Re: [xmca] New Valsiner SEmiots paper on MCA website at lchc

From: Mike Cole (
Date: Tue Nov 21 2006 - 20:48:35 PST

Whoa. Like a string coming unravelled!
I doubt if you killed anything tony and see that David
has brought the conversation back to the paper under discussion..... which I
have not read yet, so I am a contributing
delinquent. Sorry about that. Off to read to a grandkid.

On 11/21/06, Kellogg <> wrote:
> To get back to the paper! Here are some problems I had with specific
> things on just the first page.
> Title: "Functions of pleromatization in creating diversity in cultural and
> natural constructions".
> I understand how humans can create diversity in cultural constructions.
> But how do humans create diversity in nature itself (as opposed to
> describing or discovering diversity)?
> Assuming I am not God, is there actually any such thing as a natural
> "construction"? To me this suggests a very anthropocentric, anti-realist
> position; if a tree falls in a forest and no human hears it, no natural
> construction took place.
> p. 1; "(...I)t is only the few climbers of the golden mountian of
> knowledge who begin to theretically grasp the complexity of bio-and
> semiospheres."
> Ah, perhaps here we see that elitism is not necessarily tied to realism!
> The anti-realist position, on the contrary, is far more prone to elitist
> theorizing which places the construction of complexity beyond the grasp of
> valley dwellers like me.
> p. 1: "Our world is 'overwhelming' only once we create the appropriate
> meaning--which itself is as indeterminate ats the world it presents."
> I'm thoroughly confused. If we say that the world is "as indeterminate" as
> our representations of it, it sure sounds like there are two kinds of
> indeterminacy, and not one.
> On the subway here in Seoul there is a rather stupid campaign against
> "Korean English", and the example given is an English sign in a public loo
> which says "Toilet Papers in the Bowl".
> According to the subway advert, 80% of the native English speakers who saw
> this sign laughed at it. If you didn't laugh at it, you need help with your
> English.
> (they must have a sample of those gormless American soldiers on their
> first tour overseas that Kerry was supposedly talking about).
> In Korea, there are often special receptacles for used toilet paper which
> are emptied daily, because if you flush the paper down the toilet, it clogs
> the rather narrow pipes. But now the plumbing is being replaced with
> American gauge pipes and in some places the receptacles are taken away,
> hence the necessity of these signs.
> But even if I am a fresh-off-the-plane American vistior who thinks that
> the sentence "Toilet Papers in the Bowl" is indeterminate, I think I am only
> talking about the indeterminacy of the message, not the indeterminacy of the
> toilet. The toilet is not indeterminate at all.
> That's just the first page! It gets worse... I don't think that Valsiner
> would have time for all this, eric....
> David Kellogg
> Seoul National University of Education
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