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[Xmca-l] Re: Mediating Activity and Mediated Activity



<http://www.historyofinformation.com/expanded.php?id=3285>

<https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/where-on-earth-did-language-begin/>

Martin

> On May 4, 2016, at 6:47 PM, Martin John Packer <mpacker@uniandes.edu.co> wrote:
> 
> David,
> 
> No, Cavalli-Sforza studies human migration by tracing shared genes. I was referring to the work of Quentin Atkinson:
> 
> Atkinson, Q. D. (2011). Phonemic diversity supports a serial founder effect model of language expansion from Africa. Science, 332, 346-349. 
> 
> I tried to include an image in my last message, but it seems to have been stripped out.
> 
> Martin
> 
>> On May 4, 2016, at 6:40 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>> Henry:
>> 
>> Martin's referring to the work of Cavalli-Sforza, which assumes that you
>> can trace the spread of language by studying mitochondrial DNA. This
>> overlooks the fact the people do not simply inherit languages. They learn
>> them.
>> 
>> I think that this may be Vygotsky's most overlooked contribution.
>> Vygotsky's description of the proto-language of the child's first two years
>> of life, combined with Halliday's great "Nigel" studies, provides us
>> with...the key to the origins of language.
>> 
>> The question of the origins of language in linguistics is a little
>> like string theory in physics; it's something linguists go into
>> because they find working with data messy and unpleasant, and dead speakers
>> tell no tales. For most of Western intellectual history, the only field
>> workers were amateur archaeologists seeking Biblical confirmation: a quest
>> for the Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel. In the 19th Century, the
>> field became so speculative that the Royal Society and the French Academie
>> des sciences banned the acceptance of scientific papers on the subject.
>> It was almost forgotten in the twentieth, and recent attempts to revive it
>> by searching the Human Genome Project for a "language gene" have led
>> absolutely nowhere.
>> 
>> Vygotsky shows us what language looks like when the infant tries to invent
>> it. When he says that thinking and speech have separate roots, and then
>> come together, what he means is that the first languages, which are still
>> being invented right in front of our noses, have separate two layers: a
>> semantics and a phonetics, and these are then linked. But that link is not
>> yet wording; it's not lexicogrammar: it's simply pointing out and naming
>> things: matching sounds to objects.
>> 
>> Halliday shows us how the child is able to exapt the lexicogrammar he sees
>> and hears being enacted around him to his own functional purposes, his own
>> semantics and his own phonetics. It's a big step, but it's a step that even
>> a two year old human can make given the collaborative help of conspecifics.
>> So it is not reasonable to assume that it was made only once. Throughout
>> human history, the number of human languages has tended to diminish and not
>> increase, either through genocide or through literacy or both. Babel was
>> indeed our past, but the single language that supposedly preceded it is
>> really a long-ago that is yet-to-come.
>> 
>> David Kellogg
>> Macquarie University
>> 
>> On Thu, May 5, 2016 at 9:04 AM, HENRY SHONERD <hshonerd@gmail.com> wrote:
>> 
>>> Gente,
>>> As far as the invention of language, whether spoken, signed or written, do
>>> we know whether it was invented once, or many times, independently? Are we
>>> humans alone in the universe, the only inventors of language? Are these
>>> questions relevant to the thread? If not, I only have questions, so they’re
>>> my best shot.
>>> Henry
>>> 
>>>> On May 4, 2016, at 3:57 PM, David Kellogg <dkellogg60@gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> Well, but then in hindsight everything coevolves with everything, Andy.
>>> And
>>>> only in hindsight. Three problems with that.
>>>> 
>>>> First of all, this view of "co-evolution" renders the idea of evolution
>>>> vacuous. There is no obvious reason why the larynx should be considered
>>> the
>>>> "rudiment" of language rather than the mouth or the ears or for that
>>> matter
>>>> the hand (Stokoe makes a very convincing argument that sign languages
>>>> predate vocal ones). So then we have to say that speech co-evolved with
>>>> mouths and ears and hands?
>>>> 
>>>> Secondly, to pre-empt a little the upcoming issue of MCA, that this view
>>> of
>>>> co-evolution also makes it impossible to explain crises as internal
>>>> phenomena. The pace of change of language is qualitatively different from
>>>> the pace of change of the "rudiment" of language, wherever you choose to
>>>> locate it, and this changing of gears needs to be explained. It wasn't a
>>>> simple adaptation to the environment, whatever it was; it doesn't appear
>>> to
>>>> be environment specific at all.
>>>> 
>>>> Thirdly, this notion of co-evolution, discovering "rudiments" in
>>> accidents,
>>>> does not give us a unit of analysis that has all of the properties that
>>> we
>>>> are interested in studying. The quipu and the notched stick
>>>> are deliberately endowed with meaning, but the larynx is not.
>>>> 
>>>> Perhaps what you mean is not the larynx but the vocal tract: the lungs,
>>>> the bronchial tubes, the wind pipe, the voicebox, the oral cavity, the
>>>> tongue, the lips and the nose and nasal passages. But this did not evolve
>>>> at all; in  fact, as a physiological organ the vocal tract does not even
>>>> exist. It's not an adaptation but an exaptation--a bringing
>>>> together of organs which evolved with very different functions for
>>>> a purpose which is not an adaptation to the environment but an attempt to
>>>> create a qualitatively new type of environment, namely a semiotic one.
>>>> 
>>>> The notion of the co-evolution of tools and signs not only renders the
>>> idea
>>>> of evolution almost meaningless, it also makes it next to impossible to
>>>> consciously and deliberately and rationally introduce design into
>>>> development. If signs are, like tools, just ways of slavishly adapting to
>>>> an environment or (worse) slavishly adapting the environment to human
>>>> whims, we can only stagger and struggle against each other, from one
>>>> adaptation to the next. But if speech is an audaciously wise attempt to
>>>> create an environment of an entirely new type, an environment made of
>>>> meaning rather than merely of matter, then we humans might have some hope
>>>> of transforming the bitter blind combat of each against all into a common
>>>> collaborative project. That would be co-evolution indeed.
>>>> 
>>>> David Kellogg
>>>> Macquarie University
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> On Wed, May 4, 2016 at 2:09 PM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:
>>>> 
>>>>> David, I am responding to "Tool use--and even tool manufacture--is quite
>>>>> common in higher primates. But while the higher primates regularly use
>>>>> gesture, there is no evidence of any other species developing anything
>>> like
>>>>> a lexicogrammar."
>>>>> 
>>>>> In his somewhat discredited book "Ape, Primitive Man and Child,"
>>> Vygotsky
>>>>> makes the point that the form of activity which is found in non-human
>>>>> animals in *rudimentary* form but is fully developed in humans, is the
>>> key
>>>>> to the "transition from ape to man" and is thus the "essence of man" (to
>>>>> use a lot of 19th century language). That is why he was so determined,
>>> at
>>>>> the time, to find "rudimentary" forms of writing among not-literate
>>> peoples
>>>>> (those memory sticks and knots).
>>>>> 
>>>>> For all the faults of this work, I think this was a profound insight.
>>> What
>>>>> he seemed to have been blind to is that the larynx evolved together with
>>>>> the hand, and human beings learnt to speak at the same time as they
>>> learnt
>>>>> to make tools. It was only in 1931 that he recognised that a spoken word
>>>>> was as much a sign as a piece of technology manufactured for
>>> communicative
>>>>> purposes - which nonetheless, did turn out to mark a qualitative leap in
>>>>> human cultural development.
>>>>> 
>>>>> The great insight from this work is that despite himself, he looked
>>> *not*
>>>>> at the attribute of human beings which was exclusively found among
>>> humans
>>>>> (lexicogrammar) as the "essence of man," but on the contrary to the
>>>>> mediating activity which produced the change from one species to
>>> another.
>>>>> This is the Hegelian idea of concept, a.k.a. species, as opposed to the
>>>>> positivist concept of species/concept which looks for "essential"
>>>>> attributes as definitive. But he didn;t know that until 1931.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Andy
>>>>> 
>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>> On 4/05/2016 1:48 PM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> Greg:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Tool use--and even tool manufacture--is quite common in higher
>>> primates.
>>>>>> But while the higher primates regularly use gesture, there is no
>>> evidence
>>>>>> of any other species developing anything like a lexicogrammar. It's in
>>>>>> that
>>>>>> sense that I was arguing that tool use has temporal priority over
>>> signs. I
>>>>>> don't think tools and signs co-evolved phylogenetically any more than
>>> they
>>>>>> co-evolve ontogenetically. I think that practical intelligence and
>>>>>> speech have separate genetic roots and separate functional paths, the
>>> one
>>>>>> oriented towards the environment and the other towards conspecifics.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> While he was in prison, Oscar Wilde was allowed one sheet of paper a
>>> day,
>>>>>> which was issued to him in the morning and then locked in a safe in the
>>>>>> evening. He used this to write a very long letter to his lover Lord
>>> Alfred
>>>>>> Douglas (about a third of this letter, with the long and highly
>>>>>> contradictory complaints removed, was published as "De Profundis").
>>> But it
>>>>>> was only after his release that he was able to transform the sorry mess
>>>>>> into great art, a ballad about a trooper who was hanged while he was in
>>>>>> prison.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> He did not wear his scarlet coat
>>>>>> For blood and wine are red
>>>>>> And blood and wine were on his hands
>>>>>> When they found him with the dead
>>>>>> The poor dead woman that he loved
>>>>>> And murdered in their bed
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> It's all there: the blue coat of the trooper is now red, Christ
>>> transforms
>>>>>> blue water into red wine at Canaa, wine is transformed into blood
>>> before
>>>>>> Gethsemane and Golgotha, and even the main complaint Wilde has against
>>>>>> Douglas in "De Profundis", which is that "each man kills the thing he
>>>>>> loves
>>>>>> but each man does not die" is changed into "murdered in their bed". But
>>>>>> the
>>>>>> very first step in this transsubstantiation of mere suffering into
>>> great
>>>>>> art happens in the very first word, where Wilde begins with "he"
>>> instead
>>>>>> of
>>>>>> "I".
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Of course it's possible to use your personal misery to create great
>>> art.
>>>>>> But it's hard, for (at least) three reasons. First of all, it's hard to
>>>>>> stand back and let the material alone rather than try to whip it into
>>>>>> shape. Second, it's hard to reconcile the sense that your pain is the
>>> one
>>>>>> and only and incomparable and ineffable and the sense that you are at
>>> the
>>>>>> same time everywoman. Thirdly, pain is debilitating: it withers your
>>>>>> embrace right at the very moment when you need to reach out, makes you
>>>>>> unfit for companionship right when you need it most, fills your mouth
>>> with
>>>>>> incoherent screams precisely when you most need the precision of words
>>> to
>>>>>> convey what you are feeling to others. On top of that, as Vygotsky
>>> says,
>>>>>> really good art is not the contagion of feeling: it's the
>>> individuation of
>>>>>> social emotion and not the socialization of individual emotion.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> The unmotivated reconciliation that ends "Lemonade" is deus ex machina,
>>>>>> i.e. both unartistic and unrealistic. Either it was manufactured for
>>> mass
>>>>>> market consumption, or the raw emotion that preceded it was. Or both.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 11:05 AM, Greg Mcverry <jgregmcverry@gmail.com>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> I would have to agree with Andy on the co-evolution of the tools. To
>>>>>>> separate one as developing phylogenetically as ontogenetically seems
>>>>>>> false.
>>>>>>> Could one argue that agriculture was a pre-cursor to formal writing
>>>>>>> systems
>>>>>>> but sign systems evolved as a form of communication long before? I am
>>>>>>> not a
>>>>>>> cultural anthropologist. I really do not know if there has been a
>>> writing
>>>>>>> system developed in a hunting and gathering culture.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> Yet that does not mean those same cultures were not ripe with sign
>>>>>>> systems
>>>>>>> and meaning makings.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I think the mediation and differentiation of tools coevolving is even
>>>>>>> more
>>>>>>> stark when we consider the age of the web. For the first 25 years of
>>> the
>>>>>>> web the people building the web were also doing their own identity
>>> work.
>>>>>>> People that hung out on the the Well, Usenets, chat rooms. xmca
>>>>>>> listservs,
>>>>>>> etc were defining the tools in a way to help define themselves. Here
>>> is
>>>>>>> agreat piece by Ben Werdmuller reflecting on how his tool development
>>>>>>> could
>>>>>>> not be separated from his own ontological development:
>>>>>>> 
>>> https://words.werd.io/we-are-the-monkeys-of-rum-70f81d4a02df#.n0x23ugom
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> In terms of Beyonce. Whether you call it a mediating activity or a
>>>>>>> mediated
>>>>>>> activity. I am not sure it matters. The point is to be a force. For
>>> those
>>>>>>> not in the states her latest release has been seen as a call to women
>>> of
>>>>>>> color. Her Super Bowl performance was both celebrated and vilified.
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I haven't heard Lemonade yet ( I suffer from severe pop culture
>>> deficit)
>>>>>>> but I hear it getting talked about all over the web. I wonder how
>>> Hegel
>>>>>>> would think of something like the web where the culture is both
>>> affected
>>>>>>> by
>>>>>>> market pressures but not limited to any one national identity. Is the
>>> web
>>>>>>> the world spirit?
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 8:44 PM Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> I think the evidence is in that speech and labour (i.e.,
>>>>>>>> tool-use) co-evolved, but writing came a whole epoch later.
>>>>>>>> I do not think it is a sustainable "developmentalist" point
>>>>>>>> of view that a form of activity can first be differentiated
>>>>>>>> and then be mediated: the mediation and the differentiation
>>>>>>>> co-evolve (so to speak). That's the whole point.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On my update to:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>> https://www.academia.edu/4781886/From_where_did_Vygotsky_get_his_Hegelianism
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> I never claimed that Vygotsky only got his Hegel through
>>>>>>>> Marx: his knowledge of Hegel was mediated through a number
>>>>>>>> of sources (including Lenin and Engels and probably
>>>>>>>> Plekhanov, followers of Deborin and Lewin). The correction
>>>>>>>> you referred to was my admission that the passage you drew
>>>>>>>> my attention to in HDHMF I had overlooked in my catalogue,
>>>>>>>> and that it had to be included with the one or two other
>>>>>>>> allusions which seem to have come from a reading of the
>>>>>>>> section of Hegel's Subjective Spirit named "Psychology".
>>>>>>>> Someone, c. 1931, drew his attention to these passages.
>>>>>>>> There are other passages of The Subjective Spirit which
>>>>>>>> would have been of great interest to Vygotsky and would
>>>>>>>> certainly have been appropriated if he had ever read them,
>>>>>>>> but he hadn't, far less the Logic (though he had studied
>>>>>>>> Lenin's Annotations on the Logic) or the Phenomenology,
>>>>>>>> which no Marxist or Psychologist read in the period of his
>>>>>>>> lifetime.
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Is it time yet, David, for you to make a correction to your
>>>>>>>> claim that the Vygotsky archive would eventually turn up
>>>>>>>> Vygotsky's annotations on the Phenomenology?
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>> Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>>>>>>>> 
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> On 3/05/2016 9:00 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> Andy:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> You and I both come out of the pugilistic left, and
>>>>>>>>> we live in a country where socks are considered formal
>>>>>>>>> apparel. So I imagine that no question mark is required to
>>>>>>>>> start a discussion; nor pulling of punches to finish one.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> I think I made the case that the distinction was pretty
>>>>>>>>> useful, at least to Beyoncé fans--if not, see Vygotsky's
>>>>>>>>> conclusion to Chapter Two of HDHMF, where he points out
>>>>>>>>> that the precise nature of the relationship of signs and
>>>>>>>>> tools needs to be worked out yet, but in any case that
>>>>>>>>> relation is indirect; it MUST pass through a
>>>>>>>>> super-category he calls MEDIATING activities. For YOU and
>>>>>>>>> for HEGEL, all activity can be said to be both mediating
>>>>>>>>> and mediated, but this is a non-developmental point of
>>>>>>>>> view: for a developmentalist, one must perforce be
>>>>>>>>> differentiated first. Phylogenetically, it seems likely
>>>>>>>>> that tools were differentiated before signs, but
>>>>>>>>> ontogenetically it is usually the other way around.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> What really IS academic in the extreme is your
>>>>>>>>> own distinction between "really quoting" Hegel and
>>>>>>>>> quoting Hegel in a footnote to Marx academic. It's also
>>>>>>>>> quite unprovable. By the way, this might be a good place
>>>>>>>>> to acknowledge the corrections you have recently made to
>>>>>>>>> your assertion that every single Hegel reference you have
>>>>>>>>> found in Vygotsky's work can be found verbatim in Marx.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>> Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> On Mon, May 2, 2016 at 12:00 PM, Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>> <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   I didn't see a question mark anywhere David, but (for
>>>>>>>>>   reasons of my own) could I just note that Vygotsky is
>>>>>>>>>   not really quoting Hegel, but rather quoting Marx
>>>>>>>>>   quoting Hegel's Shorter Logic in an author's footnote
>>>>>>>>>   to /Capital/. Marx puts an interesting twist on the
>>>>>>>>>   point Hegel is making in the original. I think it is a
>>>>>>>>>   twist which preserves Hegel's meaning, but it is
>>>>>>>>>   really the opposite of what Hegel is saying.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   By "the cunning of Reason" Hegel means how History and
>>>>>>>>>   social processes in general unfold according to their
>>>>>>>>>   own logic, irrespective of the intentions of their
>>>>>>>>>   human actors. Marx twists this to make the point that
>>>>>>>>>   natural objects act according to human purposes, not
>>>>>>>>>   their material properties as such.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   I agree that when Hegel is talking about human
>>>>>>>>>   affairs, "Spirit" means "Activity", but of course
>>>>>>>>>   unlike Marx, Hegel deifies Spirit. For Marx, men make
>>>>>>>>>   history, only not under conditions of their own
>>>>>>>>>   choosing. For Hegel, men are mere tools of the
>>>>>>>>>   Weltgeist (world spirit).
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   I was able to grasp the distinction between mediating
>>>>>>>>>   and mediated activity, though given that all activity
>>>>>>>>>   is mediated and all activity is mediating, the
>>>>>>>>>   distinction strikes me as academic in the extreme. I
>>>>>>>>>   remain to be convinced that Hegel knoew of any such
>>>>>>>>>   distinction.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   The paragraph following the note on "cunning of
>>>>>>>>>   Reason" in the Shorter Logic is an interesting one:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   TheRealised Endis thus the overt unity of subjective
>>>>>>>>>   and objective. It is however essentially
>>>>>>>>>   characteristic of this unity, that the subjective and
>>>>>>>>>   objective are neutralised and cancelled only in the
>>>>>>>>>   point of their one-sidedness, while the objective is
>>>>>>>>>   subdued and made conformable to the End, as the free
>>>>>>>>>   notion, and thereby to the power above it. The End
>>>>>>>>>   maintains itself against and in the objective: for it
>>>>>>>>>   is no mere one-sided subjective or particular, it is
>>>>>>>>>   also the concrete universal, the implicit identity of
>>>>>>>>>   both. This universal, as simply reflected in itself,
>>>>>>>>>   is the content which remains unchanged through all the
>>>>>>>>>   three/termini/of the syllogism and their movement.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   Andy
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>>>   Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>>   http://home.mira.net/~andy <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy>
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>   On 2/05/2016 9:03 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       I'm reading a chapter by Janette Freidrich in the
>>>>>>>>>       collection "Vygotski
>>>>>>>>>       maintenant" published in 2011. It's an imaginary
>>>>>>>>>       dialogue between Buhler
>>>>>>>>>       and Vygotsky on the former's theory of language
>>>>>>>>>       and the latter's criticisms
>>>>>>>>>       thereof, very cleverly written in INDIRECT SPEECH
>>>>>>>>>       so that Friedrich doesn't
>>>>>>>>>       have to waste time trying to imitate the voice of
>>>>>>>>>       each or pretend that she
>>>>>>>>>       knows the exact wording of each argument.
>>>>>>>>>       Friedrich begins with Hegel's
>>>>>>>>>       distinction (from the LONGER Logic, the one that
>>>>>>>>>       I've never read) between
>>>>>>>>>       mediating activity and mediated activity.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       Mediating activity is what Vygotsky talks about
>>>>>>>>>       using the quote from Hegel
>>>>>>>>>       in HDHMF Chapter Two: it's when your role is
>>>>>>>>>       essentially bystanding, when
>>>>>>>>>       you use one force of nature, more or less in the
>>>>>>>>>       natural state, against
>>>>>>>>>       another.For example, you arrange the downspout of
>>>>>>>>>       your house roof gutters
>>>>>>>>>       so that it bores a hole in a piece of limestone.
>>>>>>>>>       Or you hang your wet
>>>>>>>>>       laundry on a tree branch and let the sun dry it
>>>>>>>>>       out instead of trying to
>>>>>>>>>       wring it dry yourself..
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       Mediated activity is in some ways the same, but in
>>>>>>>>>       others completely
>>>>>>>>>       opposite. It's the same in that you are using one
>>>>>>>>>       natural force against
>>>>>>>>>       another, but it's opposite in the sense that your
>>>>>>>>>       role is not bystanding;
>>>>>>>>>       you are yourself one of the forces of nature. For
>>>>>>>>>       example, instead of
>>>>>>>>>       arranging the downspout, you make a chisel or a
>>>>>>>>>       drill of some kind to bore
>>>>>>>>>       a hole in a piece of limestone and sculpt it into
>>>>>>>>>       a flagstone or a
>>>>>>>>>       tombstone. Or you beat the laundry dry with a tree
>>>>>>>>>       branch instead of just
>>>>>>>>>       hanging it there.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       Friedrich points out that in Vygotsky's early work
>>>>>>>>>       (e.g. "The History of
>>>>>>>>>       the Crisis") Vygotsky speaks of psychic tools--he
>>>>>>>>>       is treating ALL activity
>>>>>>>>>       as "mediated" rather than mediating. But in HDHMF,
>>>>>>>>>       we know that he
>>>>>>>>>       CRITIQUES this point of view, precisely because it
>>>>>>>>>       equates the sign and the
>>>>>>>>>       tool. Now, you might think that the sign even more
>>>>>>>>>       like mediated activity
>>>>>>>>>       and even less like mediating activity than the
>>>>>>>>>       tool. After all, sign users
>>>>>>>>>       are not bystanders; they are even more intimately
>>>>>>>>>       and intensively and
>>>>>>>>>       deliberately involved as subjects than tools. But
>>>>>>>>>       that confuses the sign
>>>>>>>>>       user with the sign itself. It also ignores a key
>>>>>>>>>       difference between
>>>>>>>>>       mediating activity and mediated activity--which is
>>>>>>>>>       that in mediating
>>>>>>>>>       activity the force of nature is allowed to act
>>>>>>>>>       according to its own
>>>>>>>>>       properties. When I use a word, I do not try to
>>>>>>>>>       transform it from a sound
>>>>>>>>>       into something else; or rather, if I do, then I
>>>>>>>>>       get something that is less
>>>>>>>>>       obviously language and more like onomatopoeia.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       While I read, I am listening to Beyoncé's new
>>>>>>>>>       album "Lemonade", which is an
>>>>>>>>>       attempt to take a force of nature (the sour lemons
>>>>>>>>>       of a husband's
>>>>>>>>>       infidelity) and to transform it into something
>>>>>>>>>       larger than life or twice as
>>>>>>>>>       natural (the eponymous lemonade). It's an uneasy
>>>>>>>>>       cross between a mediating
>>>>>>>>>       activity ("for colored girls who have considered
>>>>>>>>>       suicide | when the rainbow
>>>>>>>>>       is enuf", where 20 imaginary characters are used
>>>>>>>>>       and Ntozake Shange simply
>>>>>>>>>       stands back) and a mediated one ("Black Macho and
>>>>>>>>>       the Myth of Superwoman",
>>>>>>>>>       where Michelle Wallace tries to use her own
>>>>>>>>>       experiences alongside a
>>>>>>>>>       traditional academic approach). Beyoncé can't
>>>>>>>>>       quite figure out whether she
>>>>>>>>>       wants to do this as a mediating choreographer for
>>>>>>>>>       an ineffable everywoman
>>>>>>>>>       or as a mediated activity by the one and only
>>>>>>>>>       Pasha Bey.
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>       David Kellogg
>>>>>>>>>       Macquarie University
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
> 
> 


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