Reflections on Class Discussion about Representation

I really need to do my reflecting sooner after the actual discussion. At first, I thought that I would need some time to let my thoughts marinade a little bit. The truth ends up being, however, that other things push out the ideas that I thought were so poignant at the time. Maybe I really do need to get a small computer so that I can just swiftly “jot” down thoughts as I have them during the course of the conversation.

So, here’s all the reflection that I can still see in my mind’s eye. First, I love all conversations about representation. I love the malleability of systems of communication and I love communication theory. It’s weird because I’m pretty sure I’d be bored out of my skull in any class named “communication theory.” I’ve always been fascinated, however, by the difficulties and idiosyncrasies that are part of language and other types of representation. In our class discussion, it amazes me the breadth of knowledge that my classmates bring to the table, especially those that have some type of philosophy background. It also amazes me the number of people on the other end of the spectrum who are so entrenched in the “concreteness” of representation systems, like somehow writing is because it’s always been and that table is a table because it’s a table. It saddens me that some people are afraid to ask “why?” but then I’m heartened by those people who demand to figure out what makes it all tick. Of course, we won’t ever figure it out completely, but I think that’s part of the joy…knowing that it’s a puzzle so beautiful and rich that we continually get to put it together and see new aspects…but never the whole. Of course, we do tend to guess at the whole. Silly. But maybe that’s part of the joy, too.

Back to the class discussion, I LOVED the part about the domains and systematic correspondence. Actually, I had a bit of an ah-hah moment when reading about schemata…because because that and the discussion about representation, it feels like something is gelling in my mind…not sure what, but it seems like it’s going to be cool when I figure it out. Anyway, I thought that part of the conversation was really applicable to understanding how we try to communicate what’s inside our heads and in our surroundings to “the other.” I never thought I’d use “the other” in any class other than that sociology class I mistakenly took in undergrad. Silly me.

What a disjointed post. The whole thing hasn’t quite gelled yet, but it’s getting there. Something will tie it together, at least partially.

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One thought on “Reflections on Class Discussion about Representation

  1. Josh says:

    Some good thoughts here. Yes, it is good to do reflecting soon after the session so you can remember. At the same time, you did put together some interesting ideas. You may want to throw in some examples from your life that illustrate what you’re talking about. Tell some stories.

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