Wednesday 30 September 2009

Last day of september

I wanted to do something beautiful to end September. A simple melody, varied (disruptive!) harmonies, regular motivic patterns (coercion), unusual modulations (exhortation!). Of course, the video content has nothing to do with any of this...

Why do children cry when they are told off?

I was thinking about this question today as I found myself 'told off'. I remember walking in the street the other week and a child (about 4) was walking with her dad. She had stopped to pick something up from the street out of curiosity, to be scolded by her dad for doing so. I think this is very similar to 'getting angry'. Basically, she was in the flow of establishing an identity for herself as an 'exploring person' in a strange and interesting world (which no doubt she was busy constructing for herself). Dad weighed-in and in disrupting what she was doing also shattered her identity as she suddenly realised she could not be the person she thought she was. He was insisting she became someone different, but she didn't know who this was. All of the regulating mechanisms of identity, dreams, management and habit had to be reconfigured at short notice; but there was little guide as to how to reconfigure them; all the battles between dreams and reality had to be fought once again. No wonder she cried!
Here is me establishing my identity as a tourist in Greece and writing papers about reflection and activity design...! Until someone tells me off!

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Gradual progress

This is a jazzy improvisation with some of the photos I took when I was in Athens. The Parthenon was amazing.. and my student was good too. Great stuff coming out of his use of debategraph (see below). I'm gradually getting though stuff. Just finished a piece of David Pearce on IDIBL and reflection. Paper for TenCompetence on LD tomorrow. Euro bid starting to make sense to me...

The debategraph from Greek students...

String piece

I quite like this piece... gradually getting to grips with the possibilities of the string synthesiser on my keyboard. It's good to get back into the habit of doing the improvisations. There's little doubt in my mind that it has a positive effect on my general mood and my ability to cope with the complexities of work. Astrid had her first trial yesterday.. seemed to go well. She's back on Thursday. Izzy did brilliantly with her horse riding. I'm feeling very proud of my family!

Sunday 27 September 2009

Medieval Strings

Just trying to catch up with my improvisations. This is an attempt at creating a medieval sound. I think I can do better... No let-up in the busyness of work.. can't believe this time last week I was in Athens!

Saturday 26 September 2009


Both Astrid and I are putting things together. She's assembling a new professional identity, with a new career (well done!). I'm assembling something (I don't know exactly what) from a giant jigsaw puzzle. All the elements seem to be there, but fitting them together is a tricky task. And our individual assembling is also being assembled together. It's at the same time exciting and disconcerting.

Thursday 17 September 2009

Uncertainty and transformation

I'm feeling as though I'm in uncertain territory at the moment. Normally I would say it's important to embrace confusion - but that doesn't mean that confusion isn't sometimes distressing. The only thing I can be certain of is that this will change!

Thursday 10 September 2009

I'm Knackered!

There's so much going on at the moment and I am comatose. Rushing back from bid-writing in Deia (great fun) to Manchester for ALT-C. Pleased with the paper, although the presentation was sparsely attended. I don't enjoy ALT-C on the whole (I'm sure I said this last year). I don't think I'll go next year. Heard that I've got a paper in for the Von Foerster international congress in Vienna - that'll be fun! Von Glasersfeld will be there.

Sunday 6 September 2009

Luton Airport... oooo-eeeee-oooo

About to fly out to Deia for a euro bid-writing 'fest'. Now in Luton Airport with Astrid. I really like my home town! it's very under-rated. My luton accent is never far from me, and whenever I put my Luton head on, all the intensity of academic engagement, issues around education, etc. disappear. God bless Lorraine Chase!

Friday 4 September 2009


I wasn't necessarily thinking of the 'Sky at Night' when I did this, although the similarities are striking (although my music isn't quite Sibelius!). I'm thinking of sets of distinctions which do amount to a rational world-picture. What does that mean? If it all fits together, does it mean it's right? I suspect if it all fits together, it amounts to a personal success (in fitting things together for myself), but carries no deeper implications for truth. It's just a set of distinctions. Of course, what I do with them is a different matter...

Music for 'Strings'

Playing around with improvising with different settings on my PX720. So this is a first attempt at a 'string' improvisation. I quite like the way that I can control the different voices... (although I'm not doing very well at the moment!)

Thursday 3 September 2009

Passionate, Identity-seeking, Distinction-making entity

Shifts of position and changes of mind are personally hard for people because it involves a shift in personal identity. Constructivism and Realism are different in how they approach this. Constructivism, by its nature, might find it easier to appreciate multiple identities based on multiple constructs - but they are not immune from fundamentalism (for example, they might overly assert the 'implicit' ontology of constructivism and (ironically) insist on constructivism being real)... Realism on the other hand, by insisting on 'reality' can become more susceptible to fundamentalism. Personally, I don't think we can escape the fact that our identities (critical realists, constructivists, jedi...) are tied to positions and assertions of what's real and what isn't.

But how do we move forward? It strikes me that this must be a methodological development.. and more particularly one which takes account of diverse perspectives and diverse identities which are nonetheless 'real' (or at least part of a personal identity) to those who possess them (even the climate change deniers!). Establishing real mechanisms in it all must surely be a participative and appreciative exercise and not one where one set of distinctions (Bhaskar's, Latour's or anyone else's) holds sway. If Bhaskar is right and the reality behind individual perspectives can be revealed, the process of revealing it collaboratively can itself be transformative ("if you think climate change is not happening, what's your theory for what's going on when the ice-caps are melting?"... "what if you're wrong?"... etc.). But I think to make that work, an understanding of a real world must coexist with an understanding of ourselves as passionate, identity-seeking, distinction-making entities.

Tuesday 1 September 2009

Back to Work

Been playing with rails this weekend for the Diabetes project. Suddenly so much that was so difficult becomes so simple!