical good sense, what we could actually do to fix things. Many of the women just left. For a time there were posts in Spanish, Portuguese, and occasionally other languages. Posters made explicit reference to differences in viewpoint due to national cultures or experiences.

But with very few women posting, and as I recall those were then mainly the younger women and female grad students, no solution was found regarding the gender imbalance. (Note that by imbalance I think people then meant not mainly imbalance in membership, but in postings, and particularly in the extent to which postings by women were taken up by others and became longer threads. This "uptake effect" was something a lot of people paid attention to -- and not just regarding gender, and one of the active women members even did a quantitative study of it at the time.)

Others may remember things differently, and their recollections would be most welcome. Maybe in a separate thread?

JAY.






Jay Lemke
Professor Emeritus
City University of New York
www.jaylemke.com<http://www.jaylemke.com>


On Wed, Oct 26, 2016 at 1:08 PM, White, Phillip <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>
wrote:

> Larry, you reiterated Mike's pointing out two concerns;
>
>
> As we talk about generational transformation i hear legacy. I hear 
> your question of gender imbalance and the mere chaining as the 
> questions for our time.
>
>
> and you discussed them as two separate issues - "gender imbalance", 
> and "chaining", and then you illuminated chaining as -
>
>
> Xenophan tells us (Memorabilia IV, 5,12) that Socrates connected 
> dialectic with dialegein in the active voice; he said that the 
> dialektikos or dialectician is the man who can sort good from bad and 
> that dialectic is the practice of sorting things into their kinds by 
> taking counsel with each other. The theory which Xenophan imputes to 
> Socrates would be roughly along these lines. To dialegesthai is to 
> engage in the sort of conversation that is courteous, serious, and 
> concerned with the truth. When men are thus seriously conversing, each 
> trying to learn from the other, they are sorting things out for 
> themselves; and roughly the only way in which a man can sort things 
> for himself is to expose his ideas in this way to another's criticism.
>
> first, I'm surprised that you didn't note sic, in the quote, "When men
> (sic) are thus seriously conversing ...". but, second, I'd like to 
> point out that this genre of mansplaining is most often hierarchically 
> structured, so that male dominance is maintained.  if you look back at 
> the great majority of chaining in xmca, you'll see that it is 
> dominated by two or three males voices. and rather than, as you 
> explain, and roughly the only way in which a man can sort things for 
> himself is to expose his ideas in this way to another's criticism., i 
> suggest that it is a culturally male privileged genre, as Foucault 
> would put it, of maintaining power, privilege and prerogative.
>
>
> if the majority of the male participants of xmca are actively 
> concerned along with Mike regarding the gender imbalance in 
> participation, then i think that there needs to be a recognition that 
> the current chaining practice is not separate, but part of the ecology of gender imbalance.
>
>
> phillip
>
> ________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
> <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of lpscholar2@gmail.com 
> <lpscholar2@gmail.com>
> Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 10:28:51 AM
> To: Jay Lemke; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change
>
> Mike,
> My testament to the profund*ity of what you have meant to my journey 
> or quest through living the questions.
>
> As we talk about generational transformation i hear legacy. I hear 
> your question of gender imbalance and the mere chaining as the 
> questions for our time.
> The question of gender brings up Franklin's classroom where the girls 
> know we can invite one boy to play. Possibly two boys who are 
> carefully chosen and compatible. However, the girls know that when 3 
> boys come to play they form a *clique* of superheros.
> Seems a relevant place to start our exploration of why the gender 
> imbalance.
>
> The 2nd question of chaining.
> You invited Greg to turn back to the historical genesis of the 
> founding and development of our community.
>
> Today i will move further back and play with word meaning as a way to 
> express my testament and gratitude.
> I will turn back to Xenophan and the word *dialegein*.
> I googled this word to find its meaning and heard a way of expressing 
> my personal gratitude to you and also honouring your legacy in the 
> back and forth.
>
> Here is what caught my ear.
>
> Xenophan tells us (Memorabilia IV, 5,12) that Socrates connected 
> dialectic with dialegein in the active voice; he said that the 
> dialektikos or dialectician is the man who can sort good from bad and 
> that dialectic is the practice of sorting things into their kinds by 
> taking counsel with each other. The theory which Xenophan imputes to 
> Socrates would be roughly along these lines. To dialegesthai is to 
> engage in the sort of conversation that is courteous, serious, and 
> concerned with the truth. When men are thus seriously conversing, each 
> trying to learn from the other, they are sorting things out for 
> themselves; and roughly the only way in which a man can sort things 
> for himself is to expose his ideas in this way to another's criticism. 
> Thus the colloquial meaning of dialegesthai; namely *to converse as 
> one should* can be seen to be equivalent to the meaning which 
> etymology might lead us to put upon the *middle voice of dialegein*, namely to sort for oneself.
>
> Mike, as i read this word meaning i was turned to the testimony's now 
> being expressed as we reflect on generational transformation AND 
> ongoing legacy AND the living questions you posed.
>
> I want to honour your *middle voice* as my contribution to the 
> intertwining.
> My identity would be other than it is without your voice of conscience 
> and conscientiousness that nurtures us in sorting out ways of 
> well-being-in-the-world-with-each-other.
> In short nurturing and cultivating *well-being*.
> Thank you
>
> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
>
> From: Jay Lemke
> Sent: October 25, 2016 4:45 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change
>
> Just a note to say how moving and beautiful these notes of 
> appreciation for Mike's commitment to the community (in many senses) 
> have been. Speaking as one of the old-timers, I think all of us echo 
> every word of the most beautiful of them, which speak for all of us.
>
> To the younger generation who wonder how we managed in decades past to 
> talk with each other and not past each other, despite a very great 
> diversity of intellectual and cultural backgrounds, I can only say 
> that we were eager to hear different views, other ideas. We were not 
> looking to build a grand unified consensus. Each of us had our 
> theory-building projects (or many of us did) and our research 
> experiences, and what we wanted was to hear what others were thinking.
>
> The history of this community has not been like that of specialist 
> scientific communities that seek to build on each other's work. It has 
> rather been a true multi-disciplinary community where the greatest 
> gifts we have given each other have been ideas we had never thought 
> of, or viewpoints leading to conclusions similar to our own, but 
> starting from entirely different premises.
>
> Many of us joined to hear more about the CHAT/Vygotskyan approach. But 
> we stayed because we also heard so much more. And for me the greatest 
> of Mike's contributions was that he made everyone feel welcome, 
> helping to make sure that all these different voices could be heard. 
> To the lasting benefit of us all.
>
> JAY.
>
>
>
> Jay Lemke
> Professor Emeritus
> City University of New York
> www.jaylemke.com<http://www.jaylemke.com>
>
>
> On Tue, Oct 25, 2016 at 2:00 PM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Esteemed Mike,
> > I add my little voice to the accolades and appreciation expressed by 
> > the other members of the XMCA chatline. Thank you so much for 
> > nourishing the dialog, which I have found to be so 
> > thought-provoking. It has often challenged my simplistic notions of 
> > what Vygotsky and many others bring
> to
> > bear in taking on this complex and complicated world.
> > With great respect
> > Henry
> >
> >
> > > On Oct 25, 2016, at 1:36 PM, Wendy Maples 
> > > <wendy.maples@outlook.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Dear Mike,
> > >
> > > As a frequent lurker, I am very grateful for the chance to see and
> think
> > about some terrifically interesting topics explored by some 
> > terrifically interesting people. Thank you for making it happen, and keeping it going.
> > >
> > > With gratitude and very best wishes,
> > >
> > > Wendy
> > >
> > >
> > > ________________________________
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
> > > <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> > on behalf of Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> > > Sent: 25 October 2016 04:41
> > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change
> > >
> > > Mike, all,
> > >
> > > thanks for your beautiful e-mail, Mike. It has only been a couple 
> > > of
> > years, but I have witnessed how much effort and dedication you have 
> > invested and continue investing in creating and sustaining a 
> > community
> like
> > xmca. For a youngster fellow like me, coming for the first time to 
> > write
> in
> > a forum where you know some of the most influential authors in the 
> > chat literature are there, either actively participating or just 
> > lurking from time to time, really freezes you before the keyboard. 
> > That's what I first felt until, the first e-mail went out. Since 
> > then, I have always felt welcome to write more, and every time have 
> > been place in a place from
> which
> > I could think better and more. And so rather than frozen and stiff, 
> > my hands, and with them my thinking, have become a little more 
> > flexible,
> and a
> > little more confident too. Thanks xmca for that, for giving me(us) 
> > the trust to contribute, and in so doing giving me(us) the 
> > opportunity to become part of a thinking that could have never been 
> > just my own. In the little time I have spent here, and as anyone can 
> > hear in the the words of those who have been here for much longer, 
> > it has become clear how
> important
> > your role, Mike, and that of the community of xmca'ers that so much
> respect
> > you, has been in precisely that: giving us trust to speak, which in 
> > a
> very
> > important sense is giving us freedom.
> > >
> > > Thanks also for having me in, and for the welcoming words of the
> others.
> > For a newbie that came in touch with xmca just a couple of years 
> > ago, it feels pretty scary to be presented as taking some "pastoral" 
> > role, but of course every one here knows that there is nothing like 
> > a flock to be pastored (perhaps a herd of cats, as Jay suggested, is 
> > best). Mike has presented me as taking the role as "mediator," and 
> > that is a convenient term we came up with together. Yet, I should 
> > quote here F. T. Mikhailov (thanks Michael for introducing me to 
> > this!), for whom it was clear that "the soul knows no mediators." 
> > Just in the same sense, I do not think I will mediate much, if 
> > mediating is heard to mean standing between xmca
> and
> > anyone else (its members). If anything, I will only be able to 
> > partake in xmca as a member who, as many others already do, cares 
> > for and learns
> from
> > the whole she forms part of. I am very excited about continue 
> > growing
> with
> > xmca, and I hope I will be able to help in moving forward in the 
> > very honourable tasks that Mike has invited us taking. It seems to 
> > me that
> xmca
> > has through the years grown into all what is needed to continue growing.
> > Thanks,
> > >
> > > Alfredo
> > > ________________________________________
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu 
> > > <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> >
> > on behalf of Chuck Bazerman <bazerman@education.ucsb.edu>
> > > Sent: 24 October 2016 23:18
> > > To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Time for a Generational Change
> > >
> > > Mike,  As a mostly lurker with occasional outburst, I want to say 
> > > how much I have appreciated all you have done to foster 
> > > interesting
> thoughts
> > > and to put interesting people in contact.  Now I hope you too will 
> > > have the leisure and pleasure of lurking.
> > > Best,
> > > Chuck
> >
> >
> >
>
>