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a social system is circumscribed by the collective accumulation of flows as carried by interpersonal relation and is embedded under the impression of natural systems
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[[ED. - The full content of this neoscenes travelog from 1996 to 2009 has been transferred to the tech-no-mad blog platform. This page will automatically forward to that site in 30 seconds.]]
Welcome to the hopkins/neoscenes travelog -- notes, images, sounds, and video spanning more than 14 years of travel across North Amurika, Australia, and Europe -- reflections on the state(s) of being(s) encountered on the way, on average a new entry every 2.67 days! Joining the travelog allows you to post comments. Enjoy! -- John Hopkins


12:25 -- Mon 12.Nov.2007 :: 1194870333
Köln, Germany

conversations with Volker and others range across vast spaces of cultural, spiritual, personal, and social thought and practice. as per usual. great!

I've been checking brainstorms more than usual lately, jumping into discussions with Howard, Bryan, Andee and many others on the topic of academia, education, learning, teaching, students, and what a struggle it is to be involved with this sector of the techno-social system.
sotto voce: In the 1:1 dialogs it's usually a volunteer student, but, of course, a volunteer is never really a volunteer unless the power relation in the classroom is fully devolved into a truly distributed system. Which is never the case until the class is completely over and grades are posted -- then the teacher can come into a more human-to-human relationship with the student in our traditional system. This is one reason I have maintained an autonomous nomadic status as educator. I can more easily set up a (more) balanced relationship with the students as I have no particular position in the local institutional hierarchy. Of course, there is the more difficult issue of my status as the teacher (which has to be devolved) ... but I do devolve that as much as they and my own personality would allow ... it is always a sliding scale, and I'd like to go further than I allow myself ... in this, the fear of the unknown is a significant resistive force among the students and in myself.

Ideally, a class could consist of going around the group manifesting all possible dialog relationships between everyone, not just between the teacher and student -- more accurately, there is no need of the teacher in this scenario anyway. In this situation, all are teachers and students both. In any case, this is a radical pathway which is a direct threat to business-as-normal educators/institutions because it makes them directly redundant, or, at most, facilitators.

These techniques are not specifically limited to f2f either -- I will sometimes mandate a text-based 2-hour 'dialog' or phone call or other more heavily mediated type of connection to explore 'virtuality' and the attenuative affects of technological intervention.

Sometimes when I am lecturing, I do so with my back to the students.

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they say:
For communication to have meaning it must have a life. It must transcend "you and me" and become "us". If I truly communicate, I see in you a life that is not me and partake of it. And you see and partake of me. In a small way we then grow out of our old selves and become something new. To have this kind of sharing I cannot enter into a conversation clutching myself. I must enter it with loose boundaries, I must give myself to the relationship, and be willing to be what grows out of it...
-- Hugh Prather
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updated: 07-May-2011 23:21
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