[Humanist] 25.840 recursive-reflective again

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Mar 24 08:22:42 CET 2012


                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 25, No. 840.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                       www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    John Laudun <johnlaudun at gmail.com>                        (31)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again

  [2]   From:    lachance at chass.utoronto.ca                                (10)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again

  [3]   From:    Jascha Kessler <urim22 at verizon.net>                        (6)
        Subject: I am but half-serious/half-jesting...

  [4]   From:    "dennis c.l." <cyberdennis at gmail.com>                     (84)
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again


--[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 09:16:38 -0500
        From: John Laudun <johnlaudun at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again
        In-Reply-To: <20120323083843.783642758F0 at woodward.joyent.us>

> In Humanist 25.829, I asked,
> 
>> I am looking for a word, preferably not my clumsy
>> "recursive-reflective", to denote an ongoing, repetitive process between
>> inventor and invention. The idea to be communicated is that the
>> invention in some non-trivial sense mirrors the inventor, and the
>> inventor seeing this self-image reflected back adopts it as his or her
>> identity, then having changed changes the invention, and so on and so
>> forth. Feedback and feed-forward (I. A. Richards' contribution) don't
>> really do it, because the cybernetic process, as I understand it, aims
>> at homeostasis, whereas I want to denote ongoing metamorphosis.
> 
> Two responses have come in, as follows (but to me rather than to Humanist):
> 
> The suggestions that come closest are "recombinant inventing", 
> "artifact-self co-creation", "inventor-invention co-creation" and 
> "mirrored evolution". "Recursive-reflective" has two problems: like the 
> other hyphenated compounds, it is clunky; and it is already a term for 
> the process of design that proceeds recursively through thinking about 
> (reflecting on) the design. Mirroring is definitely involved but not 
> mirroring in the strictly optical sense, rather more in the ancient 
> sense attested by the Latin (speculum) and Greek (katoptron) words of 
> becoming what one beholds. The process as historically attested in the 
> development of our very own digital machine is definitely evolutionary.
> 
> Can one capture a murky idea with a simple expression of one or at most 
> two words, or allowing a preposition, three?
> 
> So, with your indulgence, I ask again. Help!

It sounds a bit like what Fennell describes about Heaney's poetic output in "Why Seamus Heaney is No. 1." I can't recall if he gave it a defining term. 

In moments like this one wishes one could revisit terms like Sartre's "regressive-progressive method" and do something more with it. You would have thought the phenomenologists would have struck upon this at some point in the twentieth century.


--[2]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 13:38:38 -0400 (EDT)
        From: lachance at chass.utoronto.ca
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again
        In-Reply-To: <20120323083843.783642758F0 at woodward.joyent.us>

Willard

One place to begin for an adequate term or suggestions of a neologism that
could be invented is the literature on participatory design.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Participatory_design

which leads the reader to the notion of "permaculture" which is deployed
in an ecological and agriculture context but might by prefix be adapted to
the design and development of technology: techno-permaculture.

Francois Lachance
Scholar-at-large
http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~lachance



--[3]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 18:01:49 +0000
        From: Jascha Kessler <urim22 at verizon.net>
        Subject: I am but half-serious/half-jesting...
        In-Reply-To: <20120323083843.783642758F0 at woodward.joyent.us>


...but the first thing that came to mind is the mechanic's alarm shouted to Bottom in A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM: "Why, Bottom, thou art translated!"  that is an older usage but handy because it meant metamorphosed.  Digital-translation will be mistaken from linguistic reinvention of one language into another, and I have published essays pointing out that nothing is the same when a word is "translated," though I am opposed to the lazy "what's lost in translation.."  In essence, when one translates into English, say, one tries to say a thing in one's own language.  As for meaning?  A good portion of original meaning is always unavailable per se, since we cannot inhabit, per se, another's life experience.

So I wonder if you cannot play with the notion of [digital] transmogrification...?  Which accounts for the reinvention and utter change when anything whatever is assimilated. A process that goes on momently is the life of the cell, and the bags of cells in billions living things are.

Cheers,

Jascha Kessler
Professor Emeritus of Modern English & American Literature, UCLA
www.jfkessler.com http://www.jfkessler.com



--[4]------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Date: Fri, 23 Mar 2012 23:01:57 -0300
        From: "dennis c.l." <cyberdennis at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 25.837 recursive-reflective again
        In-Reply-To: <20120323083843.783642758F0 at woodward.joyent.us>


reflective coevolution
dennis cintra leite



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