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[Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
- To: HENRY SHONERD <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <email@example.com>
- Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
- From: Lplarry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 22:53:58 -0700
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I am returning to Tomasello and section 5 on (joint attention and perspective) on page 7 of the article Mike sent.
Tomasello found infants in their second year of life were more motivated than great apes to participate in (both) *collaborative* problem solving (and) *cooperative* communication.
Therefore both collaborative and cooperation are adverbial notions.
The reason for this difference is that human infants are biologically (adapted for) social inter/actions involving shared intentionality. At age 2 human infants already have special *skills* for creating with *other persons* joint goals, joint intentions, and joint attention
*special motivations* for helping and sharing with others.
The Vygotskian intelligence hypothesis goes further to say:
“participation in inter/actions involving shared intentionality trans/forms human cognition in fundamental ways (modes).
First and most *fundamentally* this kind of participation creates the notion of perspectives (points of view).
I sense this repetition of these key points may focus our shared attention.
Sent from my Windows 10 phone
From: HENRY SHONERD
Sent: April 19, 2016 6:54 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Collaboration
I want to add that I can hear Vera talking of negotiation in her teaching, mentoring and writing, then I thought to look in the index of her Creative Collaboration. There it was on page 242 under Negotiation: “by children, of conflict, of differences, intimate partners and…”
> On Apr 19, 2016, at 5:46 PM, HENRY SHONERD <email@example.com> wrote:
> “Negotiation” appeals to me as well. I associate it with the negotiation of meaning between people, as well as the negotiation of the of the environment in reaching an objective. Intersubjectivity and interobjectivity.
>> On Apr 19, 2016, at 4:24 PM, Christopher Schuck <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
>> "I consider cooperation to mean that there is sacrifice involved if
>> conflict arises, specifically I mean in the sense of accommodation."
>> That's exactly what I was trying to get at earlier, in questioning minimal
>> differences as a defining feature of cooperation. Thanks for this extremely
>> helpful synposis, Annalisa!
>> "I do think we've identified a possible need for a different word than
>> "conflict" though, for its negative or adversarial connotation....How about
>> "negotiation"? would that be a better word than "conflict"? Negotiation
>> coincides with cooperation and collaboration."
>> Negotiation strikes me as one particular expression of cooperation that
>> emphasizes the transactional (dialectical?) back-and-forth, specifically
>> discursive/conversational process often required. So it's a great example
>> for clarifying what cooperation is, but maybe it's narrower? That is,
>> negotiation is focused on the terms and conditions (also points of
>> similarity and difference) around which people are coming closer together.
>> through dialogue. Or to put it another way: negotiation speaks to the
>> discovery process involved in *finding a way* to come closer together,
>> whereas cooperation refers more broadly to the goal of working together and
>> need not include dialogue. This brings up another tricky concept that I
>> didn't notice Annalisa mentioning: "agreement."
>> I also wanted to just quickly point out, though this may already be obvious
>> to everyone, that conflict hardly always implies competition, nor does
>> competition necessarily imply conflict ("good sportsmanship" could be an
>> example of the latter).
>> On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 4:33 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <email@example.com> wrote:
>>> Hello esteemed XMCArs!
>>> This is something of a summary of what I have read in the thread so far up
>>> to the time of my post anyway. So it's long and addresses several members'
>>> posts. I hope it's not to laborious to read, and there might be further
>>> collaboration in parsing the answer to Michael's originating question. :)
>>> Initially, as I followed the course of this thread, my thought about
>>> notions of collaboration and its differences from cooperation, I consider
>>> cooperation to mean that there is sacrifice involved if conflict arises,
>>> specifically I mean in the sense of accommodation. It isn't distressing,
>>> nor need it be a surrendering of identity, even in a more hierarchical
>>> social structure. Also, cooperation can be very ambitious, so I seem to
>>> have a 180 definition to Andy's distinctions between the two words. In
>>> collaboration, there is a community effort to complete something and it is
>>> more democratic in nature, in the sense of oughts, not is's. So to
>>> summarize, I don't believe that for either cooperation or collaboration
>>> that conflict is an essential ingredient, for the reason that they can
>>> exist without conflict.
>>> That's why I'm in more agreement with Michael's definitions when he speaks
>>> of Downes' distinctions in reference to community :
>>> "Right now I think I like Stephen Downes' distinction which is cooperation
>>> is engaging in community work for your own needs - so you never really give
>>> yourself up to the learning community, while collaboration involves
>>> actually creating a community. Others I think see collaboration as the
>>> development of shared meaning while cooperation is simply (shared isn't the
>>> right word, right?) action towards a goal. I think both to a certain
>>> degree reflect your thinking."
>>> I also support Micheal to pose the question, "what do we mean my
>>> conflict?" As I indicated already, collaboration can be non-adversarial.
>>> It is interesting that Andy brought up marriage. Unfortunately not
>>> everyone on this list might know what marriage means in the everyday
>>> concept of the word, but might understand marriage as a scientific concept!
>>> :) Still, it does seem germane that commitment is a requirement to any
>>> collaboration, perhaps because of the potential for conflict, as Micheal
>>> points out.
>>> But I'd also like to state something that we are missing when considering
>>> marriage as an example of collaboration: there also must be present in a
>>> marriage something called love and care, which is joyful sharing. I imagine
>>> also, in the creation of a family there is an ideal objective to a create a
>>> sense of continuity and community of care for all members, and that is an
>>> ongoing collaboration.
>>> I'm not sure it makes sense to focus a notion of collaboration around
>>> conflict. But I understand why conflict comes up. I don't think marriage is
>>> something that is usually considered in reference to conflict, though for
>>> many who are divorced or who fear repeating a bad marriage, they seem to
>>> orient to marriage as a daily ordeal in conflict. :/
>>> Helen's comment about distributed cognition I find also relevant, because
>>> successful collaboration requires members who have complimentary ways of
>>> thinking about or skill for doing things. Sometimes having too many people
>>> who have expertise or skill in identical domains creates competition, and
>>> competition not only creates conflict, but also has the potential become
>>> violent. I say that because competition creates an illusion of scarcity
>>> rather than abundance, sharing, or beneficial opportunity.
>>> I also like Greg's comment that hints at a nice definition of
>>> collaboration as "playing well with others." Also his mention that there
>>> are gendered tendencies about what collaboration means in groups made up
>>> solely of one gender or mixed; all male, or all female, or mixed, or even
>>> LBGT- to offer recognition of those identities, as more diffuse
>>> manifestations of gendered expression, which of course are still being
>>> understood by all of us.
>>> There's also the cultural implications, whether having to do with class or
>>> race, the preferred language of discourse, vocabularies, signifiers,
>>> histories, and so on.
>>> Can there be differences between capital-C Collaboration and little-c
>>> collaboration? How does creativity relate?
>>> I don't think it makes sense to create an equivalent to Myers-Briggs for
>>> collaboration, but there was that study in Google that studied internal
>>> work groups and they couldn't find anything to identify until they were
>>> able to measure the amount of time that a team member was allowed to talk.
>>> (search "Google" and "groups" the NYT and you should find it). They found
>>> that in groups where there was equal-billed time for each member to speak,
>>> in other words no individual or individuals dominated leaving others
>>> silent, those groups possessed the most productivity, and also each member
>>> felt good about being in that group. When they looked more closely to get
>>> to the bottom of all that, it ended up that the only feature that really
>>> counted was whether or not the group offered psychological safety for each
>>> I have one word for this: Duh.
>>> A modicum of psychological safety really hits the nail on the head when it
>>> comes to what collaboration requires. Can there be valid collaboration
>>> without any psychological safety?
>>> Can members experiment? Can they fail safely without ridicule? Is there
>>> humor in the group? Forgiveness for mistakes? How is improvisation regarded
>>> as a site for discovery and imagination?
>>> Following our thread, distributed cognition just by being distributed
>>> doesn't mean that it is decentralized, something that Michael mentioned.
>>> For example, Hutchins study on navigation took place in the Navy, a highly
>>> hierarchical organization and highly centralized. The study of cultural
>>> practice of navigation (plotting the fix), on the naval ship is still
>>> distributed despite these organizational features.
>>> Another example: when I make a grocery shopping list with a post-it note
>>> and pen, that is also distributed cognition exercised in solitude, from the
>>> time I search my fridge to learn what I've run out of, in order to make my
>>> list, and how I bring the list with me to the store as I search the aisles
>>> and then remember that I'd forgotten to add tomato sauce to my list,
>>> because I keep that in the pantry not the fridge, and so forgot to put it
>>> on my post-it note, which is sticking to the handle of my grocery cart.
>>> It's all distributed cognition.
>>> Bouncing off of Christopher's post, who is bouncing off Andy's previous
>>> posts on cooperation, as I said initially, I see cooperation as more about
>>> accommodation, rather than being conflict free. That's what I meant by
>>> sacrifice to a cause, which could be conflict aversion. I agree with Andy
>>> that suppressing conflict is not good, but neither is being conflict
>>> averse, which feels to me to be more "internal" than "external." Your
>>> mileage may vary.
>>> I do think we've identified a possible need for a different word than
>>> "conflict" though, for its negative or adversarial connotation. I wonder if
>>> professional diplomats use any words for what we are conceptually
>>> How about "negotiation"? would that be a better word than "conflict"?
>>> Negotiation coincides with cooperation and collaboration.
>>> I was super happy to hear from Vera! I like what she says about
>>> distributive and integrative aspects in collaboration, which possesses a
>>> non-adversarial rendering of collaboration. It implies search, comparison,
>>> identification of differences and similarities, these words provide
>>> opportunity for simulation, as in rehearsal or testing, then negotiation
>>> and finally integration. And the cycle can start once again, as needed.
>>> So maybe we are considering martini preferences around differences between
>>> shaken and stirred? :)
>>> I also like the phrase "dignified interdependence" very very much. Thanks
>>> for that one, Vera.
>>> In reference to Alfredo's post, that collaboration is a skill to
>>> cultivate. That seems right. Such a skill is not something inherently done
>>> without guidance from a more-knowledgeable or more-experienced peer, but it
>>> does appear to be inherently necessary for all of us to be successfully
>>> Also, can we freely make the assumptions we do about individuals and
>>> collaboration? I say this because we have these "western" notions of
>>> individuality that we take for granted. For example, the notion of dividual
>>> makes the case that some cultures have members who see themselves closely
>>> tied to others in a "dignified interdependence," if I might exercise Vera's
>>> nice coupling of words. So perhaps we might not be too hasty about
>>> normalizing individualism as we experience it, and pose it as a universal
>>> human trait.
>>> It is interesting to consider collaboration as a primary human phenomenon,
>>> since that is inclusive of the individual and the dividual (as a spectrum).
>>> I suppose that is the burgeoning anthropologist in me! :)
>>> I still must read the Tomasello article Mike offered up (thanks Mike), he
>>> is a favorite of mine. But Rod also brings up a very nice word "collusion,"
>>> when taken in a constructive fashion. Sometimes two parties in a group
>>> can't be too obvious that they are working together because they must wait
>>> for others to catch up or warm up to an idea or new turn in the flow of
>>> events. Or, if a subgroup needs to quietly work off to the side to
>>> experiment and solidify an idea before presenting it to the group. That
>>> seems to be a valid use of the word "collusion."
>>> Of course, Larry's observations that collaboration is highly influenced by
>>> the environment is also worth further discussion too, as I don't believe
>>> that collaboration can happen in a non-space or a non-environment or even a
>>> non-culture. There has to be a there there. So the reference of "dwelling
>>> in the world" is also very delightful.
>>> Here's a list I made of words that jumped out to me, going down my post.
>>> There are a lot of "C" words:
>>> but also some non-C words:
>>> -dignified interdependence
>>> -distributed cogniton
>>> Of course this is all about that "great C in the sky": C-O-N-C-E-P-T! We
>>> appear to be collaborating quite earnestly upon the concept of
>>> I'd like to thank everyone for such a nice (and quite cordial) thread and
>>> Kind regards,