Risk-Taking in the Academy--and Beyond?

Risk-Taking in the Academy--and Beyond?
Fall 2007 Series

Where do you see areas of risk-making and risk-taking:
in your scholarship, in your classroom,
in the administration of the institution that is Bryn Mawr?
Would you like company in thinking
through some ways and means of meeting risk?

Come join us for (one or some or all of)
a series of bi-weekly
discussions about risk-taking @ Bryn Mawr and beyond.
We have
scheduled several sessions with discussion leaders and short readings
(suggested, not required) and welcome further suggestions and
volunteers
into next semester, when we might venture further afield.

1-2 p.m. on alternate Thursdays, Dalton 212E.
Bring your lunch, and
we'll provide drinks and dessert.
Co-sponsored by the
Center for Science in
Society,
the Social Science Center, and
the Teaching and Learning
Initiative.

Conversation continued in Spring 2008 as
"Seeing Through Different Eyes"

Sept. 13 Anne Dalke and David Ross
Randomness and Risk-Taking: Dealing with Uncertainty

On-line Reading: Chapter 1, Taleb's The Black Swan (2007)


Sept. 27 Kim Cassidy

Creating a Culture of Risk

Oct. 11 Elizabeth McCormack
Flocks and Pyramids: Risk-taking and Change in Academic Communities

Oct. 25 Paul Grobstein
Living a Life of Risk...and Why: Encouraging Innovation in Individuals and Communities

On-line Reading: This Isn't Just MY Problem, Friend (1991)

Nov. 8 Marissa Golden, The Risks of Taking Risks:
on the upsides and downsides of attempting to cross disciplinary boundaries,
and of leaving the academy altogether

Nov. 29 Alison Cook-Sather and Alice Lesnick
Exploring Reasons to Risk Uncertainty in the Classroom
A session about pedagogical approaches that bridge to the un- or not-yet know

Dec. 13 Students, staff and faculty participants
in the Teaching & Learning Initiative:
Expanding our educational mission

Participants

Beyond Risk-Taking: A Poetic Conversation

 

 

Comments

Anne Dalke's picture

extending ourselves

Am so struck, above, by the encouragement to respect the "unassimilable," not to reach for understanding, but rather to come into relationship for itself, not in order to get somewhere beyond it. Am equally struck by the notion that doing so/being present there can also be generative beyond the present, in extending the inquiry/exploratory capabilities of the interrelated.

So what I'm wondering now is if/how we might go about extending the generative capacities of this series and its forum, how to keep the conversation opening up for us all: not performing resolutions, or defending past decisions, but...extending ourselves.

All suggestions warmly welcome.
Alice Lesnick's picture

thanks and on

Dear Anne and Colleagues,

First, thank you, Anne, for providing this thorough representation of the session. It's great to have a record of it and it was great to participate in the discussion -- thanks to Anne and David for this.

I thought I'd add another voice to the mix. Sharon Todd, a philosopher of education, "explores what otherness as an absolute and unknowable difference has to offer an ethical orientation to social justice education" (p. 2) in _Learning from the Other: Levinas, Psychoanalysis, and Ethical Possibilities in Education_ (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2003). Todd questions the value of learning about others, of founding ethical practice in knowledge, and instead argues that the process of learning from others is better taken as the site of ethical practice, what she calls nonviolence -- a practice not premised on understanding but instead on being open, susceptible, vulnerable to the radical, absolute, given alterity (from Levinas) of others. She writes, "What I am suggesting is that social justice education might consider ways of dealing with the concept of difference outside terms of oppression in order to respond ethically to lived experiences of oppression" (p. 3). Todd explains that psychoanalysis teaches us to respect the unconscious as "unassimilable to conscious thought" (p. 15) -- rather like other people are unassimilable to whatever we can say or "know" about them. But this doesn't mean we don't try to come into relationship; rather, it means we do so in order to be doing so, not in order to get somewhere outside of this. And so we are back to the flocks and pyramids!

Alice

Paul Grobstein's picture

Difference beyond "oppression": getting to new places

Interesting, very much worth pursuing further the treatment of difference "outside terms of oppression." Its a general problem, and one for which there are useful examples, and perhaps a coherent general logic. See Diversity and Deviance: A Biological Perspective for some of my own early wrestling with this and the second to the last paragraph of The Brain and Social Well-Being, Followup for some current realizations of the breadth of the terrain.

The point is that biological evolution and biological systems, including the brain (see From Disciplinarity Through Brains to Cultures, and links from and forum comments there), provide instructive examples of the successful and productive interaction of diverse entities without "oppression" being an issue. These would be worth exploring in the "social justice" context.

What all these things suggest is that "to come into relationship" does in fact "get somewhere outside of this" (see The "objectivity"/"subjectivity" spectrum and If there can be no single definitive description of reality, nor of beauty, nor of virtue ..., and links from and forum comments there). Where it gets is a place in which 'relationship" extends the inquiry/exploratory capabilities of the interrelated.

Anne Dalke's picture

Expanding our Educational Mission

Alice Lesnick and Alison Cook-Sather initiated a discussion of "expanding our educational mission" by asking each of us to do some "informal thinking on paper" about whose education has traditionally been addressed @ the college. How and why has such a focus been maintained?

The descriptions of Bryn Mawr's educational mission that emerged covered a range, from "reproducing the elite," to "not teaching for job-related learning," to the "mixed messages" both students and faculty get about what limits there are on what they can learn. One respondent suggested that Bryn Mawr had long enacted a "traditional belief in education as producing 'movers and shakers,' a belief that presumed and relied on an assumption about the rest of the world being made up of the 'moved and shaken'--that is, the uneducated."

Counter stories arose from participants' experiences in the Teaching and Learning Initiative, which focuses on "building relationships, honing skills, exploring and giving validity to a variety of talents." A challenge to the concept of elitism was posed: what a "snobbish word," one that might apply to rock stars, but "surely not a word educated people would put on themselves? If you were truly educated, why would you want to set yourself up above others?" Wouldn't you have "a more liberal outlook," a more complicated concept of what you had achieved than the assumption that "because I have an elite education, I am the elite"? (Doesn't that sound like "I have a good t.v., so I am a good person"?)

It was also suggested that "the mission of the college had traditionally been directed to students and their parents, but only "cc'ed to the faculty and alum, and bcc'ed to staff," whose job was to support the mission, not to participate in it directly. Traditionally, classes at Bryn Mawr have been a means to an end (like: being a doctor); they have not focused on community building and reciprocal relationships. "We pretend it's not two-way, when it is." Traditionally, at Bryn Mawr, "life skills is not education."

In light of--and in sharp contrast to--that history, the T&L Initiative has attempted to open the educational mission of the college, addressing more people directly, seeking to grant everybody access to education. Given the mission of the Initiative--to create new spaces where all members can interact as teachers, learners and colleagues; to collaborate and create relationships that move beyond the limitations of our traditional roles; and to link everyone in the college community to educational opportunity and the opportunity to foster it for others--we were asked to write about the risks involved: for faculty, staff, and student participants, for coordinators and facilitators, and for the College as a whole. We thought that everyone, in all these roles, was making themselves vulnerable to change, by exposing themselves to public scrutiny (being revealed as they tried out new things; making "abject" and public" what was usually private). Power dynamics are shaken up and reversed in this new dynamic; we need to learn new forms of communication that are constructive, not destructive, not shutting others down. How to hear what is said?

There was some discussion of how the vocation of education denies faculty space for family and "other life"--so they might feel threatened by an invitation to "teach or learn in an area where they have no certified expertise." How much "space" will we allow members of our newly imagined community? Can we grant that space, without always tracking what others are doing? What different forms might community take? How might we engage in morale-building in a department without (for instance) requiring everyone to attend a common social event outside of working hours?

Other named risks included those of time (how to fit it in? even for faculty, who "have more personal control over their busyness" than staff do?) and the risk of disappointment (the Buddhist understanding of disappointment as a keynote of life, that we need not to be scared of, was evoked). We discussed the dangers of "promising more than you can deliver," and the ways in which the structured relationship of a classroom protects tenured faculty members from "failed promises" (i.e. the assumption that if a student performs poorly, it's her fault)--though this works differently for adjunct faculty members, who are more vulnerable (and so perhaps more responsive?) to student critique. It was suggested, too, that the audience for our mission is often "ghosts": students bring with them into our classes the burden (for instance) of disappointed parents. "Change is risky, but not changing is also risky. If a structure doesn't work, no one knows how to say 'stop!'"

It was suggested that the T&L Initiative represents a challenge to Bryn Mawr's traditional institutional identity, and its institutionalized inequalities. We discussed whether "the real challenge that T&L poses" is asking participants to "give up on their hard won elite status, the assumption that what we have worked for is worth it." It could certainly be "psychologically debilitating" to give up a conviction of one's "inherent eliteness," and assumptions that one has established thereby that one is better than others. It was also suggested that you "can't give that up," that the accomplishments you have already earned are "part of you." The challenge is rather to "humble yourself," to "look outside your personal box at all you are, at the complete person beyond the purely academic." We ended with further musings about how threatening such an invitation might sound to academics, who have spent so much time "becoming focused and specialized in our work that we have foregone any other life."

With the semester's end, our series of discussions about risk-taking also comes to an end. Stay tuned for early 2008, when we hope to sponsor a new sequence of conversations about "looking through different eyes."
Anne Dalke's picture

Exploring Reasons to Risk Uncertainty in the Classroom

In this session, led by Alison Cook-Sather and Alice Lesnick of the bi-college Education Program, we explored together the possibility of connecting everyone at Bryn Mawr and Haverford with the colleges' educational mission.

We began that work by reading an excerpt from "Working the Tensions: Constructing Educational Studies within the Liberal Arts Context," an essay by Alice, Alison and Jody Cohen published in Taking Teaching Seriously: How Liberal Arts Colleges Prepare Teachers to Meet Today's Educational Challenges in Schools. We performed a "read-around," calling out the passages which most struck each of us with regard to risking uncertainty in the class, and so "re-writing the text in the air spontaneously."

We then reflected together on what we noticed. The activity "revealed people" to one another, as each of us took the risk of selecting from the text. Alice and Alison were also taking a risk as teachers: in asking us to make the selections, they were ceding control over what would happen, and inviting us to "co-construct meaning." Our objective was not arriving at the meaning of the text, but rather at the meaning being made among us, by the intersection of our responses. This had, in part, to do with our naming the terms of our own discussion.

We described how different this activity was from a more "goal-oriented class." The whole educational system is generally "set up for success and failure" (it was observed that "coverage at a certain level is always doomed to failure," that when students are exhorted to "be a pump, not a filter," it seldom works). In contrast, this exercise made it difficult to imagine what failure would look like.

But do we agree that the goal of student learning is always transformation? That the activities we design for our classes should be centered on student transformation, rather than some other goal of the teacher? Do we think that experience always leads to transformation?

"Tacking between freedom and structure," deciding "not to abandon their plan in the service of the moment," Alice and Alison then led us into the second exercise of the session: "playing sculptures." Each of us was assigned a role either as sculptor or as clay, and instructed, accordingly, either to design or enact two of the phrases we had noticed in the text: first "failure," then "exploring limitless challenge."


When we gathered again to discuss what had happened, we noted our shared discomfort with such body work; some of us had engaged in "caretaking," by not asking our colleagues to do anything we thought they would find too uncomfortable. We also noted that we would not have done these activities with someone we didn't trust; most of us don't want to be that vulnerable.

But why does enacting ideas physically make us feel so much more vulnerable than exploring them verbally? We all take risks in writing and speaking all the time, so it's not just the "not knowing what might happen." Why do words seem safer? Because they are more familiar? More abstracted? When we write or speak, we are always translating; why is the embodied version of this--the "concrete bodily expression of complicated abstract ideas"--so hard for us to do? Is it because we are "letting out unconscious knowledge"?

It was observed that "most people actually don't communicate well either orally or in writing," that "most effective communication takes place in other ways, through dynamic bodily interactions." The academic world is unusual in the way it valorizes the word; we certainly place an enormous value on the ability to read. (Mention was made, in this context, of McDermott and Varenne's essay on Culture as Disability.) We admitted that, in our shared exercise, all the "sculptors" failed to follow instructions, and "used words."

We then turned to thinking about the ways in which these exercises might be used to model possible classroom interactions. Can we take from these embodied experiences qualities we would like to use in our courses? Are there ways that we might "go beyond the verbal" in the courses we teach? Can we create a forum in which we can name the tension between the verbal and the embodied, and write about it?

It was suggested that the most successful way to create a risk-taking environment in the class is being willing to model it oneself. It was also argued that having a goal--any goal--inhibits risk-taking. The counter-argument was made that "there is only risk if it is about something": as teachers we always have a "place we want people to get to." Is there a way to measure failure in such an environment? Is it failure if the participants do not come out changed?

Might it be useful to distinguish between having an objective and having a goal? In the former case, you are not anticipating an outcome, only transformation. Is all transformation equal? Mightn't there be changes that are not desireable? How about "transformation in the ability to transform" (further)? There is also the issue of the class as a community: what is the group seeking and achieving? What is okay, what hurtful for all the members of the group?

The final question was whether, in order to be successful, the group needs to know what you are doing. There was some disagreement about this, as well as a range of responses about how explicit one needed to be in naming the ways in which this sort of risk-taking teaching diverges from (and so reinforces?) the norm.

Anne Dalke's picture

In risks there are risks

Last Thursday, Marissa Golden described her recent experiment in shifting academic fields, and the questions that have arisen for her in finding new directions for her scholarly work. Our discussion focused on the generalizable dimensions of her tale: what are we doing collectively that might have resulted in--and might now address--the concerns Marissa described? Much of her frustration has centered on her inability to be in dialogue with those who are pursuing the same issues she is. Given the narrowness of each of our disciplines, how hard it is to switch among them, and how necessary, in doing so, to have the support of a network?

Our attention turned to the question of our own internal organization @ Bryn Mawr: which of our policies and practices militate against faculty members exploring outside the narrow fields in which we were hired? How much are we encouraged to be public intellectuals, in conversation with those beyond our own "protected territories"? How important is it that our teaching be tied to the research we are doing? Can we find ways of effectually evaluating new work that might not meet traditional benchmarks for productivity?

Many of us share a discomfort with current forms of academic organization, and its current shared sense of what is valued. Much vibrancy is lost; much more new work could occur, if our attempts to construct new knowledge were better supported. Academic institutions seem narrow because of the ways in which tenure and promotion review is now conducted. We have a model of the intellectual life that assumes that people stay in their fields. We need to create structures that recognize creativity, that acknowledge that people change fields--in both senses: that they shift their disciplinary focus, and that in doing so the fields themselves can usefully be altered. There are risks in taking such risks, and Bryn Mawr might better support them.
Anne Dalke's picture

risk and innovation

At the gathering at which he presented his talk, Paul was introduced as being "among the most annoying people on campus," because his comments are inevitably "ruffing in some dimension." His presentation focused on why--given adverse consequences (being fired, not getting raises)--one might continue the practice of taking risks.

Is it arrogant and solipsistic to insist on being judged by the standards one sets for oneself? Don't we need common, community standards of judgment? Mightn't principles of fairness and equality get in the way of innovation and risk-taking? Mention was made of the annual report, which in reflecting a certain structure of values at the college, a preference for peer-reviewed scholarship of a rather traditional sort, excludes much of worth and interest. Who reads the report? It is its production that matters. What ever happened to the study that was being done of web-based scholarship? Did it "go anywhere"?

Similar financial and psychological disincentives operate to inhibit innovation and risk-taking for students and staff. But how important is it for us to have our work affirmed by the college? Mightn't we be more inner-directed?

This is all very familiar.

It is also everybody's problem: that a uniform definition of achievement reflects the lens of the past, not the problems we will face in the future. The key issue is not fairness or equality, but a recognition that past standards, uniformly applied, inhibit innovation. The logic of relying on past standards is that they will act as predictors for future achievement. If we think that they are poor predictors, what will we replace them with?

Building on Liz McCormack's earlier discussion of hierarchical vs. distributed leadership patterns, Paul proposed a combined model: group standards, never fixed, can be continually renovated in response to group feedback. This model requires a "fuchsia dot," someone positioned to "read" the imput from group members, and able to recognize the patterns articulated by them.

Such a structure, which is flexible and supportive of innovation, offers more than generosity: it enables a system to change, by recognizing, acting to avoid, and correcting known problems. The community can then be governed, not by ideal standards, imposed from above or derived from past practice, but via a continuous involvement of all in the re-definition of shared standards. The answer, in short, to the paired problems of solipsism and hierarchy are
1) to encourage everyone to be their own final judges; and
2) to put into place a structure for continually evolving group standards for shared judgment.

Discussion closed with questions about just how repressive a "new standard of innovation" might be. Isn't there built into this proposal a bias toward an absolute standard, of innovation as a good in itself? The world is not stable and always uncertain; we need positions from which to respond to uncertainty.

Conversation about taking the risk of changing our scholarship will continue on November 8, and will be led by Marissa Golden from the Political Science Department.

Anne Dalke's picture

Brainstorming about flocks and pyramids

I agreed to take notes on the brainstorming that occured when Liz invited us to look @ images of flocks and pyramids. What might Bryn Mawr culture look like, if it were to sponsor risk-taking? How might we connect individual actions, values and behaviors, to create an institutional culture of risk-making? What is the scaleability of risk-taking? How does one move from the individual to the institutional level?

These were the attributes and behaviors that the images of pyramids evoked for us:
stolidity
labor
top down, hierarchical (but this depends on perspective/how you look @ it)
unchanging, static
supported
multi-facted/multi-sided
preserving histories
self-actualization: reaching the top/setting a goal
stubbornness
team work
reliance on the backbreaking labor of others
made of inorganic, non-living stuff
a quilt
distinct, well bounded
identical individual units, not distinguishable
impenetrable
spectacular
monumental
an achievement
a lot of work went into making the pyramids,
but we only see the product, not the process
the pyramids were built to celebrate a life, not the lives of workers
the uniqueness of the creators are not visible
static
unmoveable

What are the connections between the individual and institutional levels in this model?
they are less visible
the institution exists as an assembly of individuals
the structure is only (nothing more, nothing different from)
an ordered assembly of individuals:
the attributes of the structure emerge from the grouping of the individuals,
but the structure is not a copy of the individuals; it is a distinct shape
attributes are tied only to the assembly, not to the individual units,
which are all the same
there are hierarchical distinctions among the parts, but all are needed

there may be lots of flaws among the individuals; none are perfect
if a few blocks were removed? we would call this deferred maintenance

this structure has a formalistic quality
instructions led to the construction of the pyramid:
it had a model, a formal organized intention
it was a priori, a "dictator" model
there is an inherent limit to the plan; it has boundaries,
beyond which it cannot be built

individual self-definitions are highly shaped by where they are in the pyramid
there would be protection of individual positions in the structure
individuality comes from a sense of location, and
those locations are not interchangeable
we don't want the blocks innovating
the shape of the pyramid is not inevitable,
but it would be a monumental task to get everyone to change
one couldn't make every block buy into change, but could make every block make a change

These were the attributes and behaviors that the flocks of starlings evoked for us:
how get emergent behavior from a collective system like this one?
this is an active area of research now:
it doesn't happen just by responding to one's nearest neighbor;
there are long range interactions and sharp boundaries

the attributes and behaviors are
unpredictable and mysterious
the purpose is not apparent; it's puzzling

organic, dynamic, living, changing, responsive
integration of labor and product: no hidden factors
corporate, interdependent
space
no clear hierarchy, no leader (?)
diffuse, bounded, not symmetrical
controlled randomness
variable density

the structure is not symbolic: its coming about it what it is
it is built of a collection of individuals;
like the pyramid, it is only an ordered assembly
the individual is not distinct, as it is in the pyramid;
the loss of individuality is not as evident

it is innovative (?): every moment it takes a different shape
it is a reaction to exterior environment
it's not clear why the direction changes
it can change size without adding or subtracting individuals
what causes the majority of the birds to clump? where are the rebels?

What are the implications of our observations?

What have been our experiences of leadership in each model at BMC?
we might think of this as "steering vs. rowing," a contrast between a leader w/ an a priori plan, who tells others what to do ("form comes first") and an emergent process, responsive to internal motions and external threats (is a leader needed?)

do the different models serve different purposes and roles?
are we describing behaviors (actions, reactions), not people?

the shared point here is simple: all behaviors could occur without design, in the absence of difference among individuals, and without the individuals having conscious objectives

an interactive organization acquires form and behaves "purposefully"
no bird has a sense of collective action
collective behavior is not instantiated in individuals
there is no personified leader, but individual actions lead to group activity
there is a leadership process, without an objective

is there an evolutionary purpose to flocking (defending, feeding)?
do the birds have agency? is this about instinct or free will?
there are consequences for the birds that break formation
all elements are capable of moving, but doing so will increase their vulnerability
there are advantages to being in formation, but the birds, who possess the "agency of belonging," don't have a perception of this
they are not computer cubits: this is an advantage and a disadvantage
the analogy is to individuals who have a stake in the collective outcome
they have freedom, yet there is a collective agreement to respond to danger
compare this structure to BMC's attitude of defense

But there is freedom in being part of the pyramid!
when everything stays as it is,
individuals can rely on the institution to stay in shape
the starlings have to be constantly aware:
this is a burden, not liberation!

individual and institutional innovation are not the same thing
there are advantages in safe spaces
but classrooms are in the service of institution,
which is in competition w/ other institutions
we have to think about our role in the larger structure

Members of the BMC community can't flock, or respond this flexibly to danger
our structure is incredibly flat, not hierarchical, more like an obelisk

a germane question is what accepted practices @ BMC
inhibit individual variation and innovation

there is a predator/prey relation between falcons and birds
the models of pyramids and flocks are the inverse of each other


Liz doesn't have a prefered model;
perhaps attributes from each can be combined
she offered them as comparisons to illustrate how complex it is to
say we "need something different"; somethings need to be preserved

do we prefer distributed leadership?
what about other models?
(an onion? a coach and team? a feedback network?)

Anne Dalke's picture

Some Notes and Keywords: 9/27


Some notes and keywords I jotted down during our discussion on 9/27,
about "creating a culture of risk @ Bryn Mawr":

on being personally risk-averse
on BMC not being a culture of risk
on wanting to make it, instead

  • a culture of generosity

giving freely, in the expectation that
one will be met w/ generosity in return
(not to be confused w/ the conventional self-sacrifice of women...)

  • a culture of trust

this means

  • working against our training: we are so quick to be critical!
  • being forgiving
  • acknowledging that decisions/consequences need not be irrevocable
  • going beyond what we have been trained to be
  • re-thinking the way we measure success:
    how do we know when we have been successful?

in a culture of autonomy, gratitude has been seen as a weakness
scholars are awarded for autonomous work;
when one "earns no points" for professional advantage,
one must beg for generous contributions

what about the problem of involuntary risk-taking?
some people make the decisions, and others must be brought along

ours has been a fear-driven culture:
one that allows no mistakes and gives no apologies
"but the ice is melting under our feet"

with little supervision or monitoring in the classroom,
faculty occupy a place without visibility (or consequences?),
while the work of staff is publicly accountable

what are our expectations in the classroom:
to perform and succeed?
or a commitment to change (and so being wrong?)

ours has been a culture of smugness and stagnation

there is a deep investment in the stability of our arrangements here

it's like "building a house on quicksand":

how do we institutionalize pilot programs,
and make experiments perpetual?

some of us represent "sub-corporations,"
legally independent of other parts of the College

might we abandon the use of "institution" and "administration"
(as "rocks," cultural relations, or categories that can be blamed for what happens) and work instead with other individuals?

how can we make personal innovation an institutional priority?
can we construct some institutional arrangements that will
encourage risk-taking, that are committed to the goal of innovation?


what practices at BMC stifle risk-taking (without intending to)?
for example: evaluating professional achievement in three fixed categories, of scholarship, teaching and service encourages seeing them as conflicting activities

this is a paradoxical place, combining ancestor worship with amnesia
we have never talked about coming to terms with our historical mis-steps
we can't talk about the present until we talk about what has been

we need a change in leadership style: more honesty, more discussion,
a willingness to concede, an obligation to explain

"private deals are an offence to equity"
they presume "ancient forms of privilege" that need to be changed

can we commit to trusting one another?
can we commit to continuing this conversation together?

Anne Dalke's picture

risk: relative to the person taking it

When we talked about risk-taking on campus last Thursday, there was a range of reactions to the idea of accepting the inevitability of random disaster in this life--some of us thought it a sort of sheer resignation, to be resisted; others the better part of a sort of Buddhist acceptance of things as they are. There's a similar spectrum laid out in a piece in today's NYTimes Week in Review,
"When the Limits Push Back," which compares the deep psychic need for "heroic transformation," the "hope of purification," with "the lesson that is really needed: self-acceptance."
Ron C. de Weijze's picture

Leave that swan

When all you want is to get it less wrong, you might as well follow the
conventional route and simply state your claim; there will undoubtedly
come along somebody challenging it from his pov. And this can go on
forever, much like a transforming story. Difference is: people
defending their pov are accountable for what they say, much more for
what they learn others. Others even trusting them!!

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