Search

doublemirror

attending to the shadow of living and learning on the web

Category

Behind online behaviour

The psychology behind how we behave online

Belief Through Others

 

“Belief more than ever, we just invented something absolutely breathtaking. Beliefs, in order to function to operate, have to be first person beliefs.  We can literally believe through others. You know you know the formula of parents, we are atheists but not to disappoint our children we pretend to believe. You know, the Santa Claus story . You ask a parent do you believe in Santa Claus? Are you stupid? Of course not. I buy the presents, but I pretend it for my children. You ask the children. Do you believe? They say, no. We pretended not to disappoint our parents. What is my point here? You have a belief which is nobody’s belief, nobody believes it in the first person. Yet it fully functions as social belief. Here you did a mega contribution. By ‘you’ I mean the United States. You here in Hollywood. Your greatest contribution to 20th century world culture I would claim, I’m sorry my old joke, is canned laughter.  Are you aware what a strange phenomenon this is? You return in the evening home, you open up stupid show like Friends or Cheers, and you are too tired to laugh. You just look. And the TV set laughs for you! It works, at least with me. Afterwards I feel relieved as if I was laughing! So much about primitive people! We have traditional examples of this, the Buddhist prayer where you write  the prayer you put it there and turn the wheel. You can think about pornography or whatever, but in reality you are praying. We are same! This is canned laughter. And I claim that beliefs function in a strictly homologous way. What we need is not belief in the first person. We need to believe that there is someone who believes; even if that someone is purely hypothetical.  An example; Roberto Benigni’s film, I don’t like it, ‘La vita e bella’ or ‘Life is beautiful’. You know the story father and son are taken to Auschwitz. Father, in order  to protect son from the trauma, tells him a bullshit story. That this is not really prison it is just a big competition site where you we can leave whenever we want. But if you remain to the end there will be a big price and so on and so on. What would have been a way to make it a much better  and desperate film? That the father were to discover at the very end, when he is to be shot, that the son knew all the time. He  just he pretended to believe his father so as to protect him. This would be the proper Christian reversal as it were. The actual movie is not strong enough. ” Slavoj Zizek

An open ethics review panel for independent researchers: Where do I sign up?

[ This post was published on another site on April 30, 2015]

A response to David who asks: “How could we move on, how could we build…”

I have had that feeling of deja vu for a while, it started after the honeymoon period of being in the open was over.

Initially I liked the ‘free for all, no rules’ ethos as I compared it to doing research in an institution. Then, the many years of academic training kicked in and I started to see the underbelly of it all.

This sense of deja vu came over me as I read dodgy methodologies and outputs being used as evidence for ‘how learning is for all’ and ‘how the university will be (has been?) replaced by the MOOC or its latest incarnation’. I am less optimistic than you and feel quite helpless at the ignorance I see touted as ‘good’ research out there….yet…

Continue reading “An open ethics review panel for independent researchers: Where do I sign up?”

Predicting badly or why we need an external observer

[post originally published in 2015 elsewhere]

I responded to Jaap’s interesting post

Thanks for this, Jaap. Groupthink is more than a danger in this type of group.

I was put to mind of Heli Nurmi’s excellent engagement with her experiences with this kind of group (It is worth reading the comments) and of course the interesting article that Jenny and Frances wrote which gathered data of the impact on people of ‘the tension between openness and cohesion’ that Daniel talks about.

Continue reading “Predicting badly or why we need an external observer”

‘I see mostly preaching and I am worried’

[This post was published elsewhere in 2015]

This is a response to Heli’s deep and honest reflections about open online learning.

I titled the post with a quote from Heli in the comments to her post as it resonated with some of the concerns I have been experiencing recently. I was deeply touched by the post and how in listening to a book review of a book about one topic new frames of learning opened for her.

Continue reading “‘I see mostly preaching and I am worried’”

410 Gone

mark

The presence of absence. How do we get to choose to leave online life and leave behind a clean screen if not a clean slate? Jenny Mackness has been writing about absence as an essential element of presence from many interesting perspectives – art and metaphor, for example. I am also interested in silence as part of dialogue, disconnection as part of connection. It is so easy to forget the background in favour of the foreground of the moment.

“As we bring to the foreground new structures, we focus on them to understand them or destroy them…as we assimilate the new structure without sight of the whole but just those aspects that attract or repel us it becomes ‘normal’. What was figure becomes the ground, the way things are around here. New figures come to the fore including the seeing of the old as obsolete and to be shedded. What can our actions be in that interface of figure and ground almost instant and certainly not stable shapeshifting?” McLuhan

This post seeks to bring to the foreground resonances I found when reading Jenny’s posts.

Continue reading “410 Gone”

Plausible deniability

I have been interested in online conversational dynamics for a long time now. I am interested in understanding what are the patterns that can create so many misunderstandings and how we navigate the unique nature of this space where the public and the private do not map to physical spaces. I often joke that if I diss you in the pub to a friend nobody but my friend needs to know. Our lives online are much more transparent than that and this context collapse can be both a gift and a curse.

 

The video above was produced for an altogether a lighter purpose – but I include it here because it makes the point, all be it a little more dramatically than I might want.

I think plausible deniability can help us talk about what happens when our conversational dynamics do not work well. This post explores my understanding so far and whilst it can be used as descriptive of something, it cannot infer intent in any one individual. In a sense this is the curse of text mediated dialogue even when skilled.

Plausible deniability refers to circumstances where a denial of responsibilty or knowledge of wrongdoing can not be proved as true or untrue due to a lack of evidence proving the allegation. US Legal definitions

Continue reading “Plausible deniability”

We can’t break the spell

'Will you all shut up?!' by @mdvfunes CCBY
‘Will you all shut up?!’ by @mdvfunes CCBY

It has been a difficult two years.

The last incident left me ready to start pressing that button 24 hours a day.

'One of those days' by Michael Branson Smith CCBY
‘One of those days’ by Michael Branson Smith CCBY

I wrote a pointy finger blog post. It did not help me feel better. I decided it was time to go. I had visited the internet, and it just had not lived up to its expectations.

Meme by @mdvfunes CCBY
Meme by @mdvfunes CCBY (see sources)

The cartoon that opens this post is populated with statements that have been directed at me during the last 2 years. I have followed the usual advice ‘don’t feed the troll’ and have remained silent…except when I haven’t.  When I haven’t I have tried to be smart. This has not made me feel better. I had had enough and I saw no solution but to leave.

Source
Source

I have written before about the idea that my troll is your friend and vice versa. What I have not included in those reflections is the temporal dimension, people shift roles on a dime. All of the comments on the cartoon come from a supposedly supportive community that values learners who  create own path – so difference of opinion should be welcomed. Yes, I thought that too.

The rest of this post is about the wonderful people who convinced me to stay and who helped me learn that it is really possible to see the troll as a gift.  Continue reading “We can’t break the spell”

Finally! Some hope?

As some of you know, I have been going down a hole of desperation, Marx and economics over the last few weeks. The more I read, the more I feel like a pathetic dot and as I have not been engaging in the conversational web, the online silence has been deafening.

I have kept reading. I was hopeful I could find a way through to action that did not entail finding a how-to commit internet suicide guide. May be the courageous decision is to step out altogether but if my reading of critical internet studies authors is correct, this is not what they are suggesting. Still, may be my need for drama would have been met had I filmed my online death using my digital storytelling skills.

Continue reading “Finally! Some hope?”

Blocking is not enough

BycYMn2IIAA3dp3.jpg-large

I have been having some backchannel conversations with people who feel that what may be intended as ‘connecting behaviour’ by some is silencing them to the point of no longer participating in life online for the purposes of learning. This post explores some questions about online choices we have open when we have ‘unwanted visitors’ in our online spaces.

Continue reading “Blocking is not enough”

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑