Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

Practice How You’ll Play: Lessons from the Era of Neil Armstrong

by • August 26th, 2012

Dad watched the time as we drove some winding high mountain highway in the Colorado Rockies. He had purchased a black-and-white television that could be powered from the cigarette lighter to bring along just for this trip. As the target time approached, he pulled onto the shoulder, and sent my brother and I to wag down passers-by and invite them to watch the moon walk with us.

Or maybe it was the moon launch. I don’t remember clearly. The picture was grainy, only a few cars drove by and none of the drivers thought it was important to stop. (I can’t recall if there were any passengers; I don’t recall any consultations.) I think we weirded them out. I know that I felt a little embarrassed, what were we doing, this strange behavior out of the norm of everything I’d ever seen?

I was six years old, just trying to grasp what was happening and why it mattered so much.

How did they get the camera there?! That required foresight, pre-planning and imagination: visionary (imagining things in the category of “we don’t know what we don’t know”) and apocalyptic (“things could go bad”). I feel a sense of nostalgia for that kind of epic

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Practice How You’ll Play: Lessons from the Era of Neil Armstrong

by • August 26th, 2012

Dad watched the time as we drove some winding high mountain highway in the Colorado Rockies. He had purchased a black-and-white television that could be powered from the cigarette lighter to bring along just for this trip. As the target time approached, he pulled onto the shoulder, and sent my brother and I to wag […]

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sharp curves and time-out-of-time (TOOT!)

by • August 14th, 2012

Sometimes, sharp conversational curves feel like precipitous cliffs. There is what I do, sometimes, which is to say something spontaneously about something that is going on within the context of a group that is within the realm of things most people have been trained not to say. This is more than a sharp curve, and it calls upon whoever is involved to exercise a deeper level of social resilience. Mental agility has to be combined with emotional savvy, too.

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beyond this crisis there will be more

by • March 13th, 2009

and how will we cope?

All quotations are from
Capitalism Beyond the Crisis by Amartya Sen
The New York Review of Books
Volume 56, Number 5 &emdash; March 26, 2009

“Ideas about changing the organization of society in the long run are clearly needed, quite apart from strategies for dealing with an immediate crisis. I would separate out three questions from the many that can be raised. First, do we really need some kind of “new capitalism” rather than an economic system that is not monolithic, draws on a variety of institutions chosen pragmatically, and is based on social values that we can defend ethically? Should we search for a new capitalism or for a “new world”–to use the other term mentioned at the Paris meeting–that would take a different form?”

“The most immediate failure of the market mechanism lies in the things that the market leaves undone. Smith’s economic analysis went well beyond leaving everything to the invisible hand of the market mechanism. He was not only a defender of the role of the state in providing public services, such as education, and in poverty relief (along with demanding greater freedom for the indigents who received support than the Poor Laws of his day provided),

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anti-honoraria

by • May 27th, 2007

My stance vis-a-vis the UMass Amherst administration’s decision to grant an honorary degree to President Bush’s ex-chief-of-staff, Andrew Card, was pre-established before the event was known. I was hired to interpret the graduate commencement ceremony at least a month before the decision about Card was announced.
I witnessed the swell of protest activity from a distance, observing. I did sign the petition, but my active participation was constrained by my paid role, by my work. Of course, I could have done many things, and probably could have “gotten away” with many things – but to do so would have compromised the deep commitment of professional interpreters to provide linguistic accessibility in the most impartial way possible.
Still – the challenge of how consumed some quality planning time between my teammate and me. We were fortunate to be aware of the scope of the planned protest and thus were able to strategize effectively. It so transpired, therefore, that my partner interpreted what she could make out of speech concerning Card, and I interpreted the protesters chanting. A satisfactory, ethical, and impartial arrangement. In fact, the protest was so loud and persistent that audience members watching the

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Controversy and Communication

by • December 17th, 2006

This conference on pedagogy next April is definitely a place I wish I could be, but instead I’ll be in Australia at Critical Link 5: Quality in Interpreting: A Shared Responsibility. I suppose I should not complain? :-/ (But when they finally get transporter technology, Beam Me Over Scottie!)
I submitted two proposals, they accepted one called “Interpreters: Guardians of Social Justice?” Meanwhile, the selected papers from Critical Link IV (held in Stockholm, 2004) are actually being printed (finally!) I don’t know where my piece is placed in the dang thing, but it is my first attempt at the kind of combination of theory-generating research and practical intervention that I hope might become “my thing.” 🙂

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impartiality

by • June 25th, 2005

Found the reference I was looking for after emailing for help. I still need help, but at least I can be more specific now!

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Professionalization

by • October 4th, 2004

This piece by Burton J. Bledstein, The Culture of Professionalism, is amazing. My mind was spinning with thoughts about Critical Link 4 and Mette Rudvin’s presentation and paper (that I referenced in my submission to the Proceedings). (Many links cite him; here’s one of interest.)
He says professionalization is the penultimate triumph of the “Mid-Victorians” exerting control over personal and social life, by circumscribing specific areas of knowledge which bestowed the knowers with a kind of magical power in a vertically-oriented society, always looking up for self-advancement. “The autonomy of a professional person derived from a claim upon powers existing beyond the reach or understanding of ordinary humans” (p. 93-94).

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Gutmann & Thompson

by • September 11th, 2004

They make no bones about being prescriptive and laying out the principles and values that “should” inform deliberation. I agree with many, if not all of them, but doubt everyone does, or would, or even should. My agreement is probably based upon (emanates from?) a subjectivity similar to theirs, but I don’t think I want everyone I interact with to be boilerplated along “my” lines (! Horrors!)
While I am attracted to the idealism and possibility in Habermas (as I understand the distillation of his views, having not yet squeezed him in ~ even via Bryan’s audio link), what a bland, dull, and monotonous mode of production.
I am intrigued, however, by the chart G&T have put together on p. 53, contrasting prudence, reciprocity, and impartiality as principled (philosophical?) bases for approaching moral disagreement. The notable absence in sign language interpreter’s code of ethics (in the US) of any mention of “impartiality” has been a gap that has drawn my attention for a variety of reasons, but this reading has me wondering if there is an even deeper debate between/among members of the Deaf community and sign language interpreters – one which challenges the basic assumptions embodied in

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