Friday, December 27, 2013

Feeling out how embedded we are in complex systems....

Rethinking what we mean by both theory/activisms dichotomies and genealogies. How do we work with all these as bits in emergent processes, rather than god's eye view analysts? Can we? How? Collecting thinking, working it all out in bits here as I work on designing our version of this course for a particular set of folks among many knowledge worlds with many histories happening at different lag times. 

[click pics and see where you go....]

Kathleen Fitzpatrick: critical temporalities: on our future wrongness.... 

"...we were too often trained (if only unconsciously) in a method that encouraged a leap from encountering an idea to dismissing it, without taking the time inbetween to really engage with it. It’s that engagement that a real critical humility can open up: the time to discover what we might learn if we are allowed to let go, just a tiny bit, of our investment in being right.

"If time inevitably makes us all wrong, maybe slowing down enough to accept our future wrongness now can help us avoid feeling embittered later on. The position of critical humility is a generous one — not just generous to those other critics whose ideas we encounter (and want to contradict) today, but to our selves both present and future as well."

In dialectical materialism we call the point of potentiality "contradiction." Contradictions bring themselves and more into being, a very condition of existence. Perfections as well as mutually exclusive us/thems are thus in marxist theory pernicious illusions. 

As Leonard Cohen says: Forget your perfect offering! 

"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."

Our course and our planet need us to find many cracks now and let in much new light: lightning even as one author will put it....


(a bit from Katie's new book): 

The psychic investments of intellectual virtue, epistemic responsibility, and personal “care-abouts” make them all goods in themselves, as well as proper actions and practices and even complex cocreated “rewards” in mindful contexts of distributed production and being. Opportunities for practicing intellectual virtues in contexts of good faith are far better and much less addicting rewards than intensified and increasingly differentiated forms of discipline and control. 

(a bit from thinking with others on Facebook about news from Inside Higher Ed):

notice how the lag times are working here: what is already being discredited internationally in K-12 reforms is being pressed to Higher Ed increasingly now. And we know more about who is funding all this. There are overlaps between who funds global academic restructuring and climate change denial. They are not equivalent by any means, but the shape of conservative money around the world is restructuring life in many ways. And we have to work through its uneven implementations and understandings, and with its contradictions and even hopes. This is political life today: not polarizations which only feed the worst of this, but new political imaginations that work among the cracks where the light shines through.

Katie's previous version of this class, Spring 2010
Katie's version of 601, Fall 2012, with similar class organization 
Katie's course on Games, Fall 2013, with experiments we may try out too! 
Katie's other course this term, Spring 2014, a Meta-MOOC with more experiments, distributed learning for both UGs and Grads 

Dumit on How I Read: something to ponder for our course! And this will help too: How to Read a Book in Two Hours or Less from Inside Higher Ed's GradHacker

Bill Moyers on ALEC: "They say sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that proved true this year as activists continued to expose the previously shadowy workings of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

"The group took a big hit in 2012 when controversy over Florida’s Shoot First law, also known as “stand your ground,” peaked after the killing of Trayvon Martin and ALEC’s fingerprints on the legislation came to light. ALEC’s hand in pushing voter disenfranchisement laws was also revealed before the 2012 election. And earlier this year, ALEC got more bad press for pushing model legislation that would require science teachers to include pseudoscientific rebuttals to the data on climate change in their curricula.

"While ALEC’s corporate sponsors were happy to back the group’s efforts to secure lower taxes and less regulation, they didn’t want to share the heat associated with these other issues. State lawmakers who had enjoyed ALEC’s luxurious junkets also came under pressure to cut ties with the organization. As a result, The Guardian reported that, 'by Alec’s own reckoning the network has lost almost 400 state legislators from its membership over the past two years, as well as more than 60 corporations that form the core of its funding. In the first six months of this year it suffered a hole in its budget of more than a third of its projected income.'”

Graphics with analysis of Koch influence on politics today here

Krugman on the Fear Economy: what does all this have to do with women's studies and restructuring academies? 



<<<SECTION I: just doing it: gathering among companions, at home and in the streets

·       Sandoval. 2000. Methodology of the Oppressed. Minnesota. 9780816627370
·       Keating. 2013. Transformation Now! Toward a Post-Oppositional Politics of Change. Illinois. 9780252079399
·       Reed. 2005. The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle. Minnesota. 9780816637713
·       Flanagan. 2009. Critical Play: Radical Game Design. MIT. 9780262518659

Thursday 30 January – Arts, Play, Double Binds, Differential Consciousness/es of Protest: why direct theory matters and how it materializes

• WE BEGIN CLASS BY examining the books we will gather together with, considering our intensive and extensive “belongings,” enabling various of such “us” to “learn” as agential things, beings, animals, processes, distributed cognitions, ecologies of affect and more. INTRODUCTIONS of all the “us” we can figure out how to name and share!
• NOTE: BOOKS TAB: LINK: Dumit on How I Read: something to ponder for our course! And this will help too: How to Read a Book in Two Hours or Less from Inside Higher Ed's GradHacker. PRESENTATION TAB: LINKS: How to Read Handout & Edwards on How to Give an Academic Talk.

Gregory Bateson (who is he and why might we care?) famously said, in “the pronoun we, I of course included the starfish and the redwood forest, the segmenting egg, and the Senate of the United States.” Us means not only Bateson’s living patterns, from the starfish’s invertebrate radial symmetry to redwood cloning timelines to recursive epigenesis, mechanism and structure in a segmenting egg to those human affiliations of power and state and love that we could wish for in the Senate of the United States. “Us” gathers sympoietically too all these boundary objects storing details and affects as well as quantum entanglements of electron and memory and even hybrids and objects as human, nonhuman, inhuman… and compost. 

• Introductions to each other as resources, to the class, readings and procedures, and to gathering strategies.
• Our first prototyping session: collectively make, pairs or grps or all: timeline for events described and publication/s; put in context: timeline major historical events during that time; put in context: yourself and your family during that time; put in context: one or more for you iconic feminist/or political figures
google image these as possible….