Thursday, June 01, 2006

thinking out loud

It's so alien to me that people think that you have to say something, or write something, and that's your Position. That's what you think, that's the end point, like the happily ever after at the end of a fairy tale of a process of inner reasoning. Then other people can argue with the Position, which represents you-ness at a point in time, but also is out there forever to be argued with. How peculiar to demand that people's thought should remain static and definite. It seems more normal to me to start conversations as a point of departure and to keep participating in them to evolve thought. Life, and thinking, would be pretty boring if it were all in my head. If I didn't need conversation to think with, I'd never have to say anything - I'd be an incarnation of the Buddha, and even most Buddhas talked out loud.

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laura quilter said...

i wonder if these are modern conventions of conversation that are informed by exposure to formal "Debate" in high school. you must take a position & consistently & formally defend it thru-out the conversation.

in writing, i wonder again, what written forms does this relate to? it feels very hard, and of a particular time period -- say, victorian up to postmodern. but would it be different if we looked at scholarly conversations in letters from the 17th-18th century? were those treated more as conversations, since there was less exposure to printed / pubished arguments? ... it seems that, as printing got started, and more people began using the tools for different types of communication, that rigid distinctions began to come up: objectivity, opinion, etc. did those distinctions exist in such rigid forms BEFORE printing presses?

would be interesting to compare a) literatures & modes of discourse & expectations of objectivity/opinion/etc. in different cultures when new communications technologies hit (printing press, very static; phones, very conversational; internet, hybrid); and b) same across different subjects, e.g., scientific writing; political writing; etc.

C. M. Mayo said...

so true... ommmmm off to yoga... glad you're posting again, Liz!