Organizing Dialogue, Experience and Knowledge for Complex Problem-Solving

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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A Temporal Turn?

by • May 16th, 2012

Closing scene, Fantasia Opus 3, the fantastic range of children's dreams.

“What is the purpose of dialogue?” Are Dialogue Under Occupation conference participants in the process of producing a work of critical art? Or are these conferences solely labor – the repetition of rituals that must be performed in order to satisfy and maintain professional credentials? Could we somehow manage to do both? Examples include the film Rabat, asking questions about symbolism entailed in labels such as the Green Line, and exploring Dr Makram Ouaiss’ point that non-violence is understudied, proven effective, and morally legitimate.

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Presupposing Salmon: Ready DUO Players?

by • May 11th, 2012

redirecting phenomenological reduction

…what happened in the roundtable on Future Change at the Dialogue under Occupation conference hosted at Lebanon-American University in Beirut. The group was game to engage the quest, at least for the duration of the session. A pluck lot…If dialogue is to make a difference in the world, it must be sustained. As academics, we know the theory! But can we do it? Maybe this year will be different…

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…an ever-expanding Problematic Moment?

by • April 12th, 2012

This is the second ‘report’ on a possible problematic moment at the mini-Bakhtinian conference on education hosted by the University of Delaware in March (ending on April Fool’s Day, a co-incidence of no note, unless we decide it helps the heuristic!).  Contents of this blog entry are: Perils in the Foreground Promises in the Background […]

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Is Dialogue Possible?

by • April 2nd, 2012

Promises & Perils of Dialogic Pedagogy

Promises and Perils of Dialogic Pedagogy
It certainly wasn’t boring.
At least not after the slow start! But maybe the start wasn’t actually that slow . . . here I am re-thinking the beginning after the end.
We did not rush back from lunch, so the first set of presentations did not begin on time. Actually, time boundary-keeping […]

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Why Millennials Need DayGlow

by • May 19th, 2011

Facebook commentary after viewing the video

In “DayGlow Makes Us Normal,” students blend a sharp knowledge of context with an unapologetic stance in support of ‘the blue pill’ – meaning an uncritical embrace of technology, particularly in terms of how it can be used to serve the needs of the self. These young people show us that they are doing their best to deal with everything; however surviving means sometimes choosing not to know in order to have the ‘escape’ that recharges them to be able to carry on….The other video is less ambiguous, showing more of the Red Pill approach through some critical juxtapositions that seem to ask “Do We Have to Be This Way?”

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Make NERDAs the linguistic minority (proposal)

by • August 14th, 2009

the future

Building on the potential for a paradigm shift is matter of recognition, marketing, and design. These processes can proactively influence each other, interacting and changing through the development of a project. All are contained within the conception and application of strategic planning.
Strategy has to involve conceptualizing the outcome in two different yet complementary ways. First, you must imagine what you want in terms of place. In the case of the next national conference of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID, US-based), the physical location will be some hotel in Atlanta, GA, but the more important issue is how the space of the place will be designed and implemented in order to generate the desired kinds of intercultural interaction. The second dimension that must be considered is time. By time, I do not mean the logistics of scheduling or considerations about the length of the event or even its parts. These are obviously important logistical factors that require detailed attention. However, the most important temporal factor to consider is how the conference contributes to long-term patterning of habits and attitudes for engaging in intercultural social interaction.

Not Even Related to a Deaf Adult: Buffered by Monolingualism
That would be me,

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visual perceptions

by • May 14th, 2008

Work on optical illusions show how the distance from which one views a face alters the expression you think you’re seeing. Some constructions are creepy!
I’m intrigued with the function of distance. Part of what me and my committee need to sketch out is the scope of the lens I’ll use in exploring the practice of simultaneous interpretation at the European Parliament. Since each of our relative distances from the object of study differ, establishing a reasonable range might be a challenge.

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Push of Chang, Pull of Cronen

by • March 29th, 2008

A vigorous debate between two faculty members dominated conversation about Marc Crépon‘s “What We Demand of Languages,” an extended footnote to Derrida’s Monolingualism of the Other.

I had been worried about arriving late to the Center for Communication Studies event, however Briankle Chang and Vernon Cronen were deep in discourse, ranging from the mistake of theology (not a feature of all religions), the influence of the Platonic opening, Aquinas’ linkage of physics with the New Testament, to structuralism as the antidote to transcendentalism, and whether “topos” is a place that contains all topoi and all vocabularies or a place that can be talked about in infinitely many ways.
I always learn more from faculty interactions with each other than from monologistic pedagogy!
A colleague translated Crépon’s article from French. Srinivas Lankala explains:

“Crépon summarizes Derrida’s argument, provides references to the argument that Derrida did not provide, and extends the argument to new areas:

the question between what language is and what language means in terms of politics of nationalism or politics of identity
the definition of identity
the definition of the self

“One important thing called into question is the notion of a singular cultural identity: identity is formed in advance by language &emdash; the whole question of

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mathematical thinking

by • March 15th, 2008

I’m closer to Brian Butterworth than Stanislas Dehaene, as this comparative review describes:

“Butterworth is a neuropsychologist who came to studying mathematical ability via his work on natural languages….Dehaene, on the other hand, started off as a mathematician, but became fascinated by the abstractness of his subject. He began to wonder where mathematical ability came from, and why some people are so bad at it, and others so good.”

The Mathematical Brain appeals to me from the start, with the author’s writing style being compared with Oliver Sacks (Seeing Voices: A Journey into the Land of the Deaf). The Number Sense reminds me of Barry Mazur’s, Imagining Numbers (which I started and now want to finish).
The reviewer argues, “cognitive science tells us that it is possible to teach mathematics in a way that fits with our psyche, a way that minimises maths-induced fear and boredom.” Lots of “sideways” exposure is doing it for me….all that three-dimensional American Sign Language interpreting has (seriously!) re-wired my conceptual circuits for math.
Just last week, the New Yorker’s “Numbers Guy” wrote about whether our brains are actually wired for math, featuring Stanislas Dehaene.
One tidbit: in addition to a certain kind of math perception, the language

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