story telling

Paul Grobstein's picture

World Literature and Neurobiology

The Facebook group "Rethinking World Literature" hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions around the topic of what constitutes "world literature."  The Evolving Systems project on Serendip hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions exploring the common usefulness in a wide array of contexts, academic and otherwise, of emergent and evolving systems ideas.  The conversation documented below is archived from a discussion on the Rethinking World Literature Facebook site and will be added to as that discussion continues. A second discussion archive on "From Evolving Systems to World Literature and Back Again" is available here

Paul Grobstein's picture

Cultures of ability

"Culture as Disability," a 1995 essay by Ray McDermott and Hervé Varenne has been on my mind for more than a decade.  In it, McDermott and Varenne argue compellingly (for me at least) that human cultures have interrelated bright and dark sides.  By promulgating stories about what individuals in a given culture should aspire to, cultures provide individuals with a sense of motivation and achievement,  The same stories, however, also "disable" other individuals, by setting standards of achievement which they, for one reason or another, can't adequately satisfy.
 

Paul Grobstein's picture

Making sense of the world: the need to entertain the inconceivable

An interesting example of the constraints placed on inquiry by stories that make some things difficult to conceive came up in Neurobiology and Behavior last week, during a discussion of the ability of the nervous system to generate outputs by itself rather than simply in response to external stimuli.

"Perhaps I've just had the idea that 'cause equals effect' engrained in my mind for so long that it's just difficult to sway me, but I still feel that there must be some input to trigger reactions in our body" 

Paul Grobstein's picture

Subjectivities and objectivities in classrooms and beyond

Interesting conversation last week in the Neurobiology and Behavior course about .... class conversation (see A loopy classroom?), one that intersected in interesting ways with, among other things, a conversation in the Neural and Behavioral Sciences senior seminar (Some relevant thoughts from last week), and one on evolving systems (Bridging for commonality of expansion).

Paul Grobstein's picture

On beyond an algorithmic universe

Very rich conversations this week with Stuart Kauffman, a theoretical biologist, Alan Baker, a philosopher, and Scott Gilbert, a developmental biologist, first over dinner and then during a panel discussion with additional input from Mark Kuperberg, an economist, and Billie Grassie, founder of the Metanexus Institute on Religion and Science.  Delighted if any of them wanted to weigh in with their own thoughts in the on-line forum below (along with anyone else interested in the

aseidman's picture

Transcript of the First Annual Bedroom Debates

 

Hello and welcome to the first annual 2010 Bedroom Debates! I’m Arielle Seidman, and I’ll be your host for a fascinating few pages of reclined repartee!

Paul Grobstein's picture

From evolving systems to world literature and back again?

The Facebook group "Rethinking World Literature" hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions around the topic of what constitutes "world literature."  The Evolving Systems project on Serendip hosts a series of interdisciplinary discussions exploring the common usefulness in a wide array of contexts, academic and otherwise, of emergent and evolving systems ideas.  The conversation documented below is archived from a discussion on the Rethinking World Literature Facebook site and will be added to as that discussion continues. 

Paul Grobstein's picture

Evolution of science education as story telling and story revising

For years, I've been exploring ways of being a "less wrong" teacher.  And that means, among other things, noticing new problems that come along with creating new ways of being.

jrf's picture

Discomfort with in-betweens

In thinking more about and sharing the images we read in class on Tuesday, I found that the in-between nature of the images seemed to cause discomfort to me and others. Why should the existence of in-between objects elicit disgust? Similarly, our readings mentioned historical attempts by Westerners to either make other cultures' literary works fit into Western genres or establish those other cultures as deficient for not matching the Western pattern closely. Why is maintaining the open mind to the evolution of genre that Dimock and Owen call for so difficult? Do we need computers to do this for us?

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