Friday 7 January 2011

Expectation Horizons and Double Binds

Mezirow makes much of Popper's idea about the Horizon of Expectations. I'm wondering how a horizon of expectations maps onto a 'topology on being'. Here I am now, with all my dreams, all the things which are immediately responding to things happening around me, my sense of self... and the things I have to do. How do I decide what I have to do? How do I set about doing the things I have to do? Why don't I do some of the things which I (deep down) know I've got to do? But I can only see as far as my horizon... My horizon changes with each move I make. And my vantage point doesn't always allow me to see dangers in time to avoid them.

Where I can see my landscape stretched ahead of me after having done these things, I will summon up the will to do them. But there are areas of my landscape which become very dark, upon which I can't situate my 'doing' of certain things.. it seems to lead me into a dark tunnel, and I don't know where it will go: I fear it. I also fear not doing these things.

If I ask myself: what do I fear in doing it? I would say 'getting lost/trapped/sucked-in/enslaved or simply failing'. If I ask myself what do I fear in not doing it? I would say "being attacked, loss of reputation, loss of job/income, etc". Losing is on both sides. When I realise that losing is on both sides, I can then ask "How do I win at losing?", and then I can find a way of doing the things I don't want to do. It's to step outside the contradiction. It is to see the 'black hole' for what it is, and to reconceive my topology around it.
Can I plot this...?
"What do you fear in using learning technology?"
"What do you fear in not using learning technology?"
And say the contradiction is there and it can be programatically identified...
We could also ask "What other areas of your life do you fear doing and fear not doing?"
Each of these might be labelled as 'black holes' of understanding. Can the topology whereby we can move above the black holes can also be articulated?

Maybe I'm looking for powerful metaphors which can be created and articulated online. Perhaps like a 'game creator': you get to create your obstacles and then have to work out how to negotiate them in play.

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