People inside-outside

I think I took more from Gadamer than I realized. I think I may have introjected that understanding into my reading of Buber, too, though I am not sure how much. * Some distinctions: 1) an empathetic, reconstructive understanding of the subjectivity (that is the way of seeing) of fellow-subjects 2) a sympathetic, participatory understanding … Continue reading People inside-outside

3D conversations

Nick Gall and I have developed a framework for thinking about modes of conversation: debate, dialogue and dialectic. Debate is conversing with the intention of advancing our own ideas against the other’s. This is an arguing mode of conversation. Dialogue is conversing with the intention of getting inside the other’s ideas and really understanding them … Continue reading 3D conversations

Conceptions and concepts

I’m noticing that I am using the terms “concept” and “conception’ very differently from how Langer uses them. In my way of thinking and talking about them, conception is a conceiving move — and what is conceived through the conception is a concept. When a student is presented with a new kind of math problem … Continue reading Conceptions and concepts

What is fruitfulness?

Nick was asked by an old colleague to provide a simple, universally applicable definition of fruitfulness. Earlier, I would have pointed to Thomas Kuhn’s paper on theory choice, where fruitfulness, along with accuracy, consistency, scope and simplicity, was a characteristic that might make a theory more attractive to a scientist, depending (scandalously!) on that scientist’s … Continue reading What is fruitfulness?


I was sent an image of an everting sphere. Note how the sphere becomes a shell-like torus midway through the eversion. Note how we human beings are such that we can view reality from an inner first-person and outer third-person and experiences at once a metaphysical behind and a metaphysical beyond. Recall that the Chinese coin … Continue reading Everso

Mutual mutation

Mutual, mutable, mutate and mutant are all derived from the same Latin root, mutare, to change. Mutual comes from Middle French mutuel, from Latin mutuus — lent, borrowed. Mutable, from Middle English, from Latin mutabilis. Why should anyone care about this etymological bit of trivia? For me, the profoundest value of entering a relationship of … Continue reading Mutual mutation

ANT, Postphenomenology and their mutant child, OOO

It seems obvious to me that Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Postphenomenology are complementary lenses for understanding social situations. ANT gives us the network viewed “objectively” outside-in, and Postphenomenology helps us understand inside-out how the nodes interpret inputs from the network and translate them into outputs. An ANT practitioner will be the first to tell you … Continue reading ANT, Postphenomenology and their mutant child, OOO

Surprise vs comprise

I’ve called my metaphysic a “metaphysic of surprise”. To get what I mean by this, it is helpful to keep in mind the basic terms of my metaphysical conceptualization, which are 1) metaphysical reality versus 2) our understanding of reality which is truth. In my view truth is an adequate-as-possible person-reality interface, true to the … Continue reading Surprise vs comprise

Shells and pearls

This is a series of rewritten, streamlined posts on the theme of shells and pearls, which I’m considering incorporating into my pamphlet. I’ll link to the originals. If you have time to compare, let me know if you think anything was lost in the chipping, sanding and polishing. Evert Announcing an exciting new vocabulary acquisition: evert. I have … Continue reading Shells and pearls

On Justification

Two reasons I am glad to have read Luc Boltanski’s On Justification: I have been looking for something like Boltanski’s Framework for Analyzing the Common Worlds for two years: basically a structure for describing a lifeworld/worldview. Boltanski’s descriptions of the different political worlds in pure and hybrid form have provided me with a much finer … Continue reading On Justification


Engineers (including those social engineers called “managers” and “administrators”) think about things and use. Marketers think about media and message. Neither of these perspectives are sufficient. The mid-point of average of these perspectives is not sufficient. Both of these perspective added together is not sufficient. Only a deeper perspective that accommodates both and relates them … Continue reading Prognosis

Iridescent irritants

Some random notes on the inner topology of oysters… * A pearl is an inside-out oyster shell. * An oyster coats the ocean with mother-of-pearl. Outside the shell is ocean, inside the pearl is ocean. Between inner-shell and outer-pearl is slimy oyster-flesh, ceaselessly coating everything it isn’t with mother-of-pearl. It is as if the flesh … Continue reading Iridescent irritants