Re: [xmca] Access to articles and discussion

From: Wolff-Michael Roth <mroth who-is-at>
Date: Tue Dec 02 2008 - 10:43:08 PST

Hi Jennifer, it is often like the way Lao Tsu said:

Those who know, do not speak. Those who speak, do not know.


On 2-Dec-08, at 10:13 AM, Worthen, Helena Harlow wrote:

Jennifer, some of the people on this list who sound like experts are
the same people who did not sound like that when they started
participating. Also, I would not argue that the expert perspective is
the only one that we need.


From: [] On
Behalf Of Jennifer Langer-Osuna []
Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2008 11:39 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Access to articles and discussion

I didn't vote and have never participated in the discussions. I am
working on my dissertation that makes use of activity theoretic
principles and so certainly benefit from these discussions. What keeps
me from participating is that there is a level of expert/assumed
knowledge among the active participants that I am not yet fluent in.
Sometimes that means that the discussions go in a direction that is
above my head. Other times, I can follow but truly have nothing to add
because my "role" is in making sense of what you more expert
participants are saying. If I were to try to jump in, I'd likely sound
out of left field.

But in the spirit of increasing novice (legitimate peripheral
participants) voices I will read the latest Sawchunk and Stetsenko
paper and try to respond primarily through clarifying questions. So be
patient with me. I may not even know what needs clarifying, meaning
that I get the sense that there are even more fundamental philosophers
and such that are basing people's responses that I am not familiar
with. But I will still go ahead and try to be more verbal about my
confusion. I have no problem sounding like an idiot. Like a professor
once said, "You are ready to earn the PhD when you come to truly
realize that you know absolutely nothing, but understand why that is

Jenny Langer-Osuna
UC Berkeley doctoral student
Math Education

On Dec 1, 2008, at 6:30 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:

> Thanks Tamara.
> Yes, I think the acknowledgment of new voices, when they speak, is
> vital. Mike always does this, but I think it is quite wrong for the
> rest of us to just leave that role to Mike, who has enough to do.
> So, thanks!
> Andy
> Tamara Ball wrote:
>> My humble suggestion is this: that those of you more experienced
>> and comfortable with the XMCA discussion forum keep vigilant watch
>> for new voices whenever they do emerge and then respond. Use the
>> response also as a space for your own assertion, to be sure(perhaps
>> one you would have made anyway), but even the notation of "re:" as
>> the slightest acknowledgment of that new voice is alluring and
>> validating. Any thoughtful response will do - but in my opinion,
>> better if it is not only "sweet", encouraging or gentle but rather
>> truly responsive and generative. In my own novice experience,
>> intimidation is linked to a feeling of irrelevance which comes with
>> the frayed edges of a thread that is not continued in some way or
>> another. As Andy suggests, workload is always an issue of course,
>> but I do understand that there are ways that participation in the
>> parlance of this forum can actually *decrease* workload by
>> creatively and expeditiously negotiating ideas or problems central
>> to the work each of us has in front of us. For instance I am in
>> heat of writing a grant proposal that I hope will lead to a multi-
>> year post-doc position that will allow me to expand the work I am
>> already involved with at the Center for Adaptive Optics ( electro-
>> engineering, astronomy and optometry research center with a strong
>> education component). I can imagine exploring more powerful ways
>> to shape the structure of that work through conversations here that
>> are also linked to the more central debates at hand. Tamara
>> On Nov 30, 2008, at 5:40 PM, Andy Blunden wrote:
>>> Well I'm not one of those who vote and don't discuss but I am
>>> willing to have a guess at issues here, and maybe people will be
>>> provoked into correcting me?
>>> I have had brief discussions with several people either offline or
>>> via FaceBook who have expressed an interest in xmca discussions
>>> but say (basically) they are not clever enough to contribute.
>>> Having been assured that this is absolutely not the case, they
>>> later go on to become contributors. For some, it is that fear of
>>> speaking up and maybe getting their heads bitten off. In other
>>> cases, I am sure, it is a simple matter of the insanity of
>>> academic workloads already driving people to the edge.
>>> I have racked my brain and failed to come up with a viable means
>>> of resolving this, other than being civil and respectful in
>>> discussions. When I asked about Bobath, someone who had never
>>> spoken before spoke up saying "At last something I feel qualified
>>> to speak on." Likewise, when I asked for help for my brother with
>>> his daughter's maths problems, loads of really helpful and
>>> knowledgeable people spoke up. But the general debate, people seem
>>> to find intimidating. And yet, in my experience, unjustifiably so.
>>> Andy
>>> Mike Cole wrote:
>>>> I fear that at present the article to be made available free for
>>>> discussion
>>>> at Taylor and Francis
>>>> has not been released. The ever-lengthening duration of
>>>> Thanksgiving holiday
>>>> has probably not
>>>> helped matters. Consequently, many, probabaly most, members of
>>>> xmca do not
>>>> have access to the
>>>> article in question by Stetsenko and Sawchuk. We are working on it.
>>>> The issue of discussion of article in MCA that are not made
>>>> available free
>>>> is even more difficult and we
>>>> are working on that too. We have a situation where often two or
>>>> more
>>>> articles are ones that people want
>>>> to discuss but we are unlikely to get T&F to offer the journal
>>>> for free. So
>>>> we are discussing with them
>>>> the cost of electronic versions so that acces to people without the
>>>> financial means to get access can
>>>> be handled in a viable way.
>>>> Simultaneously, I would not that more than 30 people voted to
>>>> discuss the
>>>> Sanino article, but to date, very
>>>> few people have availed themselves of the opportunity they
>>>> obtained for the
>>>> group by their votes. I take
>>>> this to be a problem and would appreciate suggestions for making
>>>> XMCA a more
>>>> multi-voiced forum for
>>>> discussion. Might the overwhelming majority of people who voted for
>>>> discussion of this article but who have
>>>> failed to comment on it help me and others understand what is a
>>>> foot. Is it
>>>> amplification or amputation, perhaps some productive
>>>> transformation, that is
>>>> required
>>>> The academic semester/quarter draws to a close in the United
>>>> States. The
>>>> stock market is open in Asia. The people of Mumbai, Peshewar,
>>>> Ramadi,
>>>> Eastern Congo, flood raviged Brazil and elsewhere bury their
>>>> dead. The polar
>>>> bears, I hear, are enjoying a cool winter, but word is sparse
>>>> from that part
>>>> of the world. The future beckons. What is that she is holding in
>>>> her hand?
>>>> Or is it behind our backs?
>>>> mike
>>>> _______________________________________________
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>>> andy.blunden
>>> Hegel's Logic with a Foreword by Andy Blunden:
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