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doublemirror

attending to the shadow of living and learning on the web

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?”

Why disenchant what so often is good fun?

Life in the network 1 Animated gif by @gifadog CCBY
Life in the network –  Animated gif by @gifadog CCBY

Why talk of myth, why disenchant what so often is good fun? Because we must be wary when our most important moments of coming together seem to be captured in what people happen to do on platforms whose economic value is based on generating just such an idea of natural collectivity.” (Couldry, 2013)

A necessary disenchantment

My time has come for what Couldry (2013) labels ‘the necessary disenchantment of the digital age’ as we learn to see past the myths we co-create to make sense of the world. For me, it is about disenchanting the myth of open online education. I have written about this before and chosen to close comments here as not everyone appreciates those of us inquiring into the limitations of a field of study whilst still being part of it. Couldry explores 3 myths in his article: ‘the myth of the mediated centre’, ‘the myth of big data’ and ‘the myth of us’. In this post I mostly look at the myth of ‘us’ as it applies to people involved in open education.

Continue reading “Why disenchant what so often is good fun?”

Openness in education – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

In my new look blog, I have also worked on blog categories to help reframe my involvement in open online education. I put the blog on hold for a while as I reflected on my own motivations and my discomfort with some of what I have observed in the relational dynamics of the people I have come to know since starting to explore open online education 3 years ago.

I want to participate and I have to participate in a way where I am free to say what I notice without fear – this has not been the case of late. Closing comments here is intended to help me say what I want to say.

I also have decided to do a Humpty Dumpty and redefine words a bit. This post is about that.

Continue reading “Openness in education – plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose”

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