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Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts)


After viewing that attachment I knew there was a reason I had missed your 
voice!  Yes you are correct that Vera is very much interested in process, 
perhaps she could add more.  I appreciate that you bring mediation into 
the discussion of how concepts relate to meaning making.


From:   Bill Blanton <blantonwe@comcast.net>
To:     "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
Date:   04/26/2011 12:22 AM
Subject:        Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts)
Sent by:        xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu

He Eric, I have been away and recuperating for the last while. But 
yesterday I began catching up on XMCA reading.The discussion of concept 
has been like a dance, a punch, a jabin away, great footwork, and all the 
actors are giving John Houstom more. 

What moon mediates is not given by the moonl Moon assembles  potential 
meanings that are indexe d to experence. Moon meaning is also linkedto 
nodes of meaning.So moon mediates a kind of limited concept. That it util 
mood is enlistedto mediate the construction not earlier connected with it 
and asociated with it.   But Was it Vera that ask about process: Yes the 
word moon and its meaning can be a tool that mediates the production of a 
 product.The product, along with other concepts and multimedia: Moon 
River, Moon of Miami, Carolina Moon,  a moon pie that not taste like 
chocolate cake but tasts like a chocolatecovdered white creamy moon. Moon 
beam, Blood on the,Moon (Robert Mitchum movie, Red, Moon-faced as in 
taking large dososes of steroids, the planting moon, Moon of the 
Misbegotten Harvest Moon, moon landing, man in the moom, natal moon. 
Remember the "the moonies?" 

I kept reading the messages I remembered an experience I had a product I 
purchased, There is an area in the Nappa Valley with deep dry gravely soil 
and jagged peaks standing over or rolling behind. On the valley floor and 
up the slanting sides the rock are planted cabarnet to get the hot sun and 
on the floor Chardanay is planted to get the mist from the Pacific and the 
sun.The Winnery that plants the fruit, presses the juice, barrels it and 
bottles it, pays workers, pays taxes, advertises the wine and ships it to 
buyers is named Cuttler Bay Winnery. 

Cuttler Bay Winery and its growth are located the Valley of Moon. The 
Winery wanted to make a brand with its first production. I know what they 
did. I don't know how it was organized. I don't know howthe plan emerged, 
but I know who drew it out, I know it was not a blue suit wing-tipped 
wearing bunch of systems people. It was the workers in the winery from the 
top to bottom who did the creating, I know for a fact the brand was create 
by the workers.I sucke up on wine and laughned as it was sketched outon 
the scan, I watched it go through themany processess of discussion,etd to 
produce it. 

Now I am trying to recover participants, acftivities and outcomes, 
division of labor and tools and otheradtivity interacting to produce the 

I am sure the concept of moon and its intertwinnng meanins were to mediate 
outcomes and to mediate different uses for tools. At the end a concept 
that most everyday people had of the moon moved forward mediate the 
nailing down of the brand. with other tools  

Just as soon as I was strong enough to make a picture of it I did. It is a 
product that invites you and your conceptual understandins of moon to have 
a glass and talkl and laugh about it. 

I have attached a picutre of the brand. The name of it is on the bottom 
and reads: The Newest great Winery in the Valley of the Moon simply needs 

I have attached the picture and cropped the best I could. If had been more 
mobile, I migh have make a better picture. Open it and let you concept of 
moon take over. BB 

Eric, you mentioned the risk of mooning. Let's see how many conceeptual 
meanings of moon, can be found in piece of art production and apprecieate 
the activity it surely motivates. 

In the great wine country of Sonoma 

. ----- Original Message ----- 
To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca@weber.ucsd.edu> 
Sent: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:57:48 AM 
Subject: Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts) 


Please explain to me how someone can "wield a concept"?  I am not even 
sure about the expression "grasp a concept".  When there is a word that is 

generalized to the extent of; hmmm....let's pick moon; it is not a 
decisive tool of distinction but rather, as LSV points out, "word meaning 
is the elementary cell that cannot be further analyzed. . . it is the 
unity between thought and word"   We cannot say that our earth has THE 
moon.  But in conversation we can state, "The moon is out and bright 
tonight."  I can provide a crowd with my moon but perhaps get arrested and 

a smiling cherub of a child could display their moon of a face.   IMHO 
moon's word meaning is the concept present in these thoughts and words. 
Not something weilded or grasped but perhaps active? 

what do other's think?  bill blanton or bill borowy out there? 


From:   Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com> 
To:     lchcmike@gmail.com, "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" 
Date:   04/20/2011 12:32 PM 
Subject:        Re: [xmca] activity (was concepts) 
Sent by:        xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu 

On 20 April 2011 10:43, mike cole <lchcmike@gmail.com> wrote: 

> I appreciate all the thoughtful good will going into the attempts to 
> common grounding and explore one's own thinking in this/these 
> thread/threads. 
> I fear i violated Tony's reasonable 2 cents rule because I, too, have 
> too little time to write and the intermixing of pieces of threads and 
> added to the difficulties. 
> I believe that Andy identified one problem when he pointed out that Huw, 

> coming from a somewhat different (and relevant!) tradition(s) introduced 

> concepts such as activity as he understood them from, say, Maturana or 
> Bateson. So, for example, he pointed to Jim Wertsch's *Mind as Action* 
as a 
> source for explication of the concept of activity using the pole 
> example. 

Kind of.  I'm saying mediation and activity go together.  In, for example, 

the scheme Wertsch provides (p204, VATSFOM): 

Activity -- Motive 
Action -- Goal 
Operation -- Conditions. 

A good place, it seems, to locate the use of concepts (i.e. those things 
gained during dual stimulation experiments) is in the regulation of 

However, I'd say that the concept used influences the dynamics, as it can 
change the situation. 

Consider this simplified account.  A man is queuing at a supermarket.  He 
only has 10 dollars (or some other currency), yet he needs the food to 
his family.  He's got a number of items, all of which he needs, though 
might tally up to more than 10 dollars.  Let's say they add up to 9.99. If 

he can confidently do the math and has done so, his whole experience will 
different to the circumstances he'd be in if he found those kind of 
conceptual operations difficult.  He wields these concepts in the act of 
doing the math (the concepts mediate this act).  But these circumstances 
will also mediate his activity as a whole as they influence his 


> But, Jim uses this example to talk about mediated action in 
> context, his preferred unit of analysis at the time (at the end of 
> *Vygotsky 
> and the Social Formation of mind-*- which you can find whole on the 
> internet 
> but not download- he DOES discuss notions of activity following LSV). 
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