Re: info-mation v in-formation RE: [xmca] Sunstein "Infotopia" onBookTV Sunday night

From: Mike Cole (lchcmike@gmail.com)
Date: Sat Oct 14 2006 - 22:02:01 PDT


Lets hope you are right, Don.
mike

On 10/14/06, Cunningham, Donald James <cunningh@indiana.edu> wrote:
>
> There are several pertinent papers in that issue. Many of the authors are
> on this list and I hope they will make pre-publication drafts available. I'm
> pretty sure that Semiotica would not object to that.
>
> Cheers......djc
>
> Don Cunningham
> Indiana University
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
> Behalf Of Mike Cole
> Sent: Saturday, October 14, 2006 3:52 PM
> To: Tony Whitson
> Cc: eXtended Mind, Culture,Activity
> Subject: Re: info-mation v in-formation RE: [xmca] Sunstein "Infotopia"
> onBookTV Sunday night
>
> Hi Tony-- Fascinating. I actually made the jump to Dewey from reading the
> beginning of the materials on the link you sent, not your note.
> But glad to have evoked your further thoughts and linkages.
>
> The Auger book looks especially relevant to someone who is preparing to
> teach a course
> on "Language, thought, and medai." A copy of your to-be-published article
> would be nice to
> circulate if Don allows.
> mike
>
> On 10/14/06, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:
> >
> > Mike, you ask:
> > > Sunstein argues for Dewey's notion of social intelligence, I gather?
> > > At least as a potential and perhaps afforded by our current infotopia?
> >
> > Trying to make connections across discourses, I might have been
> misleading
> > in the post you are responding to, where I wrote:
> >
> > Cass Sunstein is on BookTV this weekend talking about a new book on how
> > wikis and open source software, etc are being used in processes of
> social
> > knowledge and decision-making. See
> > http://curricublog.wordpress.com/2006/10/13/infotopia-booktv/
> >
> > My clarification follows below, but it is also posted --with all the
> > links--
> > at http://curricublog.wordpress.com/2006/10/14/sunstein-information/ .
> >
> > Actually, "social knowledge" is not a term that Sunstein himself uses.
> > Sunstein is discussing processes in which "information" is socially
> > aggregated in ways that produce results that can be better-but sometimes
> > can
> > be worse-than the results obtained by the expertise of individuals.
> > Theoretically, Sunstein is not in the ballpark of either cognitive
> > psychology or semiotics. He's coming, rather, from a framework of
> > political
> > & economic theory, as reflected in a blurb on the back jacket of his
> book,
> > in which Robert MacCoun (Berkeley Public Policy & Law Prof.) writes that
> >
> > Cass Sunstein's new book is a lively illustration of emerging mechanisms
> > for
> > collective rationality never anticipated in the classic writings of
> > Madison,
> > Marx, or Milton (Friedman).
> >
> > Sunstein's blog post On Aggregating Information: Hayek, Blogging, and
> > Beyond
> > (July 2005) displays this theoretical orientation. His other posts on
> that
> > blog extend this discussion, including a post on Hayek v. Habermas.
> >
> > In a response to his first post (linked above), Wikipedia founder Jimmy
> > Wales comments:
> >
> > I just wanted to say that Hayek's work on price theory is central to my
> > own
> > thinking about how to manage the Wikipedia project. Possibly one can
> > understand Wikipedia without understanding Hayek, since perhaps my own
> > theories of how Wikipedia works are false. :-)
> >
> > But one can't understand my ideas about Wikipedia without understanding
> > Hayek.
> >
> > Sunstein quotes this comment on pp. 156-7 of his book.
> >
> > In one of his own posts, Wales issues a call to "Free the Curriculum!"
> >
> > Earlier in this post, I wrote that
> >
> > Sunstein is discussing processes in which "information" is socially
> > aggregated ...
> >
> > My reason for putting "information" in quotation marks is that I've
> become
> > increasingly concerned about and interested in the idea of "information"
> > that is now taken for granted, which obscures (at best) an older,
> > pre-positivistic idea of information that is more in tune with Dewey's
> > thinking (to bring this back to Mike Cole's question, with which this
> post
> > begins). The positivist degradation of understanding about meaning is
> > discussed in a paper to appear early in 2007 in the special issue of
> > Semiotica edited by Donald Cunningham on semiotics and education. In my
> > paper "Education la Silhouette: The need for semiotically-informed
> > curriculum consciousness," I discuss the difference between how C.S.
> > Peirce
> > (and Dewey, following Peirce) understood meaningful signification as a
> > matter of signs potentiating meaning in the interpretive responses to
> > those
> > signs. In this understanding, the sign is something that potentiates,
> not
> > something that contains and conveys meaning.
> >
> > The earlier view of "information" had to do with entering into the
> > formation
> > (e.g., of someone's understanding, awareness, character, etc. This is
> > reflected in European languages that use cognates of "formation" or
> > "Bildung" in their common words for education.
> >
> > Now I'm seeing examples in a wide range of domains all over the place.
> To
> > use an example that involves Dewey, consider the 2002 book
> >
> > The Electric Meme: A New Theory of How We Think, by Robert Aunger
> >
> > in comparison with Dewey's 1910 classic
> >
> > How We Think
> >
> > In the future I will be writing more about the crucial difference
> between
> > these two senses of "information." They are such different ideas that I
> > need
> > to adopt different ways of signifying them. For now, I'm thinking of
> > differentially using "in-formation" juxtaposed with "info-mation." It
> > seems
> > to me that this could work. What do you think?
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu]
> On
> > Behalf Of Mike Cole
> > Sent: Friday, October 13, 2006 7:48 PM
> > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> > Subject: Re: [xmca] Sunstein "Infotopia" on BookTV Sunday night
> >
> > Sunstein argues for Dewey's notion of social intelligence, I gather? At
> > least as a potential and perhaps afforded by our current infotopia?
> >
> > Oddly, as some of you may have noticed from another posting today by a
> > student of mine (who I intended to have post
> > to our seminar, not xmca, but the juxtaposition is interesting!) I am
> > running a seminar are Orwell's 1984 and its resonances
> > with contemporary events and modes of mediation.
> >
> > Hmmmm, perhaps for everyone infotopia there is at least one
> infodystopia?
> > And besides, lets keep in mind that utopia means
> > nowhere, or, if you prefer a contraring view, Erehwon.
> > mike
> >
> > On 10/13/06, Tony Whitson <twhitson@udel.edu> wrote:
> > >
> > > This isn't directly related to any current thread, but there was so
> much
> > > interest in my earlier post on wikis that I thought I should share
> this.
> > >
> > > Cass Sunstein is on BookTV this weekend talking about a new book on
> how
> > > wikis and open source software, etc are being used in processes of
> > social
> > > knowledge and decision-making. See
> > >
> > > http://curricublog.wordpress.com/2006/10/13/infotopia-booktv/
> >
> >
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