xmca as zdp: a personal deposition

From: Ricardo Japiassu (rjapias@uol.com.br)
Date: Mon Feb 09 2004 - 07:47:27 PST

Hi all,

I have a kind of NEED of telling you all how I feel of beeing part of XMCA. I believe that my - conscious - MOTIVE to do this is to satisfy that personal need. A need of sharing the kowledge I (co)labored with the help of people from all over the world who most of them I only meet in my e-mail box, a need of saying how pleased I am for the existence of this powerfull tool of learning.

Thus my END or GOAL here is to legitimate xmca as a pedagogical device that goes beyond UCSD limits - and, at the same time, to "out" how I feel for beeing part of such a commonality of discoursive practice in CHAT episthemological traditions.

In order to fit it I had to do many specific TASKS like turn on the PC, open outlook, type this message in a foreign language etc...

By the way, in another level of this self-analisis, I did many - conscious - ACTIONS (mediated actions) like verbal reflexive thinking on my needs and considerations of postpone or outright satisfy a personal desire [personaly I have trouble - I do not feel confortable - with the use of the word 'immediate' in the context of CHAT discoursive traditions because of the centrality of the concept of 'mediation' in that perspective]

In order to realize those actions I certanly did - and I'm doing right now - a great numbers of (not conscious) OPERATIONS.

On the other hand, the uncouscious reasons of this NEED... Maybe this could take a long and boring relate for you :-

 I found xmca by an online seaching for Vygotsky by the end of 1996. I was that time at ECA-USP studying for a master degree. I remmember I made contact with a professor of UCSD - can't remmember his name - that gave me the e-mail address of Michel Cole. I found a link to UCSD and, there, I became clicking over its professors and sending them e-mails asking for informations on xmca. Just one of them replyed. And unfortunately today I do not remmember his name anymore.

That time, I confess, I did not know how important Cole was in academic world. I was just getting a little closer to vygotskism. I sent a message to Cole and he outright answered me and gave me the way to be part of xmca. My English that time was much more limited than it is today.

Cole, Peter Faruggio, Peter Smagorinsky, Lois Holzman, Dot Robbins and many others helped me a lot sending me copy of books and texts by regular mail. By them I also could get important information from Guillermo Blanck, Antonio Meccacci, Jaan Valsiner - that I "discovered" was working as a visitant professor in Brazil.

By the year of 2000 I was that time studying in order to get a doctorate degree at FE-USP and I had a chance to meet Cole in Campinas. I also "saw" there Wertsch, Barbara Rogoff, Valsiner, Van der Veer and many others - I went to the communication session of Eugene Matusov but I knew he could not be present that time in Brazil.

Today here I am. Still struggling with my limitations in English, trying to understand more and better the world I live in and my self by the lens of CHAT. And beeing scaffolding by you all.

I like to say I NEVER found in all net a virtual communality like xmca. I made - and make - part of many list-servs and e-groups in Brazil and other countries but any of them , ANY, has a sistematic approach of issues neither a real and sincere academic engagement of memmbers like we all can "see" in xmca.

XMCA is out of all that bullshit transnational mercantile fetishism we find everywhere.

Aside this, in other e-groups I note that people are someway "afraid" of outing their thinking and discussions often ends contaminated by superficiallity. Maybe the sucess of xmca be its institutional dimmensions and the supportive context of LCHC... I really would like to know studies on it. To investigate xmca's possibilities and limits comparing it with other list-groups as zdp maybe could help us understand better ourselves.

In this sense, for example, I think it would be helpfull a xmca's tool that could make possible quickly join all messages of one specific member. Is this tool available?

XMCA is a typical "tool-and-result" method or ZDP. With such a tool - like that one pointed above - one could observe, for example, who we are and who we are becoming along our "online lives" in xmca.

Are there rigorous studies that focus xmca as a listsev? If yes, what are they? If not, why?

Ricardo Ottoni Vaz Japiassu
Universidade do Estado da Bahia/Uneb

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