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[Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism


It was so interesting to read this note after reading the Cognition and Instruction essay.  All the way through it I kept thinking we have been here before.  It reminded me of the scholars, especially those who had escaped from Germany, trying to make sense of what had happened to their society during World War II.  The foremost in my mind was Lewin.  Except I wonder if he would say the process of transformative action starts not with emergence of quasi-needs, but our willingness and abilities to step back from our quasi-needs and the ways that they drive us, often to dysfunctional behaviors that it ultimately destructive to both our society and to us as individuals.  How hard this is to do, we have to keep going back again and again.  The quasi-needs, tribalism, acceptance, standing are always there.  It is how they shape us that is critical.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of mike cole
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 8:31 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
Subject: [Xmca-l] The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism

In following  the perezhivanie thread I encountered the note I re-membered.
And interestingly mis-remembered. A translation into my focus on mediational means. He places the starting point of the process of transformative action at the emergence of quasi-needs (from Kurt Lewin).
That seems correct to me. The new mediational means emerge under environmental presses. Ever functionalist ego need a goal(!). (The problem with functionalism) In David's words,

Perhaps the place we should look for "exaptations" that can save both our personalities and our environment is not in our evolved needs, but in yet to be designed quasi-needs. Artificial organs, after all, always suggest new and ever more artificial functions, like chess and language.

This point seems worth keeping in mind as we look at where this group of critical scholars who work within the Learning Sciences disciplinary framework would like to lead us.