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[Xmca-l] Re: Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a PlanthatCould Fix It | WIRED



I'm with Peter; we can pin down the concepts but the people keep moving!

Or as Mike's anthropologist friend Roy D'Andrade used to say "Doing social
science is like doing geology in a landslide" (cited in Mike's piece in
Andy's book Collaborative Projects, p. 365. btw, D'Andrade passed away just
last month. Sad loss).

-greg



On Tue, Nov 29, 2016 at 12:16 PM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:

> Peter, Mike,
> Have just finished reading Peter’s paper on the impossibility of ever
> actually being able to be successful in the desire for nano-control of
> complex  [social] concepts  and the assumption that social scientists can
> come to an agreed meaning that can be used for large scale data analysis
> and coding.
>
> Peter, your paper directly refutes the promethean desire to bring
> scientific concepts [as a systematic set of principles] under volitional
> control without realizing  the counterpoint that we always return from
> systematic approaches to *resume* picking up loose threads. Your
> challenging the metaphor  of intertwining threads as too optimistic, too
> progressive,  is interesting.
> Does seem to be a back and forth historical movement of generating and
> acquiring cohesive voices followed by fragmentation into a spectrum of
> layered voices. The back and forth seems to require a sense of play to
> sustain engagement.
> Peter, I enjoyed how your paper captures the complexity of beginning a
> career as a teacher.
>
>
> Sent from Mail for Windows 10
>
> From: mike cole
> Sent: Monday, November 28, 2016 9:32 AM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a
> PlanthatCould Fix It | WIRED
>
> I understand the sentiment, Larry. But for active academics who want to
> have a voice, the apparently inexorable movement toward nano-control both
> local and global seems unlikely to suffice.
>
> I have not had time to read Peter's paper, but will get to it.
>
> I now have copies of the Zuckerman for those that wish a copy.
> mike
>
> On Mon, Nov 28, 2016 at 7:50 AM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Peter, Mike,
> > Thanks for engaging with this topic that can seem to be herding cats
> > (earlier metaphor).
> > I want to raise up a specific question Mike asks:
> > Do we come up with (indexes) of identities with  standing??.
> > Indexes as signs pointing or gesturing towards ...
> > What if we don’t (come up with) indexes.
> > What if we singularly and co-generatively ARE indexes  or signs as human
> > beings  expressing our humanity, pointing towards worlds of
> (significance)
> > within which our existence occurs (unfolds). My being/becoming as
> movement,
> > inclination, leaning into, indicating the reality of worlds of
> significance
> > and our response ability to see beyond our individual existence to
> embrace
> > and sustain and yes -resume- our mutual engagement nurturing worlds of
> > significance.
> > It is not a matter of drawing up a list of indexes, but of living out and
> > being/becoming indexical beings oriented towards worlds of significance.
> >
> > Critique yes, but derived from what is already given.
> > We stand not only between past and future, but equally between tradition
> > and oblivion. (Foulcault).
> > The angel of oblivion that must be answered by our existence as sign or
> > index.
> >
> >
> >
> > Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> >
> > From: Peter Smagorinsky
> > Sent: November 28, 2016 3:43 AM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a Plan
> > thatCould Fix It | WIRED
> >
> > Odd, it worked on my end. I'm attaching the ms. p
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
> > mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of R.J.S.Parsons
> > Sent: Monday, November 28, 2016 6:39 AM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a Plan
> > that Could Fix It | WIRED
> >
> > That link to your site doesn't work, Peter.
> >
> > Rob
> >
> > On 28/11/2016 11:19, Peter Smagorinsky wrote:
> > > I've written something that speaks to the problem that scientists can
> > agree on concepts, but social scientists can't. It originates in
> Vygotsky's
> > tendency to illustrate complex social concepts with biological examples
> > that oversimplify the process of the development of social concepts that
> > have no "solid" form.
> > >
> > > Smagorinsky, P. (2013). The development of social and practical
> > > concepts in learning to teach: A synthesis and extension of Vygotsky's
> > > conception. Learning, Culture, and Social Interaction, 2(4), 238-248.
> > > Available at
> > > http://www.petersmagorinsky.net/About/PDF/LCSI/LCSI_2013.pdf
> > >
> > > abstract
> > > This conceptual paper interrogates, considers, and expands on
> > > Vygotsky's notion of concept development. I first review Vygotsky's
> > > account of concept development, including his distinction between
> > > scientific and spontaneous concepts. I next summarize his pattern of
> > > concept development from complexes to pseudoconcepts to concepts, and
> > > in the process problematize his view by shifting his discussion from
> > > biological examples to social examples. The following section examines
> > > concepts as cultural constructions, with attention to the cultural
> > > nature of concepts, and concepts and societal telos. The third section
> > outlines processes that complement and enrich concept development,
> > including concept development's future orientation, the affective
> dimension
> > of concept development, and creativity's role in concept development as a
> > higher mental function.
> > > The fourth section takes Vygotsky's notion of concept development's
> > > “twisting path” and complicates it by questioning the extent to which
> > > social concepts have a clear meaning toward which any pathway may lead
> > > given their relativistic and ideological nature. This inquiry leads to
> > > the proposal of practical concepts that serve as fragmented
> > > understandings that generally cohere yet are inherently compromised by
> > attention to contradictory means of mediation in
> socialcultural–historical
> > contexts.
> > >
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
> > > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
> > > Sent: Sunday, November 27, 2016 7:36 PM
> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Social Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a Plan
> > > that Could Fix It | WIRED
> > >
> > > I just got to this message, Larry.
> > > I agree, everyone on xmca should read the article, not only because it
> > is relevant to Margaret and Carrie's paper vis a vis the trajectory of
> > neoliberal exaggerations of trends visible from Bush onward and if Mill
> can
> > be used as an authority, back to the origins of modern mass schooling. It
> > is also directly relevant to the kinds of pressures that current and
> future
> > generations of social science researchers will face in terms of grants
> and
> > publications. For example:
> > >
> > > * For one, the plan calls for scientists to nail down and agree on
> > > terminology for different concepts so researchers aren’t just talking
> > > past each other. “Often, in behavioral science, people talk about
> > > different phenomena but really mean the same thing,” says Riley. Or
> > > the opposite
> > > happens: Chemists don’t squabble about what oxygen is, but if
> > > psychologists convene a conference on a fuzzier concept like “trust,”
> > > says Colin Camerer <http://people.hss.caltech.edu/~camerer/index.htm>,
> > > an economist at Caltech, they’ll spend the first two days disagreeing
> > > about what the word actually means.*
> > >
> > > *That ambiguity gets tricky when researchers are trying to share and
> > > compare datasets, especially the massive ones scientists work with
> > > nowadays. (If you’re trying to compare variables in two datasets both
> > > named “resilience,” how do you know they’re really the same thing?) To
> > > fix these problems, the plan suggests, scientists should settle on
> > > rigorously defined terms. “We need to figure out what we mean when we
> > > say ‘depression,’ and how to define it—either by using the same
> > > measures, or by calibrating with the same framework,” Riley says.*
> > >
> > > ​The first paragraph rings true to me and ought to at least resonate
> > with even the most legitimate peripheral participant on xmca. The theory
> > ladeness of core terms is so very clearly laid out in this imaginary
> > idea-cocktail party. And as the second paragraph makes clear, its all
> about
> > coding, which David has introduced into the conversation.
> > >
> > > Overall, I think its relevant to both the theory and practice that
> > serves as the content of xmca.
> > > To quote a Soviet favorite. What is to be done?.
> > >
> > > With respect to the current article under discussion, that is the
> > question I have been trying to push vis a vis those of us whose work is
> > professionally tied up with education. Suppose the critique is correct
> and
> > that the nature of the alternative is specified to the level present in
> the
> > article.Here is a quote from the conclusion about which there has been
> some
> > discussion.
> > >
> > > * In other words, we as teachers, students, parents, and researchers
> > > must articulate new ways of​ making selves intelligible in the
> > > contexts of our lives, including producing “identities-with-standing”​
> > > that encompass the qualities we want to promote, identities that index
> > > a way-of-being that brings​ special pride and a sense of self-worth
> > > with respect to qualities that matter. In the case of schools and*
> > >
> > > *classrooms, these qualities might include intellectual curiosity,
> > > serious deliberation, citizen participation,* *​ * *social critique,
> > > and deep knowledge and understanding​.*
> > >
> > >
> > > ​Do we come up with "indexes of 'identities with standing'"? Or "social
> > critique" (no problem with knowledge and understanding, we have test
> > scores.  :-)  ).
> > >
> > > How does this collection of legitimately peripheral participants in so
> > many lifeworlds address this situation as relevant academic "experts"?
> > > (my son often reminds me that an expert is just a drip under pressure).
> > >
> > > Odd historical circumstances when Lenin's "what is to be done"
> > > question is posed in such an upside down confluence of historically
> > > antonymous ideologies and world systems.  ​
> > >
> > > mike​
> > >
> > > *​*
> > >
> > >
> > > On Thu, Nov 24, 2016 at 2:16 PM, <lpscholar2@gmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > >> This may be of interest on the topic of standardization and
> > >> replication and measurement phenomena as what seems to be driving the
> > >> desire for
> > >> (exact) science and how it is colonizing social studies Social
> > >> Science Is Busted. But the NIH Has a Plan that Could Fix It The NIH's
> > >> Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research is responding to a
> > >> fundamental shift in social science research.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> https://www.wired.com/2016/11/social-science-busted-nih-plan-fix/
> > >> Sent from my Windows 10 phone
> > >>
> > >>
> >
> >
> >
>
>


-- 
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson