Newtonion Sketch Club iPad Art

I’ve been thinking about Newton’s 3rd law of physics, that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction, a law that apparently can be broken, “in certain nonequilibrium (out-of-balance) situations.”

Hey, I think we’re in one of those situations.

click on image to enlarge

Transubstantiation & Optical Delusion

Once in a while I can’t help seeing our current excremental political situation from the standpoint of the opposition. For example, just yesterday I saw a tweet with a link to an actual story about how American evangelicals could overlook this so-called president’s sexual relations with a porn star because he was subsequently ordained by “God” to become POTUS. How could the views be so different?

What explains the perceptual and conceptual polarization? I came up with the following explanation, a variation on an earlier explanation.

The earlier explanation:

Words escape me.


shit storm

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BEHIND THE SCENES: For weeks now, an evasive idea has been trying to form itself on my cognitive drawing board, having to do with depictions of absurd, segregated services reserved for conservatives or liberals. At first I thought of separate traffic lights at any given intersection, one set of red lights for the conservatives and another for the liberals. Then I realized how unlikely it would be, in such an imagined reality, that conservatives and liberals would even share the same roads. If nothing else, there would have to be fancy toll roads for conservatives only and old, beat up, public roads for the liberals. So I scratched that.

Then notions of segregated meteorological services for conservatives and liberals began appearing on my internal drawing board. I imagined a conservative weatherperson standing in the pouring rain with a mic in one hand and an umbrella in the other outlining the counter factuals: sunny, low humidity, time for a picnic. You know, “fake weather.” But then a staff researcher found the YouTube video below, published way back in 2012. Damn it! That’s when I decided to go with the simple shit storm forecast.

Up For Grabs

I thought I’d call this “conceptual relativity,” but then I settled on “the relativity of eligibility” to highlight one of the sociological consequences of marginalization and polarization.

The Death of Expertise.

Click on image to enlarge

Click on image to enlarge

Procreate, iColorama, Apple Pencil, iPad Pro

Vacillation Over Time

Vacillation Over Time

Sketch Club

A few days ago I posted a drawing of a road sign that depicted, in theory, “four possible routes,” one of which is indicated as “temporarily closed.” In that post I referenced a paper by George Spindler that I think helps to explain these “four alternatives.” By all means feel free to check out that reference to see how Spindler applies this typology to what happens when prospective teachers undergo teacher education, how they integrate exposure to countervailing approaches to teaching and learning, and what effect that heterodoxy has on their teaching styles once in the classroom with real students. What’s stuck with me ever since I was first introduced to Spindler’s framework in the early 1980s as a grad student in anthropology, besides its timeless applicability in terms of teacher education, is its essential typological power and generalizability, especially in the polarized context of our current political discourse.

To shorten this a bit, I’ll pose a question. How many sides are there to the story? Two right? Two because you’re either right or wrong, right? Two because there’s good and bad, black and white, up and down, in and out, and so on, right? Well, you guessed it; not so fast, right? Right.

Spindler’s typology, while its used in a purely inconspicuous and instrumental fashion, helps us see that there are perhaps more than two sides to the story, as it were. And here’s the thing. There aren’t just three sides either, you know, that side that magically emerges whenever you look at both sides of the story…in what some might call a fair and balanced approach. No, no magic here, even though that’s heading in the right direction. Why? Because it’s very possible and even more tempting to look at two sides (or more) in an unfair and imbalanced way. In Spindler’s typology those who incompetently, unfairly, and inconsistently look at both sides of the story are identified as Vacillators. So now there are at least three ways to get carried away by the story: (See Temporarily Closed)

1. Exaggeratedly right-leaning (i.e., crazy from the get go coming from the Right). Derived from Spindler’s Reaffirmative Traditionalist,
2. Exaggeratedly left-leaning (i.e., crazy from the get go coming from the Left). Derived from Spindler’s Compensatory Emergentist, and
3. Incompetently and inconsistently both right-ish and/or left-ish leaning (i.e., even crazier coming at times from both sides without even knowing it). Derived from Spindler’s Vacillator, the most dangerous and destructive orientation.

Now, there is a fourth side that Spindler calls the Adjusted. This orientation requires the most cultural, communicative, and interactive competence. My aim is to identify myself as an Adjusted, but in all honesty, I admit that I’m not always successful.

Where do you see yourself?


Global Hairsplitting

I looked through some internet comments again… global hairsplitting

Paper 53

On Mitote No: Countervailing Language Avalanches

Without some sort of tranquilizing intervention, our inner dialogue will mimic the outer dialogue around us; after all, that’s how we acquire language in the first place and “develop” it subsequently. I see this too as related to mitote, which we’ve explored elsewhere here at
There’s inner mitote, and there’s outer mitote. We’re up to our ears in mitote. Look at what happens metastatically within the comments section on many posts, the countervailing avalanches of polarized opinions mistaken for fact.
What triggers them? How do we tame them? How do we work through them? How do we work around them?