RE: foucault on slavery and politics --Psych/physical tools?

Date: Tue Mar 22 2005 - 13:14:59 PST

"This is also related to Yrjo's idea of development as "breakikng away."
There is a real dialectical dilema ... One the one hand, a newborn is
helpless and must be "enculturated" ... but in order for there to be
adaptive/transformative change,... there must be creation of the new, a
"going beyond" that destroys at least part of what nurtured it."

Mike, I am not familiar with Yrjo's idea. But one utility of a paradox is
that it forces us to think about its contradictory process, from which an
outcome emerges. As you show, learning involves both production (of
something new) and destruction (of something old). Not knowing much about
learning theories, there seems to be much more attention being paid to the
production side of the learning and not much to the destruction side (there
is a similar mapping in spatial and economic theories). Put differently, the
'value' of destruction is under estimated in the process of change. How do
you teach people to "break away?"(perhaps military training/learning is an
exception. They make it clear from the beginning that this is not home or
school, forget what you know, you know nothing, we teach you the real
stuff). And that is an example of someone else is destroying something in
us, in order to plant his. Is there a self-determined model of destruction
in learning? Does ZPD provide a space for it?

On the production side for innovation, Nonaka suggests an interesting model
for new knowledge production and adult/organizational learning (based on
innovative companies in Japan and the US).

He seems to suggest a sort of ZPD for nurturing newborn ideas. Using
Japanese philosopher Kitaro Nishida, he suggests one must provide "ba" --a
shared and caring space--for the new ideas to develop from tacit forms of
knowledge to explicit ones.


Perhaps we need to add Freud and Luke Skywalker to the discussion? (A
brought about by another of my kin, the 6 year old variety).

On Tue, 22 Mar 2005 09:56:24 -0800, IRAJ IMAM <>
> "a stupid despot may constrain his slaves with iron chains; but a true
> politician binds them even more strongly by the chain of thier own
> ideas....this link is all the stronger in that we do not know of what
> it is made and we believe it to be our own work."
> -----
> Thanks Mike for sharing.
> This is a good example of utilizing [your] categories of 'physical' and
> 'psychological' tools, and evaluating their effectiveness from the stand
> point of ruling over people. Two social technologies of control: Capture
> their body by physical force and assuming that the mind is captured too
> use of torture). Or, capturing their minds and assuming that their bodies
> will follow (eg, advertisements/propaganda of all sorts). In fact, all
> social spaces use both technologies.
> Looking at it spatially, the question becomes 'where' to start--from the
> physical/real space or the virtual/imagined space of people. Since both
> spaces are interconnected in our activities, the question then becomes
> learning (and performing). Perhaps similar 'learning' targets and social
> technologies are involved in empowering and in enslaving.
> One tends to destroy the old learning and produce a new one in an
> social space. The other also tends to destroy the existing and
> it with a new learning. the difference is the former is open and
> reflective--thus empowering and self-determined. The other has to remain
> seductive, hidden, and must produce a deceptive space in order to work.
> it needs to produce two spaces: one that appears self-determined to the
> 'user' while the other is producing a captured (but hidden) social space
> (eg, The Matrix).
> This just seemed related to the prior discussion about
> 'empowering/enslaving' learning spaces in classrooms.
> iraj imam
> The Center for Applied Local Research
> 5200 Huntington Ave., Suite 200 Richmond, CA 94804
> Telephone: (510) 558-7932 FAX: (510) 558-7940
> e-mail:
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> "The defence of free speech begins at the point when people say something
> you can't stand. If you can't defend their right to say it, then you don't
> believe in free speech." Salman Rushdie, 7/2/2005

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