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Re: [xmca] Friesen Article


Thanks for getting us directly connected with this article.
I have a question, the answer to which is presupposed in your term,
technology. One of the aspects of the study of communication as I experience
from a department so named is that technology is a term that applies almost
exclusively to electronically powered digital devices.... by my *colleagues*,
who also treat "media" as a singular noun and a "cause" in the positive
sense of "the media are responsible for the degeneration of our moral

Put aside my parochial question about media and focus on technology. What is
a technology? I trace my own, vague understandings to the idea
of technea in ancient Greece where teoria referred to the audience at a
dramatic performance. I am guessing you have thought about this a lot.
Can you help me out here? I think it is relevant to the article because of
the everyday interpretation of "educational technology" .

I hope that someone knows how to reach Norm Friesen so that he can join the
discussion. I think that discursive psychology is an important intellectual
enterprise and would like to understand its relationship to the issues we
are used to discussing.

On Sun, May 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM, David Kellogg <vaughndogblack@yahoo.com>wrote:

> Yes, xmca is a bit of a three ring circus: when there isn't a tiger loose
> on the other thread, then he's either backstage--or prowling the audience.
> I've got some non-rhetorical and non-display questions about the Friesen
> article:
> a) My first question has to do with "interdisciplinarity", a recent thread
> that snapped befoer it could get as far as "Discursive Psychology and
> Educational Technology". In applied linguistics we used to think we were
> inter-trans-disciplinary: we thought we were language teaching plus any
> discipline you need to make language teaching more fun, effective,
> affordable, useful. Then we discovered that we were really just a
> TECHNOLOGY. It's not the same thing. For one thing, being a technology is
> more fun, effective, affordable, and useful. For another, it's not nearly as
> prestigious, which means good riddance to an enormous amount of careerist
> baggage. Isn't "cognitive science" (and even CHAT) just in the process of
> discovering the same thing?
> b) My second question concerns p. 133, where Friesen has this to say:
> "Discursive psychology does not understand (?) discourse or conversation in
> terms of communication in its conventional technologized (??) meaning as the
> transmission of information; instead, it understands discourse above all
> (as?) a kind of activity--a type of action or work through which the social
> field of interaction itself is constituted". I can think of a lot of ways in
> which you could transmit information without "action" or "work" or even a
> social field of interaction (involuntary signals). I can't think of a single
> way in which you could constitute a social field of interaction without
> transmitting information. So am I to conclude that discursive psychology is
> a narrower notion than the convental technologized one?
> c) My third question has to do with a sentence later in teh same paragraph
> that goes like this: (...Mind, computer, and other terms and categories
> woudl emerge from this type of analysis not so much as causes or tools to
> produce certain results but as rhetorical and interactional resources
> for discursive, social action." To me this suggests that they are not tools
> but only potential tools. Given that I am a proud technologist with no
> pretensions to interdisciplinarity, why is that a step forward? It looks
> like a giant leap backwards from where I am standing.
> d) Finally, I wonder about the whole exercise of analyzing a tidbit of
> interaction between a human and a chatbot for evidence that the human is
> responding to the chatbot as we humans are supposed to, that is, as a more
> or less successful performance of a perverse kind of role play. The
> particular role play that chatbots are supposed to enact is NOT, however,
> a machine pretending to be human, but rather a human pretending to treat a
> machine as a human. Isn't the missing precondition for real (as opposed to
> potential) social action the ASSUMPTION that the other person has a genuine
> intention to interact?
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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