Re: [xmca] LCA-- transparency

From: Ed Wall (
Date: Mon Jul 04 2005 - 12:57:50 PDT


My observations of the blind have been a bit different than the one
Bateson recounts (which doesn't at all contradict what he recounts) -
at one point I spent some time at a school for the blind outside
Nashville, Tennessee. Many of the young people I observed swung their
cane to and fro in front of them (and in some particular situations
they let it drag to the side). They didn't seem to be looking for
confirming evidence (and they may, for the observant person sharing
their space, have been simultaneously been socially clearing the way
in front of them) but for disconfirming evidence - that is, when the
cane exhibited stick-like properties. Opaqueness (as in a sheet of
paper), so to speak, was crucial and they seemed to be attempting to
maximize this with the cane. However, at the same time they needed to
use something that could act as an extension of themselves (a heavy
iron bar or a feather would not be ideal). Hence, it seems to me, it
is the doing (might one say the 'thoroughly internalized' here?) that
was mediated that is/was at stake and, in many instance, the 'ideal'
tool might be, in use, both appropriately 'opaque' and 'transparent'
or, perhaps, in use have the appropriate potentials for being both
'concrete' and 'abstract.'

Ed Wall

>Sasha-- When the blind man picks up the stick it is not yet an
>object and it is not yet transparent and according to Bateson's
>the mind ends at the fingertips that are feeling the stick. Only
>when it is in habitual use in an enviroment does it become
>transparent such that
>"mind" now extends to its tip.
>It seems that within a Vygotskian framework transparency might be
>the equivalent of "thoroughly internalized" and in AT terms, it has
>as Michael R, Ed (I think) and others have called an operation.

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