Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On becoming more and less real

To misquote 2 of my fav sources: Carl Rogers (On becoming a person) and Margery Williams (The velveteen rabbit). velveteen rabbit mp3

I was wrong in the way I worded my last post- its not that there is nothing in spaces between nodes or actors- but that there is no grand theory.
Latour says "it will be clear that it is not the solidity of the resulting construct that's in question, but rather the many heterogeneous ingredients, the long process, the many trades, the subtle coordination necessary to achieve such a result. The result itself is as solid as it gets."

ideant prompted my deeper consideration for what occurs in between nodes, between the actors- a relational space sometimes subtle sometimes overt, but there is always tension- pull, shove; grooves worn.
What's occurred and occurring is always the outcome of an aggregation of actors, its permanence always subject to flux. And things could always be different.
(Putting this crudely I can combine eggs, milk, and a cook, and the result might be scrambled eggs, custard, eggnog or a cook crying over spilt milk with egg on the face...)
'Subtle coordinations' produce different outcomes.

My research question involves capturing such subtleties: how do people think about and conceive of change; and what do they do in enacting such changes?

To ‘know’ such subtlety, Latour in Aramis advises researchers ‘follow the actors’. On rereading his essay on constructivism, I am mulling over just how one might ‘listen to the slime’! In his introductotion Latour cites Hackings, citing John Tyler Bonner:
'The experience also taught me a great lesson. I had not carefully designed an experiment that would prove diffusion; I had managed it by accident. That and all the other observations I had made told me that the slime molds were in charge, not I. They would let me know their secrets on their own terms, not mine. " John Tyler Bonner, Lives of a biologist : Adventures in a century of extraordinary science, Harvard, 2002, p. 78

Inside on the slime, did you notice the weird little hieroglyphs that occur on pasting from a word doc into a blog? I left a couple as evidence of the pushing, pulling, shoving...such subtleties would plague me if i was not choosing to be amused by attending to their presence. Do i start worrying when i start talking back to the slime?

No comments:

Post a Comment