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[Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse



Hi Greg,

Are you making the argument that enclosed logic (logic that follows a set of predetermined feedback loops) is Western and gendered or are you saying that logic in general is Western and gendered.  The dominance of the type of enclosed logic that you find in Western academics is relatively new I think (not the type of logic itself, but the dominance of this particular approach to thinking and design).  It has become so dominant that we often cannot think outside of it.  I think this type of logic is promoted by specific types of ideology that are male dominated.  But there have been other types of logic through history that are more open - more based in experimentation and creativity, including for instance Pragmatic logic (look at Dewey), participatory logic (look at Fals Borda and Illich) and open feedback loops (look at von Foerster and Bateson).  I'm not sure how gendered these logics are even though they were promoted by white males).  There is also a good deal of feminist logic I believe.  I agree with you closed logic is troublesome and can be debilitative to discussion.  I think this list though goes through different periods.  Eugene Matusov used to end his missives with the tag line, "What do you think."   Mike has often taken a step back to wonder what he and everybody else is actually talking about.  The list I think has been a combination over time of the different types of logic, but just like with the world at large one can come to dominate (especially the enclosed logic because dominance is one of its precepts). 

I think I disagree with you on argumentation in non-Western cultures (although I wonder how much argumentation actually means argumentation here).  It is not that there is no word for it - it is that there is no word for it in educational paradigms - and at least people I talk to from these other cultures are not happy about this. 

Michael


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Mcverry
Sent: Thursday, November 03, 2016 10:13 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>; lpscholar2@gmail.com
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse

I want to bring a call back to the idea of logic and gender.

Someone in the thread noted that "academic discourse" wasn't about winning but simply prevailing logic. Anna commented back you could be logical and not be a "jerk" about it.

Maybe both statements can be true.

White males may not excel in this type of logic simply based on their privilege. Though I am sure privilege plays a huge role.

Could it be the Western tradition of logic is itself rooted in gender inequality? It is a field a few thousand years old that was made up by white men arguing "logically" with other white men. Naturally the discourse practices would signify and reinforce membership within these circles.
Exclusion of underrepresented voices has influence how the concept of "logic" has evolved.

I keep thinking about "logic" and argumentation as I begin to interact with scholars outside of the US. We have put a strong emphasis on arguing in our
K12 curriculum. Yet when I talk to people from other countries they note a word for "argumentative writing" or "argumentation" does not really exist in their language. Which as we know influences thought...which influences language..and both contribute to culture and activity.

So could it be the gender bias that has existed in the listserv is a symptom of stressing a definition of "logic" maybe engendered. Notice the talk in our models of logic have been proving who is right and who is wrong? What translation is best for example.

It is one individual "proving" he is right rather than they reaching a consensus on what is right.



On Thu, Nov 3, 2016 at 12:47 AM Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

> Hello,
>
>
> Sometimes synchronicity is spooky. I spied this in the Guardian just now.
>
>
> https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/nov/02/silicon-valley-sexi
> sm-diversity-valerie-aurora-frame-shift
>
>
> In reply to Maria-Cristina, it's difficult to have work-life balance 
> when the division of the personal and the public worlds exists. From 
> what is described in biased workplaces (in article above), it's 
> necessary to have some sort of protective wall, if only to survive another day.
>
>
> The irony is that people become competitive in the work place because 
> of a perceived scarcity of resources, but in technology it seems to me 
> to be a perceived scarcity of privileges. I have never understood how 
> sitting at a keyboard is somehow "hard work." I know it requires 
> effort and intellectual effort in particular, but it's not like 
> working on a farm, where solving problems with scarce resources is always the norm. Think bricolage.
>
>
> Maybe this perceived scarcity is the same in academia. Having a 
> worldview that the field of knowledge is infinite, seems to be, 
> looking from the outside. But perhaps I am unaware of the bricolage 
> people do inside the university. I do not mean to diminish truly hard work.
>
>
> Anyway, these resources are culled from the public world to feed the 
> personal world in the end, isn't that the true motivation? To protect 
> home and hearth when we aren't talking about invading hoards on 
> longboats shooting flaming arrows at our huts shouldn't carry that 
> same impending fear, dread, and uncertainty. But sometimes it seems to 
> feel that way, that people behave with that same ferocity of a struggle to the death.
>
>
> It is an illusion, a misperception. But this misperception has its 
> apparent reality that creates real fear in people. As if their lives 
> didn't matter and unbalanced equations must be attacked with quadratic 
> solutions, to set the matter straight.
>
>
> Instead, a shared effort is required to permit that defensiveness, 
> born of competition, to dissipate. In order to do that, people have to feel safe.
> So how is safety created in the spaces? Spaces free of ridicule and 
> non-acceptance. Then, isn't that what every human being desires and 
> requires to flourish? Interesting that that need has no bias.
>
>
> That is why I admire Aurora so much. I really think that she is on to 
> something.
>
>
> Larry, rather than reversibility, I'd prefer receptivity or reciprocity.
>
>
> And rather than finer nature, I'd prefer true nature (with an idea 
> that being competitive, biased, prejudiced, unethical etc, are 
> actually artificial constructs, that when obstructions have been 
> lifted, what is natural is to balance what is there (like 
> homeostasis), free from hindrances.
>
>
> In order for us to recognize what is fullness in ourselves, fullness 
> must already be present within us, otherwise we could not recognize 
> it, we wouldn't have affinity toward it. So if we can remove the 
> notion of scarcity, then the fullness of who and what we are, which is 
> already there, will be evident. It will have an appearance of emerging 
> from nothing, but it's really just appearing like a tree in the fog 
> that was standing quiet all along, and all that was required was for the fog to lift.
>
>
> Anyway, I want to lastly add that I bring up demand over production, 
> which Maria Cristina had shown some interest. The idea is that we have 
> demands which actually decide production, and these demands are 
> socially based, because we have social natures. Even if we are talking 
> about biological demands like food and shelter, early childcare, 
> regardless, in those cases there is a social aspect to them.
>
>
> Looking through the other end of the telescope, when we consider 
> demand first rather than production, things look interestingly 
> different. If we include things in demand in that exploration (rather 
> than things in production), we begin to see the social life of things, 
> we start to see how these items go in and out of commodification, 
> where objects have auras of value that reside outside of monetary value and markets.
>
>
> Let's consider your dining room table. You bought it in a furniture 
> store, or perhaps online, or from a thrift store or garage sale, maybe 
> it was a gift. But as long as you own it, you don't consider the 
> market value of your dining room table, or its appreciating value if 
> say it was made by a famous furniture maker where in 20-30 years 
> you'll see those items appraised on The Antiques Road Show; at least 
> not until you decide you don't want to own it anymore. During that 
> time of possession, the dining room table starts to have different 
> value, a social value, which is determined by its demand, or should I 
> say demand for it. It supports the family by providing a comfortable 
> place to eat meals. A place for kids to do homework. A place to play 
> card games. Or to cut a dress pattern from fabric, etc. All of these 
> are domestic activities, but they have no production value in terms of tables. You only need one dining room table.
> Still, the table will generate value in the household, because of the 
> activities that the table supports, even if it is to bring people 
> together at holidays, or even if it has only sentimental value, say if 
> the table is damaged and must be repaired, or it has been moved 
> because the room is being painted. This description depicts the social 
> life of the dining room table. Which is based upon its demand, not its production.
>
>
> Anyway, as I said previously, my debt for these thought experiments 
> comes from Arjun Appadurai. If anyone is interested.
>
>
> Maria Cristina makes a great point considering work life and living 
> life as two types of activity systems and thinking about their 
> inherent contradictions. What comes from this tension that transcends the two?
> (Might this exploration echo the comparison between production and 
> demand?) Is Maria Cristina correct that there hasn't been much 
> discussion in this area? if so, I'd like to learn more about that.
>
>
> Great conversations. Thanks.
>
>
> Kind regards,
>
>
> Annalisa
>

Status: O