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You might think, Oh no, she’s still at it!

You’d be right. I can’t seem to get out all that seems to be in it and around it. IT being the “Rule”–or, if mental-affective flows are [become, at some point in time] the proper subject of physics/natural science–the “Law” (of Reciprocity).

I was thinking about formalizing it as a Law of Humanity, so experimented with some logical notation:

do (x) = would-want (x, S) | S = be-done-to (x, y)

where x = I, you, s/he… they
S = sentence, proposition, subordinate clause this this case
y = anyone/anything other than x

So a COROLLARY (in a more general sense rather than in the strict sense of math/Peircean logic) to the Golden Rhyming Rule popped up:

As I/you…they


so will I/you…they

be done



do (x) = will-be (x, S) | S = be-done-to (x, y)

Doesn’t it look like intending/acting, analogous to what physics tells us about the indestructibility/changeability of Energy, may in fact be undergoing transformations, but not disappearing?

do (x, y) = be done to (x, y-or-z) 


do (x, y) <=> be done to (x, y-or-z)

In the colloquial idiom, “What goes around, comes around”.


What if one of E or m corresponds to “doing” and the other “being done to” – in the sense of an organism interacting with its environment – per e.g. Gregory Bateson’s proposed unit of evolutionary survival = organism + environment, or per  John Dewey (1916) before him?

My other pres at Congress2012, in a different ecosonic venue:

This one had a lot of nodding heads in the audience (likely students and post-docs), and ended in smiles and applause. Special thanks here are due to one of 2 anonymous reviewers of the initially submitted abstract, who by the read of it, indignantly pointed out that Kathleen Fitzpatrick had been doing work on open reviewing for quite sometime, and had not been mentioned–which is how I found out about her at all. It was also reassuring that that version got lowest grades on “originality,” meaning that academia IS already thinking re Open Reviewing, which is what I had not known from where I had been all these years.

So in the revised version (below) I threw in more references, including K.F., of course, and my special angle on the subject, educating grad students in that mode of academic publishing. NOT JUST “class blogs,” which are worlds away from peer review-level publishing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t this an obvious way for academics to contribute to how wikipedia-type knowledge is being created in the wide-n-wild world (www) out there, in however minimal a way??? By educating students in epistemological collaboration, before unleashing them on the world?

Launched in 2007, the research presented in this paper is part of the “open” movements in academia, as theorised by a number of authors (John Willinsky 2006, Christine Borgman 2007, Kathleen Fitzpatrick 2009/2011, a.o.). Its evolution is traced through observations and pilot studies, conducted in graduate course settings and the online journal environment (cf. Alexandrova 2009, 2010, 2011). Since publishing is the spell-out of what academia does and is, it requires priority attention. For the “price” of a thorough makeover, the open review e-publishing model being developed can make a substantial contribution toward optimizing the epistemic sustainability of the university, and graduate particular. The question is, Why pay the price? Assuming that graduate programs are expressly invested in educating for society`s conceptual leadership, their projected impact on academia and society at large can be treated as return on the investment of creative thought, time, funding, and … expectations.

While the philosophy behind the project has a lot in common with Fitzpatrick`s open peer review vision, for example, its research value lies in representing specifically the perspective of graduate students as academics-in-the-making, as well as generalizing to academia as a whole, and even looking to applications beyond it. If the desired change in academic practices and worldview is to take effect, it is crucial to address both clauses of the university`s dual research/education mandate. Future academics should be incorporated into the process, organically and substantively, just as the (self- and mutual) life-long education of faculty themselves should be supported, productively and strategically.

The envisioned “educative publishing” involves knowledge co-creation in an online wiki-type environment. It relies on shared epistemic responsibility (an extension of Code 2006) and self-governance (cf. Bateson’s self-correcting complex systems). Quality assurance is by “open review” (OR), where participating authors are each other’s commentators. A working papers e-journal issue illustrates the students-only format, and a conference proceedings e-book the faculty-and-students mixed format. The OR model, tested in the pilot studies above, offers 1) a highly productive mode of knowledge co-creation and quality assurance through mutual epistemic “scaffolding” for current and future faculty, and 2) a proper “translation” from print to internet publishing, replacing exclusionary, (double-) blind peer review with interactive, “seeing” forum review. By employing net-native knowledge-making modes it simultaneously speaks the language of younger generations and rewards earlier generations with the mitigation of some well researched flaws of traditional reviewing (Godlee 2000, Lamont 2009).

In conclusion, the proposed educative OR publishing model enriches the research epistemologies and networks of both junior and senior academics. It transforms academic publishing from selection-based to learning-oriented, honing abilities that can serve well in and beyond academic contexts. In effect, it “generalizes” education both vertically, from student to professor, and laterally, from academic to web user, simultaneously flattening hierarchical structures and replacing one-way with interactive communication and evaluation. The expectation is that OR-type quality assurance has as much chance of making a difference in academia as wikipedia and open source have done in the public domain, despite initial predictions of failure. Recognizing some real drawbacks, e.g. in the shape of institutional and curricular conservatism, academic scepticism, fluctuating motivation and aptitude/preparedness (see Guédon and Siemens 2002, Fitzpatrick 2009, a.o.), the bottom line is that, if one extrapolates from the conducted pilot studies, the proposed radical change in knowledge making and validation promises to pay off.

Given the projected upgrade of epistemic sustainability supported by publishing web design which can be professionally or socially constructed (see Feenberg 2002), academia is presented with a choice between actively contributing to the currency and quality of (non)academic knowledge production and standing back as an “objective” analyst of the latest “viral” web developments. Shouldn’t the advocated makeover generate—on an academia-wide scale—an agenda for action rather than a dilemma?


Alexandrova, Lynne (2011) Online Publishing, Academic Listening, and Epistemological Sustainability. Presentation at CSSHE, Congress 2011. Related poster: Enacting Online Interaction: The Open Review Format.
———- (2010) Turning the Tables on Epistemological Disconnect and Axiological Paradox: A Mindmap for Graduate Education Programs. Poster at the Annual CSSHE Conference, Congress’10, Montreal, Quebec, May 29-31, 2010.
———- (2009) Graduate2B, Shall We Online-Ride Beyond the Grade? A Case for Educational Publishing. Presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Communication Association, Congress’09, Ottawa, May 30, 2009.

Bateson, Gregory (2000 [1972]) Steps to an Ecology of Mind. With a new foreword by Mary Catherine Bateson. Chicago & London: The University of Chicago Press.

Borgman, Christine L. (2007) Scholarship in the Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Code, Lorraine (2006) Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Feenberg, Andrew (2002)Transforming Technology: A Critical Theory Revisited. New York : Oxford University Press, 2002.

Fitzpatrick, Kathleen (2009) Planned Obsolescence: Publishing, Technology, and the Future of the Academy . Open review URL <> Published in print by NYU Press, November 2011.

Godlee, Fiona. (2000) “The Ethics of Peer Review.” Ethical Issues in Biomedical Publication. Ed. Anne Hudson Jones and Faith McLellan. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000. 59-84.

Guédon, Jean-Claude and Raymond Siemens (2002) “The Credibility of Electronic Publishing: Peer Review and Imprint” TEXT Technology 11.1 (2002): 17-35.

Lamont, Michèle (2009) How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment Cambridge, Masss: Harvard University Press..

Willinsky, John (2006) The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

Another, very true WP comment. Well, now that there’s online, “paper work” need not trouble us writers as much.

I love being a writer. What I can’t stand is the paperwork.
Peter De Vries

This year Congress was held in Waterloo. The abstract for 1 of my pres’s, on a familiar walk-in-beauty ecosonic topic below. Well received. Had a good talk with Ana Ramos, a co-panelist, after the end of the session. If you’re looking for her, you may find her sur les traces du virtuel... [in the footsteps of/tracking/in pursuit of the virtual]
You may remember previous ES posts on the cultural aspect: here, here, and here. In the last one you can read the quotes from teachings/religions from around the world that I had with me on a pretty poster, and dropped somewhere on my way to the pres. (: So, thanks to ES, I could at least show the quotes to the captive audience.

This paper explores conceptualizations throughout human history which pre-sage today’s notions associated with what has been theorized as “holism,” (Shiva 2010) “systems view of the world” (Laszlo 1996), “ecological thinking” (Code 2006). The “ecological view” adopted as the umbrella term, is treated as involving human relatedness to self, other, all existence. The thesis is advanced that said view has consistently marked didactic, cultural, philosophical and religious thought, exemplifying valuable knowledge (guiding human thinking-being-acting) which has yet to find its proper implementation.

In support of that thesis, the analysis reviews the rich array of epistemologies-spiritualities in the text-and-photography anthologies of T.C. McLuhan (1996, 1994), which open up a panoramic view from antiquity to the present. To those are added the anthropological studies of Bateson and Mead (1936, 1942), Peshkin (1997 & elsewhere), a.o. All of these point to modes of relatedness different than that of the mainstream “developed Western world,” which has only recently started to appreciate the vital importance of ecological relatedness.

The cross-cultural data are attuned to philosopher Vokey’s (2001) “moral discourse in a pluralistic world” thesis and psychologist Haidt’s (1999) “happiness hypothesis,” both of which in effect involve integration into multilayered ecologies. The provisional conclusion is that to actualize said integration, humanity would have to tap into “ecological” imaginaries, combining multicultural traditions and new knowledge. To the extent that the desired shift corresponds with conscious action, it would have to figure prominently on the agenda of multidisciplinary theory in order to help organize local/global practice. The paper concludes with implications for media and education.


* “May you walk in beauty!” is a standard Navajo greeting. It is also conjugated in prayers.



Bateson, Gregory and Margaret Mead (1942) Balinese Character: A Photographic Analysis. NY: New York Academy of Sciences.

Bateson, Gregory (1958 [1936]) Naven: A Survey of the Problems suggested by a Composite Picture of the Culture of a New Guinea Tribe drawn from Three Points of View. Stanford University Press.

Code, Lorraine (2006) Ecological Thinking: The Politics of Epistemic Location. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Haidt, Jonathan (2006) The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom: Why the Meaningful Life Is Closer Than You Think. Basic Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition.

Laszlo, Ervin (1996) The Systems View of the World: A Holistic Vision for Our Time. Second edition. In the series “Advances in Systems Theory, Complexity, and the Human Sciences.” Hampton Press.

McLuhan, T.C. (1996) Cathedrals of the Spirit: The Message of Sacred Places. Toronto, Canada: HarperPerennial, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd.

McLuhan, T.C. (1994) The Way of the Earth: Encounters with Nature in Ancient and Contemporary Thought. New York, N.Y.: Simon & Schuster.

Peshkin, Alan [Buddy] (1997). Places of Memory: Whiteman’s Schools and Native American Communities.Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Vandana, Shiva (2010) Staying Alive: Women, Ecology, and Development. South End Press.

Vokey, Daniel (2001) Moral Discourse in a Pluralistic World. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

WP’s comment, yet again quite appropriate:
I try to leave out the parts that people skip.
Elmore Leonard


July 2020


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