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Showing posts from February, 2017

paths in the grass: a visual metaphor for virtual architecture

This image from my PhD thesis uses a minimal stereotyped image of a college campus as a visual metaphor to describe a space of emergent learning.  This idea is expanded upon in the "Patterns of Peeragogy" paper, which uses a similar metaphor: This image is of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I've been several times.  It still looks somewhat similar to the picture, though a bit more built up!
The concept here is that the common-place architectural structures that have emerged at the university represent meaningful "patterns" that apply in more general learning-and-production settings. Collegial and convivial peer support via remote collaboration or short-term meet-ups may fill some of the requirements of “student life”. Peeragogy can also happen in neighborhoods, and among persons sharing long-term co-habitation. While a traditional Dormitory may not be necessary, a shared rented or cooperatively-owned living/working environment could be an asset for …

History of communion (Discourse on Inequality) (pt. 1)

"Il retourne chez ses Egaux" (pt. 1) In a recent post here I mentioned that I need to read Rousseau's Discourse upon the Origin and Foundation of the Inequality among Mankind (1755[1761]) sooner rather than later. Since I've been handing out lately with a young lady who studied French at some point, I took this up sooner than I anticipated. I regularly abstain from reading translations but consider this one's age and availability (particularly during the 19th Century) a personal justification.The thing is, I'm not sure if I can make reading it a jeesusjalutasallveelaeval post since my recent readings have taken a looser form. I've become somewhat disillusioned with my habitual style of blogging. Blockquotes and comments don't do my memory and comprehension as many favours as I would like them to. Presently, I see little point in lining up quotes by themselves. Instead, I'd go over some verbiage from the book here, essentially listing the stuff I…

On Jakobsonian Phaticity

Broadly speaking, there are two ways of reading Roman Jakobson's scheme of the linguistic functions of speech. In its linguistic interpretation, the functions pertain to the production of linguistic utterances. This is how linguists most commonly have come to employ the scheme. With regard to the phatic function, speakers produce phatic utterances. The second can loosely be designated as the metalinguistic interpretation, which looks at utterances from the perspective of their reception, and not by their intended addressee, but by the linguistic observer. In either case, the hierarchy of language functions as put forth by Jakobson is a toolkit, but varies in its usage by the speaker and the scientist. Let us not forget at this point that the ideal goal of linguistic analysis in this perspective would be for the linguist to correctly interpret the coding mechanisms of the sender as well as the putative decoding mechanisms of the actual or ideal receiver. From the metalinguistic per…

phatic voices ("Mad Max" and "Mad Max: Fury Road" spoilers)

Used to be a cop but I got to be too jumpy I used to like to party 'til I coughed up half a lung But sometimes late at night I hear the beat a-bumping I reach for my holster and I wake up all alone
I used to have a wife but she told me I was crazy Said she couldn't stand the way I fidget all the time Sometimes late at night I circle around the house I look through the windows and I dream that she's still mine
    - Drive By Truckers - Used To Be A Cop I wanted to catch up on pop culture so I watched "Mad Max: Fury Road".  Then I had to remind myself where Max comes from, so I watched the first movie in the series, "Mad Max", which I'm pretty sure I saw 20 years ago or thereabouts.  The two films are interesting partly because they couldn't feel much more unrelated.  I love that.  It leads me to ask: how do they fit together, actually?  Others have debated the chronology of the films.  I'm going to pursue a rather different kind of analysis.
My …

a reception of derrida

This essay appeared on Reddit recently:
Derrida vs. the rationalists: Derrida’s famously difficult thought is often dismissed as “post-modern” nonsense. Is there more to it than might first appear?

There are some interesting things in there, useful for our purposes.  Some discussion of the foundation of post-structuralism (as a discourse critical of foundations), some discussion of Searle vs Derrida.  All presented in a reasonably "cool" language.  And this tricky little quote from Derrida himself:
Perhaps because I was beginning to know all too well not indeed where I was going, but where I had not so much arrived as simply stopped. My sense is that whereas post-structuralist deconstruction often ends up asking "where is this all headed?" -- invoking an eschatological mode -- on the other hand phatic studies seems to work in a protologicalmode: not insisting that meanings come from any specific so…


Cmap software is a result of research conducted at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC). It empowers users to construct, navigate, share and criticize knowledge models represented as concept maps. -- Here's one I made for the Peeragogy project.  Maybe useful?  It's perhaps a bit quicker than Inkscape for some things, but I realise that it could also just be a "cool tool" and a distraction from getting on with work.

My testimonial is that I did find this schematic quite useful for thinking through the first edition of the Peeragogy Handbook.  It looks like I had maps for each of the chapters, too.  Ah, here's a clickable version of the image below: -- and yes, the little icons at the bottom of some of the notes are indeed clickable in that version and lead to other maps, though those ones are less developed.

Online collaboration on Cmaps with …

The Phatic Turn

I'd like to discuss, in a very roundabout way, Gerald Aiken's statement that "An interest in phatic communion has enjoyed something of a renaissance recently", in "Polysemic, Polyvalent and Phatic: A Rough Evolution of Community With Reference to Low Carbon Transitions" (2016). I've yet to make a jeesusjalutasallveelaeval post about it because there's simply too much goodness there (I would like to take my time in internalizing Aiken's very well made points - same with Charles Zuckerman).

This revolution I think he may have noticed from the sheer amount of literature currently employing the term "phatic". We can't be the only ones who have noticed it. With reference to Jakobson's view of these related disciplines, phaticity seems to encompass communication sciences, which include (in concentric order) anthropology, semiotics, linguistics, and poetics. Phatic Communion had its origins in anthropology so that's insured - ant…

RJ schematized

I schematized Roman Jakobson's definition of the phatic function, and upon looking at it for a while thought that I either drew a fish or a side-view of Jakobson's face, the left column being either a back-fin or Einsteinian scientist-hair, and the upper triangle in both cases serving as an eye. I'm slowly making progress with the paper on RJ's phatic function.