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

Have you seen the sign I read at the Albuquerque rally on Saturday: "Trump’s Only Man Date is Putin”? It occurred to me that Trump has left an opening I can live with: Get closer to the Russian People. As if in answer to a prayer, I found that Pussy Riot is coming to Albuquerque on March 14 (Pi Day) with: How to Start a Revolution. Maybe their on a tour of the U.S. Carnival.

> On Jan 24, 2017, at 11:18 AM, mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:
> Hi Michael
> Nice thought from Bateson. And I see that Peg has just posted a link
> to the book. Its certainly a keeper.
> But it does not speak to forms of action that people in our current
> circumstances. Some of my colleagues argue that it is essential for
> academics in these times to eschew politics in any visible form and
> to focus energy on the academic work precisely in order combat over
> simplification that threatens human life.
> The basic starting point of the LS/US Nationalism paper, as I see it, is
> that claim that the threat of nationalist/populism is GLOBAL and that it
> poses huge challenges to LS researchers. So we might not want to get too
> caught up in examining Trump/US version of this problem without considering
> the rest of the world and its history. The 20th Century provided at least
> two clear examples of what happens when this configuration of
> nationalism/populism arises in modern times - two wars to end all wars. If
> we are in fact returning to the 1930's in this regard, we are doing so in
> an unparalleled set of circumstances for homo sapiens.
> So as professionals/citizens, are there forms of action, lines of research,
> that might be proposed that would nurture the beautiful in circumstances
> that do not involve high levels of radiation and mass destruction? Is
> tending to our intellectual gardens the direction to go? Or are forms of
> action of the sort proposed by the authors the right direction? And if the
> latter, what do we know from past experience that might guide our thinking?
> They set out to open the discussion in a major journal.
> Seems like the task here is to see what this group might possibly add to
> their attempts to strategize the future based on our collective experience.
> Mike
> PS- Seems like Alfredo's perezhivanie project, as an exercise in
> international collaboration to both test a basic theoretical claim of
> Vygotsky's and to so collectively, might combine the academic and the
> political just a little. And just a little might be a lot.
> On Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 9:40 AM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
> wrote:
>> So I am re-reading Bateson, somewhat in light of current happenings and I
>> come across this paragraph near the beginning of Mind and Nature,
>> "There seems to be something like a Gresham's law of cultural evolution
>> according to which the oversimplified will always displace the
>> sophisticated and the vulgar and hateful will always displace the
>> beautiful.  And yet the beautiful persists."
>> Wise words for his time and ours.  The information in nature will always
>> bring us back around to the beautiful if we let it, but it always seems to
>> slip through our fingers.  Maybe another take on the arc of justice.  The
>> trouble of course is every time we let the vulgar and hateful displace the
>> stakes seem to become much higher.
>> Michael
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@
>> mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Alfredo Jornet Gil
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 24, 2017 1:59 AM
>> To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity <
>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism
>> Francine,
>> I agree analysis is only one tool and I hope we can do much more here and
>> elsewhere. But the overtone window seems to resonate well with our quest
>> for understanding the possibilities/conditions for hearing Trump's voice
>> sound like a pleasant flute or like toilette flush.
>> I think the idea of Irony also adds to the question of perezhivanie and
>> Trump in the sense that different perezhivanie will also imply different
>> forms of generalisation/consciousness. Irony seems to always involve moving
>> a step up in the types of generalisation or metaphor.
>> A good example may be found in considering the "Love Trumps Hate" message
>> that has been going around in the media. Although I am no linguist, I am
>> gonna give it a try: If you were to hear the assertion literally, you may
>> hear an imperative to do love Trump's hate in such a way as to enter into a
>> double bind situation. To find yourself in this situation, you need to
>> stick to the transitive form of the subject (you love) with respect to the
>> object (Trump hate). You kind of have to have faith in this form, respect
>> the integrity of the object and the integrity of the subject each in its
>> own terms, and so you may come to feel confused, or perhaps end up hating
>> just the same way Trump plays he hates.
>> On the other hand, to be able to hear "love trumps hate" as a message of
>> love, as an equivalent (as per Vygotsky's equivalence) for another message
>> that we also have seen these days, "when they go low we go high," then you
>> have to take the relation between subject and object in a higher level of
>> metaphor: you now hear the sentence in a context that modifies both subject
>> and object; hate and love cannot be exclusive opposites. The sentence then
>> is heard as intransitive, love and hate no longer are independent. And most
>> importantly, once you hear the sentence in its intransitive form, love and
>> hate no longer are the same.
>> Similarly, to hear everything Trump said and take it literally takes a
>> very different act of faith that it takes hearing it literally as an irony.
>> Alfredo
>> ________________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> on behalf of Larry Smolucha <lsmolucha@hotmail.com>
>> Sent: 24 January 2017 02:35
>> To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture,  Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism
>> Message from Francine:
>> Helena Worthen was right - I am serious about finding (and creating) new
>> tools for understanding  the Trump movement. Analysis is only one tool and
>> there is no insight when it is overused. Figurative, analogical,
>> metaphorical thinking gives us other tools. Recognizing IRONY means getting
>> the punch line in a joke (as Freud
>> explained in Jokes and Their Relation to the Unconscious).
>> Is there a termteson in literature for the reversal that commonly occurs
>> in fairy tales?
>> All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost . . .
>> 1) The ironic reversals that are taking place as people change their
>> alignment with
>> political parties remind me of a geophysics phenomena - the reversal of
>> the earth's magnetic field that can happen over hundreds of thousands of
>> years. Both are disorienting. I will give this more thought, but for the
>> moment consider this much. When magnetic fields shift it is not all at
>> once, magnetic currents in the molten layers beneath the earth's solid
>> crust change polarities, sometimes causing a total
>> reversal. Our political parties are commonly referred to as polar
>> opposites but those
>> polarities are not fixed they are fluid. The blue collar working class can
>> shift from the Democratic Party to the Republican. The Black vote can shift
>> to the Republicans, the Democrats don't own it. In the 1950's Russian
>> sympathies were a hallmark of the left, now the left denounces Trumps
>> outreach to the Russians. [A caveat here - this is two dimensional thinking
>> because there are only two poles on one geometric plane.]
>> 2) There is another concept, the Overton Window that is a scale of how
>> radical of a discourse the public will tolerate (also called the window of
>> discourse). The Window
>> opens and closes along a range of discourse from the acceptable to the
>> unthinkable. What discourse resonates with the general public (strikes a
>> chord)? What will they regard as taboo (or not politically correct)? Issues
>> like that.
>> Here are a couple links worth looking at:
>> Donald Trump & The Overton Window --Resetting America's Political <
>> http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428200/donald-
>> trump-overton-window-american-political-debate>
>> www.nationalreview.com/.../donald-trump-overton-window-american-p<
>> http://www.nationalreview.com/.../donald-trump-overton-window-american-p
>>> ..
>> Trump's Win Smashed the 'Overton Window' | LifeZette<http://www.
>> lifezette.com/polizette/trumps-win-smashed-overton-window/>
>> www.lifezette.com/polizette/trumps-win-smashed-overton-window/
>> Can any of this be used with the concept of perezhivanie?
>> ________________________________
>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> on behalf of Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>> Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2017 9:37 PM
>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S. Nationalism
>> "Irony" - good word to introduce here Francine.
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> Andy Blunden
>> http://home.mira.net/~andy
>> Andy Blunden's Home Page<http://home.mira.net/~andy> home.mira.net Andy
>> Blunden's Home Page with links to pages I maintain and mail-to buttons
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making
>> [http://www.brill.com/sites/default/files/styles/large/
>> public/ftp/images/products/295x295/92947.jpg?itok=j5KXqZw3]<
>> http://www.brill.com/products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>> The Origins of Collective Decision Making | Brill<http://www.brill.com/
>> products/book/origins-collective-decision-making>
>> www.brill.com
>> The Origins of Collective Decision Making, identifies three paradigms of
>> collective decision making - Counsel, Majority and Consensus, and discovers
>> their origins ...
>> On 23/01/2017 2:32 PM, Larry Smolucha wrote:
>>> Message from Francine Smolucha:
>>> The key to an analysis of the Trump movement is understanding the
>>> fundamental IRONIES that have rocked American politics.
>>> The workers revolution has resulted in the
>>> workers/unions deserting the Left, the socialists, the Democratic Party.
>>> Trump is a Capitalist regardless of whether he actually has a Republican
>> ideology.
>>> The workers' movement has been hijacked by a capitalist.
>>> The other great IRONY is that Trump wants to make Russia a U.S. ally
>> (again).
>>> The Left, the socialists, the Democratic Party are the ones demonizing
>>> Russia -
>>> what a reversal!
>>> Since CHAT derives from Russian psychology (Leontiev and Vygotsky) and
>> the backlash against Trump is also a backlash against all things Russian -
>> this puts CHAT in a particularly awkward position. How can a cultural
>> historical psychology that originated in Russia become the leader in the
>> anti-Trump discourse? or lead an anti-Trump educational movement? You are
>> even extolling a Russian concept PEREZHIVANIE.
>>> I think the XMCA needs to examine its own perezhivanie at this time.
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>> <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu> on behalf of mike cole
>>> <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>>> Sent: Sunday, January 22, 2017 3:01 PM
>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>> Cc: Mariane Hedegaard; Reijo Miettinen; Seth Chaiklin
>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>> Nationalism
>>> Helena et al --
>>> An important emphasis in the article for me was on the fact that
>>> although the article focused on the American nationalist movement that
>>> has just pulled of an alt-right coup, similar movements are poised to
>>> take hold in a lot of places in Europe to join the many already
>>> entrenched unsavory governments in other parts of the world.
>>> The CRADLE center in Helsinki is under very concerted attack and the
>>> right wing government appears, from this distance, to be making great
>>> progress on destroying its legacy. The same process has been in
>>> Denmark for some time, also with apparent success.
>>> What do our international colleagues who have already felt the hot
>>> breath of right wing nationalism have to offer in terms of strategies
>>> of resistence?
>>> Back to "what is to be done," that sombre question from an earlier
>>> era. The answer last time did not produce what it promised.
>>> mike
>>> mike
>>> On Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 12:22 PM, Helena Worthen
>>> <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>>> wrote:
>>>> Thank you, Alfredo - I gave it a read.
>>>> Sure, of course they're right. But I am very disappointed.
>>>> I was hoping that the following was only item #1 in a long list of
>>>> "what the 2016 election made apparent":
>>>> The 2016 election has made apparent the need for scholarship that
>>>> explicitly defends and furthers the rights and well-being of people
>>>> of color, immigrants, Muslims, women, people who are differently
>>>> abled, LGBTQ communities, and the earth. These are stances that have
>>>> been limited, at least explicitly, in the Learning Sciences.
>>>> But the call for inclusion was not just #1, it seems to be the whole
>>>> thing.  In other words, it's all about identity -plus the earth, of
>> course.
>>>> While inclusion is necessary, it's not even a start. Yes, research,
>>>> teaching, publishing, promotion, conferences - everything associated
>>>> with teaching and learning has to include everyone as equals (see
>>>> Andy's book) in one way or another - but then what? What are they (we)
>> supposed to do?
>>>> Where does the pretty language touch the ground?
>>>> I was listening to a broadcast of the Women's March in DC on Saturday
>>>> morning, and Kamala Harris, who was the California State Attorney
>>>> General and is now a junior Senator from CA, was addressing the
>>>> rally. She said, "People always ask me to talk about women's issues.
>>>> I say, 'Oh, I'm SO glad you're interested in economics!! Let's talk
>>>> about economics."  And she ran through a whole set of parallel
>>>> back-and-forths, always pulling identity questions back to wages, jobs,
>> earning, supporting your family, etc etc.
>>>> Much as we need to wipe away any barriers to the Learning Sciences
>>>> (and the professions and institutions dedicated to them) due to
>>>> identity, until the Learning Sciences start taking a look at the
>>>> place where most people spend most of their lives - not school, I
>>>> mean - but work, they will be engaging in a soft conversation at the
>>>> edge of the real issue. It's a pleasant conversation but it doesn't
>>>> put a hand on the levers that translate skill and knowledge into rent
>> and groceries.
>>>> H
>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>>> Berkeley, CA 94707
>>>> Blog about US and Viet Nam: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>>>>> On Jan 22, 2017, at 11:38 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil
>>>>> <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> Here it is,
>>>>> http://cognitionandinstruction.com/engagements-the-learning-
>>>> sciences-in-a-new-era-of-u-s-nationalism/
>>>>> Alfredo
>>>>> ________________________________________
>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>> <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>> on behalf of Helena Worthen <helenaworthen@gmail.com>
>>>>> Sent: 22 January 2017 20:24
>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>>> Nationalism
>>>>> Someone please re-send the link to this article?  I think I'm going
>>>>> to
>>>> want to read it and respond to Mike's question.
>>>>> Thanks - H
>>>>> Helena Worthen
>>>>> helenaworthen@gmail.com
>>>>> Berkeley, CA 94707
>>>>> Blog about US and Viet Nam: helenaworthen.wordpress.com
>>>>>> On Jan 22, 2017, at 12:25 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil
>>>>>> <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>>> Mike,
>>>>>> thanks a lot for sharing this article. You and Michael, who have
>>>>>> and
>>>> know more history, have spoken in terms of reminiscences. I have
>>>> lived and know less, and the article feels like fresh air. During my
>>>> PhD, I begun to increasingly feel that I had to due something to act
>>>> and respond to the increasing ecological and humanitarian globe
>>>> crises. But how could I do anything if I had children and a PhD to
>>>> finalise?? What could I do that would also be doing my job as
>>>> researcher in a department of education? It was very difficult to
>>>> find anything, partly because almost every academic quest would focus
>>>> on learning, but so little on social development. How many scientific
>>>> articles are dedicated to socio-political questions in the most cited
>> educational journals? I felt very powerless.
>>>>>> To be able to address these questions within my expertise, is a
>>>> challenge partly because contrary to Dewey's hope, educational
>>>> research has only marginally focused on these questions, and yet they
>>>> may be exactly the question that matter to education. What are we
>>>> educating for? Indeed, what is education for? I think we face a
>>>> serious problem when someone (like myself), being an educational
>>>> researchers/scholar, still has to scratch her head wondering <<how
>>>> can I make my profession matter to social change and development?>>
>> Vygotsky would be shocked!
>>>>>> Alfredo
>>>>>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>> <xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>> on behalf of mike cole <mcole@ucsd.edu>
>>>>>> Sent: 19 January 2017 04:51
>>>>>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: The Learning Sciences in the era of U.S.
>>>> Nationalism
>>>>>> Yes Michael,
>>>>>> It feels like the world of the later 1930's about the time I was
>>>>>> born as that period came down to me through the prism of a family
>>>>>> of "premature anti fascists."
>>>>>> For a great re-creation of those times see the highly ambivalent
>>>>>> film by Frank Capra, "meet John Doe." It has American big capital
>>>>>> interconnected with fascism combined with populist collectivism in
>>>>>> a manner that
>>>> points at
>>>>>> the media (as then experienced) as the bad guys in disguise. Happy
>>>> Ending,
>>>>>> Beethoven Ode to Joy and all.
>>>>>> It's come round again, nastier this time.
>>>>>> Mike
>>>>>> On Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 6:20 PM Glassman, Michael
>>>>>> <glassman.13@osu.edu>
>>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>>> Mike
>>>>>>> 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.
>>>>>>> Michael
>>>>>>> -----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.
>>>>>>> mike