CONVERSATION – a few thoughts


    I use the plural, as it is the dynamic web of conversations that it most significant, not each message or specific threads of messages exchanges.I thank Alex for recommending me to Helene, who invited my to this group. AI must be a work on the display of members, as I am familiar with all those at the top of the list and those at the bottom I have yet to engage.

    I skimmed down the discussions, getting a sense of the discourse, and eventually encountered Neelesh Marik not only  creating a link to my The Spanda Journal chapter, but quoted a part that is core: “Hence the need of a bootstrapping, self-organizing process, neither top-down nor bottom-up, of OLLO (Organizing for Learning & = Learning for Organizing)”, and started by highlighting the distinction between ignorance (as a form of knowledge) and “accepted knowledge”. Thank you Neelesh!

    The comments thread to that Academia version of my chapter has ended. While much of the comment dialog was interesting, it seldom related to the content of my chapter. Others used my paper to post topics of their interest and drew dialog from others – and I participated. Unfortunately, this is typical behavior in comment threads. I have republished my chapter in QuickDoc, where others can comment on individual small parts of the doc, and can dialog with each other about that small part.  I have yet to promote this app and doc as a learning expedition.  If enough participate in detailed analysis and queries about the content of this doc, I will initiate the learning expedition.

    When did this Public Group, CONVERSATION, commence?  It appears quite young.

    I see John Kellden may be the most prolific contributor, and am quite intrigued by his Sceenius website, which I intend to join.  There may be a serendipity involved: in the hour before exploring this Facebook group, CONVERSATION, I spent over $400 ordering two apps from TechSmith: Snagit and Camtasia Studio, with a 30% cybermonday discount. I had used Snagit for many years, but left it behind as my computer system went through multiple transformations. I have dreamed of using Camtasia Studio for over a decade. These tools permit me to create dynamic semiotic structures that would fit well into Sceenius. More on this later.

    I want to publicly apologize to John. Some while back, when I was just joining this domain of discourse (maybe with TheNextEdge, or Venessa’s emergent-by-design), I began to receive a great number of items in my email inbox from John. They were interesting, but for some reason I asked him not to load my inbox. I now believe that these were just the first of what I now receive informing me of new posts in FaceBook from persons I once indicated to receive. I believe my stupidity at that time cut me off from a very valuable contact and person. John, I apologize.

    I could “jump in” and comment on any of the posts. I have never encountered a post that I didn’t have a comment, many-many-many I must resist. I can find INTEREST in ANYTHING.  Composing and publishing posts and participating in comment threads to the posts of others has been my primary “practice” for decades. Unfortunately, my websites and blogs don’t attract others; and when I do url links to them in my output, I seldom (really never) get responses (in my blog).
    I am very long winded. In the 1980s I was asked to leave computer “forums” because of the length of my entries. Then, it was important to emulate the conversational mode in online dialog/communication/exchange. Studies actually showed that the style of online exchange was “conversational”.

    I am composing this offline, and will probably post it in my blog and include a url in the FaceBook group. To me, as essential as communication is, it can become a trap if that is all we can do, converse. I propose that we explore the hypothesis that our current internet system makes it very difficult for us to do what we need to do – and part of this is a scaffolding that limits us to only conversation.



12/3/2015 Since titling this section a few days ago, my participation in this group has resulted in what I would classify as “conversation”. Strangely, to me, I seem unable to comprehend the messages by Eleni and Esteban. I will comment on this elsewhere.  I still claim that “conversation” is not the primary mode of interaction in social media.

FROM EARLIER: As to my meaning for “conversation”, it occurs primarily in the threads accompanying each post.  And these usually include only a few comments, which are seldom a dialog. Sometimes a sequence of posts are linked, as the posting systems is used as a chat. Some of these sequential posts/chats can become quite involved and personal – I wonder how many of these are read by others. Sems (semiotic structures – messages) are POSTED, sometimes viewed/read/studied, and occasionally responded to. This is not limited to this CONVERSATION site, but to almost all attempted discourse online.

There are many exceptions. I have participated in true dialog online that involved tens to nearly hundreds of items. But, they eventually end AND ARE TOTALLY FORGOTTEN!

NOTHING ACCUMULATES/INTEGRATES/WEAVES – we don’t even have a good term for what we need.

Every sem is dumped into a disorganized archive, to be searched.
There are a few links, but these remain “local” – they don’t lead to an “organized gathering” to be secondarily processed. There are reference systems, from pre online times, and a great amount of organization of knowledge does occur – WHEN IT IS NEEDED, and it takes considerable effort. But, the vast majority of online interaction is never organized for access.

In the 1980s some forums had moderators. They weren’t police wo/men as trolls were rare; rather, they actually edited the forum to make it a more useful medium for new members. They could create a guide for the emerging forum. I haven’t heard of any recent research projects to map out the emergent styles of online postings and their  scaffolding and/or “packaging”; and as to different languages and cultures.
No significant social/societal “structures” are “emerging” from social media. The facilitating platforms (email, Google, Facebook,  etc.) are a kind of “structure”, that channels interactivity into constrained patterns. This blocks, not only constrains, augmented learning/organizing.

Cyberspace has been around long enough for some viable social/societal “self-organizing” to have occurred. Yet, we don’t even notice its absence. Have we been seduced to the excitement of being able to perform our creativity and intelligence to receptive audiences? {I sense, now, an allegiance with Sherry Turkle.}

In 2009 I attempted to compose a “poem” Jabber, Jabber, Jabber to express my feeling of being trapped in a Conversation-Only-Machine.

AGAIN, I have nothing against “, conversation” – as it is the foundation of a humane social reality. Lecturing, ordering, berating are not “conversation”; but related – in that they are F2F and interpersonal. A key feature in what I label as “conversation” is the mutual en-training of the mind/brains of those in conversation. With training and commitment, I believe this can be approximated asynchronously.

Before writing, conversation was ephemeral – depending only on personal memories. I feel it hasn’t improved much today (except in the case of Clinton’s emails!)  Yet, a virtually infinitesimal amount of F2F verbal conversation is recorded. Big Data may be storing recorded online conversations, yet only specifically targeted conversations will ever surface. Sociological research into Big Data is another matter.

For a long period I worked on the belief that RECORDED QUALITY CONVERSATIONS of (1) an expert giving quality instruction to a learner, and (2) two persons exploring verbally a mutually challenging idea – would be important. Edited sequences of such conversations would be key components of educational materials – at least having equivalent contribution to learning as lectures and textbooks.

Over the decades I experimented with recording on audio cassettes (many hundreds) and VHS video (~20). I NEVER listened to or viewed any of them. Processing requires TIME and teams, which I never was able to organize.

The INTERVIEW is a special mode of conversation. I wish to create a set of INTERVIEWS OF NUET.


I will reserve this topic for other postings. We need “woven”, “integrated”, different styles of interactivity occurring over overlapping time frames and levels.

In analogy, our emergent cyberspace patterns-within-patterns of interactivity may need to emulate equivalent patterns in the human brain. Past efforts towards creating a Global or World Brain are but crude approximations of what we need – which I won’t attempt to provide.

Author: nuet

01/24/1935. BS-physics RPI 1956; MS-physics UofChicago 1958; PhD-physics Yale 1965; PhD-Edu Psy Uof MInnesota 1970. Auroral Research Byrd Station, Antarctica 11/1960-02/1962. MINNEMAST curriculum dev 1964-68. Woodstock. faculty Pima Community College, Tucson 1974-1997. Transdisciplinary scientist, philosopher, educator, futurist, activist. PC user since 1982. "Wife". daughter, 2 grandsons. 5 dogs & 7 cats. Lacks mental imagery in all sensory domains.

Trudy Martinez
Trudy Martinez

Hey, Larry. This will be my first attempt to try a comment outside of Facebook. I truly enjoy what I have seen of your writings so far! Hope to read more !


@Trudy Martinez Trudy, Thank you for responding. I hope my slowness to reply doesn't discourage you from commenting outside of Facebook.  I appear not to be getting announcements of replies and I get so few that I often don't look - now almost two months.

I am pleased that you find interest in my ideas and would be pleased to dialog with you about them, or reply to some of your ideas. You can reply here - I hope you receive this, or by email to .
  I don't have your email.