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Re: [xmca] Ingold linking "figments" of imagination and "figments" of materiality as a single ontology

Water does it for me if one imagines water flowing between banks, and this is the meaning of the illustration on the cover of my book, which shows a river flowing through a city (Dublin actually). That image, for me, really captures what a project is all about ... and all the ancient wisdom about rivers never being the same etc., etc.

Here is a conundrum about projects. There is a line of thinking (I have Mark Latham and Noel Pearson in mind, so Australians will know what I am talking about) that any project which relies on "funding" is doomed to eventual failure when funding is withdrawn as it inevitably will be at some point. In fact, in countries like Australia funding is almost always withdrawn after 3 years, as we do not have the tradition of philanthropy that you have in the US. Despite Eugene Matusov's claim that he knows how projects can survive indefinitely even if the "partners" have "incompatible visions," his project was "killed" when one of the partners withdrew funding. This of course is not an afterthought but the whole point. So, the story goes that in order to survive, a project has to generate its own sources, or sustainability. But of course the lack of such sources is almost always the very issue that the project is addressing, directly or indirectly. And once a project becomes a business it is subject to all the viscissitudes of the market, competition, corruption and the business skills of the participants. And for many of us, to turn a literacy program into a for-profit business would negate the very purpose of the intervention.

But I think it is an idea which needs to be responded to.


mike cole wrote:
Apt addition to the discussion, Larry.

I also want to "go back" to introduce what to me is a clear statement of Bauman on liquidity. After going through the encyclopedia to get at a notion of liquidity he sums up as follows:

What all these features of fluids amount to, in simple language, is that liquids, unlike solids, cannot easily hold their shape. Fluids, so to speak, neither fix space nor bind time. While solids have clear spatial dimensions but neutralize the impact, and thus downgrade the significance, of time (effectively resist its flow or render it irrelevant), fluids do not keep any shape for long and are constantly ready (and prone) to change it; and so for them it is the flow of time that counts, more than the space they happen to occupy.

Seems a useful mode of thought to me, as applied to the forms of activity flow that we struggle to analyze.

On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 7:30 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:

    I'm adding a quote from Stetsenko and Arievitch in the article
    they wrote
    for Jack Martin's edited book "The Sociocultural Turn in
    Psychology The
    Contextual Emergence of Mind and Self"

    The quote is from the section they title "Human Development as a
    Collaborative Process of Transforming the World"

    Therefore, human activity - material, practical, and always by
    social collaborative processes aimed at transforming the world and
    themselves - is taken in CHAT to be the basic form of human life,
    by which
    is created everything that is human in humans, including knowledge
    by them.

    Andy, in Jack Martin's latest writings Stetsenko's perspective now
    holds a
    place at center stage.
    Anna also suggest Activity theory must re-engage with "agency" and
    "subjectivity" as central aspects of our humannness that CHAT
    under theorizes. That's for another thread.


    On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 7:04 AM, Larry Purss <lpscholar2@gmail.com
    <mailto:lpscholar2@gmail.com>> wrote:

    > Andy
    > You wrote
    >  I stretch the patience of my xmca friends by rabbiting on about
    > because, if this is the case, actual research needs to be done on
    > collaboration and projects. We need to learn more about
    collaboration, and
    > what faciitates or undermines the formation of long-term
    collaborations. Is
    > there any more important question?
    > Andy, besides "courage" to change the world, patience is a virture I
    > suspect is alive and well among yur friends. My patience
    struggling to
    > grasp your perspective has been warmly rewarded many times over.
    >  The research question and methods that develop to answer  the
    > "about collaboration" as we ACT to "realize" collaboration and what
    > facilitates or undermines the formation of long-term
    collaborations I would
    > embrace as the BIG question worth grappling with.
    > Andy, what may be CHAT's most significant perspective is the
    > that the process  making  collaborative acts "real" & the
    > process exploring, RE-searching  developing the compass  [tool]
     to help us
    > "understand" and interpret "about collaboration" are the SAME
    > process.
    > Larry
    >   On Tue, Nov 15, 2011 at 11:43 PM, Andy Blunden
    <ablunden@mira.net <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>>wrote:
    >> Thanks Larry.
    >> Although I do agree that collaborative projects are needed as a
    >> to the problems of modernity, my point is that "collaborative
    project" is a
    >> *unit of analysis* for social life, i.e., that everything we do
    is to be
    >> taken as part of collaborative projects. I stretch the patience
    of my xmca
    >> friends by rabbiting on about projects because, if this is the
    case, actual
    >> research needs to be done on collaboration and projects. We
    need to learn
    >> more about collaboration, and what faciitates or undermines the
    >> of long-term collaborations. Is there any more important question?
    >> The other point you raise about duration and liquidity: given
    that we
    >> cannot have recourse to any eternal abstractions, human nature,
    etc., being
    >> able to theorise across duration is important, and
    collaborative projects
    >> do this because of the way individuals come and go, and are
    inducted along
    >> the way, actually weaving and maintaining durable social
    fabric, even as
    >> their identity changes. This gives a believable process for
    ideas and
    >> patterns of action which outlive individual persons. It
    responds to the
    >> observation about "liquidity" because projects continuously
    *realise* their
    >> aims, that is, aims and objectives (sources of motivation) are
    >> revised in the light of the experience of the project. Projects are
    >> "iterative" as they say. Occupy?
    >> Andy
    >> Larry Purss wrote:
    >>> Hi Mike, and others discussing solidity/fluidity.
    >>> Andy is asking us to recognize the centrality for
    collaborative projects
    >>> to
    >>> be a meaningful response to the issues Bauman is articulating. ...
    >>> Andy, I agree that collaborative projects are the answer to
    >>> question. The question then becomes "what particular
    projects?"  My
    >>> suggestion is that these projects must be able to give an
    answer to the
    >>> limits and ambivalence of freedom and "self-expression". I also
    >>> intuitively
    >>> sense that the answers must also in*form structures of some
    >>> that
    >>> recognize not only who we "are" and who we are "becoming" but
    also are
    >>> structures which recognize who we "were".
    >>> ...
    >>> Larry
    >> ______________________________**____________
    >> _____
    >> xmca mailing list
    >> xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>
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    xmca@weber.ucsd.edu <mailto:xmca@weber.ucsd.edu>

*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hmca20/18/1
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857

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