I live in fear of ever meeting my favourite writer, I might not live up to her expectation.
And she might not live up to mine, but i am in phd writer love.
I cannot forget the moment as a phd student when my mouth fell open at reading an academic journal from 1988 that said "And like the god trick, this eye f#cks the world of masculinist extra-terrestrial projects for excremental second birthing.
(Haraway, D. (1988). Situated knowledges: The science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. Feminist Studies 14(3), 575-599. p581)
And now i find this same author cited on twitter and I just had to go chasing down another rabbit hole to find the article that referred to "not some kind of techno-bunny bliss".
Ahhh the eloquence, fluffy dolphin syndrome has nothing on techno-bunny bliss.
And now I have a rebuttal to Latour's thinly veiled reference to Haraway
with "Bruno Latour’s complaint about the stupidity of critical theorists is just doing critique once again."
Nonetheless she also states:
Bruno and I are in relentless alignment, even as we give each other indigestion about some of the ways we do it. I think we love each other’s work because that is what matters.
(To think of the world through connections)
And some more clarity on why a perspectives or relativistic position is not being argued in my thesis:
This is not a relativist position. This is not about things being merely constructed in a relative sense. This is about those objects that we non-optionally are. Our systems are probabilistic information entities. It is not that this is the only thing that we or anyone else is. It is not an exhaustive description but it is a non-optional constitution of objects, of knowledge in operation. It is not about having an implant, it is not about liking it. This is not some kind of blissed-out techno- bunny joy in information. It is a statement that we had better get it – this is a worlding operation. Never the only worlding operation going on, but one that we had better inhabit as more than a victim. We had better get it that domination is not the only thing going on here. We had better get it that this is a zone where we had better be the movers and the shakers, or we will be just victims.
And a final note:
"women thinkers are made to seem derivative of male philosophers, who are often their contemporaries – made to be derivative and the same, when we are neither."
I found the article i wanted and more,
Nicholas Gane, interview with Donna Haraway.
Gane, N. (2006). When we have never been human, what is to be done?: Interview with Donna Haraway. Theory, Culture, Society., 23, 135-158.
many thanks to @bonstewart on twitter for providing the retweet that got me t/here.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
I live in fear of ever meeting my favourite writer, I might not live up to her expectation.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Ok so its its not so much watching me as telling mobile network operators where its been to....
Posted by ailsa at 8:48 AM
The writing retreat I am on had a small exercise i thought i would share because it prompted some unusual thinking for me about my thesis.
Here's the exercise as shared by Gilly Bolton to Barbara Grant,
(And it starts a lot like a Youthline feedback exercise i use in personal development groups so dont know why i had never applied it to my work in progress, but there you go- it takes intersections with others sometimes to see things can be done differently)
If your thesis was a colour what colour would it be?
If your thesis was a piece of fruit what fruit would it be?
If your thesis was a piece of music what music would it be?
Share it with a friend, you might also say why.
Then write a 15 minute letter to a novice, or a researcher switching to your field as to what your piece of writing is about and why it is hugely important.
Then 10 minutes, imagine and write what you think that novice would say back to you.
What i got out of this:
I thought my thesis was blue and changed my mind: it was more vibrant than that. So its purple. Not in the sense that chaos is purple, and regalness never crossed my mind. Just that it is not cool, its vibrant, but its also easy going so there is no red yellow or orange there.
Fruit, was a strawberry because of the tang, but then i dropped this for a passionfruit, multiple bits going onn inside.
The music i had always thought would be a symphony. But its not.
Its Mike Oldfields Tubular Bells , 1981 ish so feels a little dated, (not my thesis, just the music) But what Tubular bells does is a controlled demonstration of multiple instruments, these instruments do not come into the network but can be discerned as they enter and their interactions are formed in association. Its not totally like an actor-network as the instruments themselves exit again unaltered, but what i want to convey is the music of two instruments or more is different to any of these individually. In terms of the thesis, it is about not being able to replicate the whole symphony, but to have a controlled entry through the writer that discerns just what is being shaped, identifying the traces.
The other exercise was a surprise- i received back a succinct understanding on how come ANT doesnt do perspectives but is about multiple realities....a bit coloured by the previous exercise but in tubular bells the instruments and their activities are all positioned, the bell doesnt have a perspective on me, it doesnt know i exist, the triangles, or whatever do nor have a perspective on the bells.... what they hold is position and they act from this in their own reality, and our realities differ, our hinterlands differ, our possibilities differ, what we enact differs. Our relaities sometimes interact, sometimes align and sometimes collide, but this is not usually noticed untill we discover contradictions and contestations.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
a twittering gone viral pencilchat#
Allegory provokes layered meanings. In this playfully rendered lolcat, a juxtaposition of imagery occurs with txtspk. The disjunction between what is written and the image portrayed allows for multiple meanings to be entertained, and for alternate realities to be glimpsed.
The use of meme invokes a language of puns requiring a second thought forcing the reader beyond the obvious.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
John Dron 23 November in Change11 mooc
What are technologies anyway?
Dron starts with eg of screwdriver or is it a paint-tin opener, or a stirrer or a backscratcher…its not a single technology
We have a tendency to think of it as one thing, but really its many; there are
an infinite number of possible ways it can be used
This is a very ANT (actor-network theory) conversation. To consider that we and they (others including things) are made in association. And reminds me of Latour talking about what a gun is; a weapon or an item of beauty to a collector.
As well as reminding me of Simone de Beauvoir and Judith Butler on what makes a woman...
And then he put a thought provoking question forward:
Do people learn better with screwdrivers or without them?
This is a nice way to introduce the implausability of the common question:
do students learn better with pencils, elearning, classroom, moocs….
And I would suggest a better ANt like question, what happens when these approaches are used rather than the dichotomies of good or bad.
There are limits though
More than one less than many as Annmarie mol would have said
Further definition of technology is useful in considering therefore the orchestration of phenomena for particular use,
It becomes different technology when used for different things
Its about organizing things in the world.
A soft technology, many have had this idea, but how and why a thhing is used a particular way and the limits on possibility, that is, the orchestration of a phenomenon
Pedagogies as technologies
Multiple blurred and overlapping meanings
Technologies don’t have to be embodied in the thing, but the ways in which we use it, organized, a thing that is in our heads
Very ant like again; for we are shaped and shaping in association. Akrich would have talked of this in terms of what is inscribed into an object
Soft is enacted
Hard technology is in bits bytes atoms physical stuff
Not embodied is an important aspect
Latourian take on this is that we are all socio-technical hybrids and Donna Haraway would have us named Cyborg, but Dron doesnt go this far.
We implemented this and they learned better as a result
But its really about an orchestration of things
Not that online better than face to face, its just the way it is done
All technological assemblies constituted in relation to other things around them. Eg a computer keyboard as a particular bunch of things in order to get some result
Soft technologies an active orchestration by individual people, something without meaning until we start using them. Knitting needles no purpose untill applied.
Now there's a technology that has many uses licit and otherwise, ....but would also have been interesting to consider technologies as more immersed with us and us in them...I am reminded of Sherry Turkle's evocative objects, things we think with.
In contrast knitting machines are hard, the usability constrained, embodied
A continuum nothing wholly hard or soft
Not just about machines, eg legal system is a hard human system
Its not about soft or hard software etc its about created in limited ways
(this is similar to psychology of hard and soft architecture)
The thing about hard technologies, they make some things easier possible, eg refrigerator. To cool food is difficult with a soft technology eg shifting into shade or fanning…
Reducing scope of possibility to make things easier we harden technologies in order to be more simple, regular, reliable
Hard technologies are brittle, stifle creativity, and that’s the point as choices are not needed,
(He made a reference here to "see a city is not a tree" but I am unclear as to why)
Soft gives flexibility, creativity, but a soft technology is hard to use, but you are having to orchestrate those possibilities to make them happen.
(Okay, the use of hard for difficult needs to be considered as it begins to get confusing)
Soft technologies need people, they are nothing without people, whereas a fridge will trundle on by itself, automated.
“We shape our buildings and after the buildings then shape us” (Winston Churchill)
But it’s a lot more iterative than this suggests, he comes back to this later in q and a’s
Hard and soft not good or bad of themselves…fridge not good or bad, pre made web design versus the slowness involved if i had to start from scratch with coding is so slow, I want things to be easier, the big question then becomes how hard or soft in any situation
Moocs too soft for most people, an lms such as blackboard too hard for many…but also complexity: whose good or bad, used by different people, teacher as an authoring tool, or for the student as a learning tool…
Intent and use and what’s the orchestrating intent matters,
The pedagogies pulling at each other, acting together and in tension, a tug of way, technologies that fight with us
Technologies that don’t fit together well are also easily done eg lecture driven classroom and add a discussion forum and then assess the discussion forum…doesn’t add up. We need to design so the assembled work together, it is really easy to make deeply incompatible combinations thoughtlessly.
that is, an electronic system and a pedagogy may be in conflict
Important to assemble them effectively
Hard technologies limit the range, they structure our spaces, we will bend our pedagogies easier than change a hard technology
Facebook kind of hard, everything about it channels in a particular direction
the softer things we want to do being filtered through a hard technology
kind of how a university works, the beaurocracy of learning objectives
This is what i've been trying to do how we shape those technologies and the balance between hard and soft at a particular time, I really don’t want to have to design a lms and would much rather have the one I want than one that doesn’t, balance of constraints with movement
Not too hard not too soft on a given moment, in a given application of technology being adapted to purpose: the Goldilocks moment
eg twitter, how we should be building egs of not too hard not too soft just right
It's about building assemblies that are just right, the assembly makes it possible, just to assemble is how to do it, different ways, to make a hard technology softer easiest way is to add on to it eg blackboard here's mcqs you have to choose….but automated…so solution is to allow some kind of dialogue to happen that it can then be changed overridden by the teacher on the basis of the student's sound argument...so we add to to make softer, so softer when we aggregate.
(Seems an incongruity with knitting machine versus knitting needles where that aggragation made it harder...so some assemblies I would say soften, and some harden. Latour would talk of the adding chains of connection that strengthen, this understanding might also be applied to what hardens. Again a very ANt/ Latourian argument presented yet ANt was never mentioned.)
eg initially twitter didn’t begin with @ or # and the smart people in twitter then automated it, and made the system softer, it did not limit it, but added to
So softer increased use, so it became hyperlinked….auto ...adding to doesn’t always make harder.
(I can also feel a Macluhan moment coming on where we addd and add and then there is a flipping pint where the new technology obsolesces)
We harden eg when I say I’ll give u some feedback, ill give you some feedback to a learning outcome, I'll grade it…each step a little harder. So it's important to see pedagogies also as harder or softer.
And all technologies grow on a past
It becomes important then to think about what kinds of systems support aggregation so its about malleability
A key thing in aggregation, does it make it softer hardier, easier more difficult, more or less open for possibilities and fitness for purpose as well as adaptabilities...
eg electrical plug adaptor that’s multi use across the world
to make technologies not too hard or too soft
The elephant in the room is its not the technology as much as the passion, artistry in order to make those technologies do wonderful things, to get to those points we need to be I would say thoughtful
This was a very actor-network congruent presentation
Cites Ursula Franklin, wholistic technologies that expand vs prescriptive technologies
Thinking of things as technologies gets us away from the kneejerk all technology bad, restrictive technologies terrible…they are not
To follow up, further reading: Dron has allso written a paper called any colour you like so long as it’s blackboard
How to make the just right Goldilocks moment, eg grsshapper in a mook, enabling aggregation, harness when its needed, useful to have technologies that can be hardened or softened by those using it.
Might just be the policies around the use that need softening...might be us that need to soften rather than the techy. Again I am reminded of Latour and also Peter Sloterdikt in how to make digital spaces suit our human needs, but this has given me a way in to lever that conversation in my thesis
A guided path option, with choices that soften or harden,
To be harder when we need them and softer when we don’t, having smaller optional hard pieces eg drop downs…but problem is can end up with millions of small pieces and it becomes difficult again…
Yes there are some good ideas in this for the thesis, both philosophically, and for the handling of current pragmatic difficulties associated with the practice I have investigated (use of SMS messaging for youth counselling).
refs for where i am coming from
Franklin, U. (1999). The real world of technology (Revised ed.). Toronto, Canada: House of Anansi Press.
Latour, B., & Sloterdijk, P. (2009). Networks and spheres: Two ways to reinterpret globalization. Presentation to the Graduate School of Design [Video webcast]: Harvard University. Retrieved from http://webcasts.gsd.harvard.edu/gsdlectures/s2009/sloterdijk.mov
Mol, A. (2002). The body multiple: Ontology in medical practice. London, England: Duke University Press.
Sloterdijk, P. (2009). Spheres theory: Talking to myself about the poetics of space. Harvard Design Magazine, 30, 126-137.
Friday, November 18, 2011
A report commissioned by the Tertiary Education Union and put together by the New Zealand Work Research Institute in conjunction with AUT University, surveyed 3000 academic and support staff from universities, polytechnics, technical institutes and wananga. Massey University had the second-highest number of people respond at 444, behind Otago University on 460.
One of the report's authors, Professor Tim Bentley from AUT, said the one-in-six figure was high compared with overseas samples.
The impact is not only personal, the costs are high- personal and financial.
There are more sick days- in academia this means either loss of classes taught or more stress on colleagues.
There are costs to the employer with time spent with HR and or in mediation let alone the potential if not actuality of legal action.
There may also be costs incurred with employment assistance scheme counselling.
In addition are the costs on peers of supporting distressed colleagues- which then detracts from the ability of this person to do their own job well when time is spent supporting colleagues ...
When a person leaves there is also the cost of staff turn over.
It makes sense -logical sense and finacial cents -to end work place bullying.
A zero tolerance for bullies and for bullying.
Regarding educational leadership Michael Fullan suggests reculturing educative places so that people are able to flourish.
I agree with him.
Solutions must come through the development of shared meaning
The key to successful change is the improvement in relationships between all involved and not simply the imposition of top down reform.
Turning around a workplace culture takes collective action.
I see a visioning exercise then...
What is it we value
What is it we grow now
What is it we would want to do if not impeded (blue sky thinking)
And steps to get there...
...as a collective.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Here's the evidence of thesis writing being a distributed activity. The image portrayed is a graph created of movements on my mouse captured in 23 minutes of writing my thesis summary. The free software comes form iograph.
Writing is a distributed activity: the movements of the mouse attest to this. In is finger tapping movements on a key pad, as well as the lighting of pixels on a screen,and captured as a pdf file, or printed as ink on the page.
And the electricity, and plastic and metal gadgetry that is the laptop...
In addition text being distributed is also evident in that we, you as the reader and myself as the writer, have a shared meaning as to what these alphabet symbols mean and how on being strung together particular recognizable configurations are read as words, and in sentences particular meanings can be made.
And this occurs to the extent that Cooren writes of the spoken word as puzzling in that we assume the centrality of a speaker when myriad beings are involved and demonstrates that when we speak, many other voices are speaking as well.
In thesis writing there is also the distribution that involves myself as a student, a supervisor, and myriad other beings in a chain from here to there involving the institution I am enrolled at.
And a library and world wide web of readings that informs what i write of...and the twittersphere that introduced me to iograph.
And the research undertaken that prompted my thinking about how different communication and computer technologies alter how we see the world, and how we are seen, how we are shaped as well as shaping.
The textual format that can be traced not only in current time but which can also be traced downstream to the evolution of writing, and upstream with where such writing might lead with meanings made and paths then taken.
From something so little as a scribble of a graph i can make meaning... if I am willing to.
In arguing the textual form as distributed, this is also an example of actor-network theory at play, there are myriad beings involved, human and otherwise, and they are often silenced.
Such distribution is not only geographical but also 'folds time' or as Michel Serres (1995, cited in Latour, translated by & Venn, 2002 ) describes it, grasping a ‘garland of time’ as Michel Serres (1995)
Or I might have used the Deleuze and Guattari's metaphor of a thousand plateaus and reference to rhizomatic ways of learning (discussed last week by Dave Cormier in chage11#) except they didnt go so far as naming the technological so strongly in an ecological systems approach, nor giving voice to so many other actors.
The forward by Latour on Cooren's book that discusses discourse as a distributed activity also contributed to this post.
Current discussions in #change11 seem annoyed by the metaphors that make theorizing accessible to some and less so to others. What is made more or less strong, whose realities are being voiced, whose could or should be, are also ANT issues.
That rhizomes or garlands make it clearer for me, someone brought up more in a garden than in an academic house, is something I'm grateful for.
Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia. London, England: University of Minnesota Press.
Latour, B. (2010). Who is making the dummy speak? In F. Cooren (Ed.), Action and agency in dialogue: passion, incarnation and ventriloquism (pp. xiii-). Amsterdam, The Netherlands: John Benjamin.
Saturday, November 05, 2011
I'm going to take Nancy White's invocation of weaving together theorizing with a less wordy response and look at the social artistry as a reflection on change.
Changes can be mapped in the symbolic representations of rebranding for example.
When places I have worked have sought to throw out the old, the attachment to visual representations seemed especially hard.
Its also in the things that move from the margins and unaccepted spaces and into the exotic, and high brow spaces of the arts.
I have just obtained a copy of artist Nik Davez social-linguistice art: a translation of Roland Barthes The pleasure of the text into txtese: d PlsUR ov d txt
This beautiful rendition on the pleasure of reading and writing states:
it iz d rythm of wot iz red & wot iz & not red dat crE8z d plSUR of d gr8 nar8ivzand so it is with change, what is done and not done, what is in the spaces, what is pushed through, and as Neil postman asks of technology,what does it undo as much as what it does...
"change is not additive; it is ecological. I can explain this best by an analogy. What happens if we place a drop of red dye into a beaker of clear water? Do we have clear water plus a spot of red dye? Obviously not. We have a new coloration to every molecule of water. That is what I mean by ecological change. A new medium does not add something; it changes everything."
and so change gets conveyed visually.
And in reflections on what happens with change and seeing allegorical representations, especially where things might otherwise be unacceptable. Patti Lather's the ache of wings comes to mind on her writing and reflections of researching women living with aids.
And in the stimulation to think about not only affecting change, but also in patterns of resistance (in ant change is always about resistance). The spiders of Nina Katchadourian dont like or appreciate the help extended. Well intentioned others; a reminder that change always involves alternate possibilities, and moral bias that may conflict with others realities.
But more than any other musings is Latour he talks (2002) of technology as catching a garland in time, past and present being brought together...and technology as the art of the curve.
Im being loose with my connections here...but if technology is as Ursula Franklin suggests the way we do things round here, then change and technology might be loosely the same thing :)
A bodacious curvaceous approach. Thanks Nancy.
Franklin, U. (1999). The real world of technology (Revised ed.). Toronto, Canada: House of Anansi Press.
Lather, P. (1997). Creating a multilayered text: Women, AIDS, and Angels. In W. G. Tierney & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Representation and the text: re-framing the narrative voice (pp. 233-258). New York, NY: State Univeristy of New York Press.
Latour, B. (2002). Morality and technology. The end of the means. Theory, Culture & Society, 19(5/6), 247–260.
Postman, N. (1998). Five things we need to know about technological change. Retrieved from http://www.mat.upm.es/~jcm/neil-postman--five-things.html
Sunday, October 23, 2011
My summation and response to
Tony Bates 16 Oct 2011 recording
There is/ or is there - a general failure to manage technology well in our institutions?
Tony Bates asks if change needs to come inside or does it need to come from outside to transform the HE sector
I think his questions would be better instead of asking does it come from here or there to have a more ant informed analysis: Where does change come from, or just what is going on here?
The question below the surface will always be about whether this is for good or bad also...should money be spent if we cannot even say what it costs to do this...
An obviously situated question which is of course going to have as an answer "it depends"
Perhaps Mols question shift from can we prove, to can we improve would have been a good one.
And this does tend to be his approach as the talk continues
A diversion: use of death by bullet point in his slides could be enhanced please here's an oldie but goodie by Seth Godin on really bad ppt http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/really_bad_powe.html
Regarding if its from the inside or outside, the audience answered with:
Educators not always good at leading change (Jenny)
Faculty, HE or academics, with no will to change
Needs to disturb the inertia
Technology major change in HE has been massification
Lots of students not high flyers: in HE we are not teaching an upper 5 0r 10% of elite students, we are having to teach therefore rather than just having the students learn and therefore we need to consider how delivery occurs
The techy web 2 gives learner much more control
Whether inside of institution or not
Going to campus hasn’t changed much
Institutions needs a fundamental rethink
Techy management in 6 unis spain and italy, and another 6 case studies
And online strategic plans form 36 institutions, carried out over several yrs
There were very different approaches,
Also some common features- but overall more common than different
How many profs students use lms
Enhance classroom teaching was what unis identified as a third strand
The classroom teaching good: we want the techy to make it better,
Core techy using were lms
Conclusion, institutions conservative but adding cost with no added learning benefit
As there is a large increase in cost with putting in techy
Leadership and planning, success marked by:
Senior management team speaking from same page, the impt of techy as core for future, shared vision
Measurable strategic goals
Increase flexible delivery, anytime, anyplace
Development of 21 c skills, ability to imbed it skills in relevant subject area (in my uni eg having skills for searching, working in wikis)
Improving cost effectiveness not said anywhere, yet up to 40% of budget going this way
Need for planning at several levels, particularly at programme level, he believes this most important level as students often come in as dependent level, but that they should be able to leave as more independent, and this can only occur at the programme level not from on high and not at individual lecturer level
Projects that fail: they run out of steam and or dependent on one person
Committees tend to be advisory not able to be employed
Learning tech units, building larger and larger as faculty don’t have the pedagological skills to know what to do
Individual instructors piecemeal approach, programme level not coherent
Often worked to have a high level committee with sub committees
(how this was studied, who was asked??? Im going to assume students were not asked, seemed a lot of policy analysis and a lot of being told what goes on rather than seeing what goes on. Again, an ant observational approach could have enhanced the data capture)
Often cannot implement without infrastructure
Clear mandates for committees and resources to make things happen
Formal channels of communication
All in all as Tony does identify this is an industrial model (for a non industrial context on a non industrial topic! Such irony)
A lot of innovation never beyond small scale mobilisations, person dependent
Exploration+ resourcing+ pilot+evaluate+evaluate +spread but most institutions did not have a strategy of this
Governance decision making all over the place
IT structure, core decisions having major impact without academic inputneed clear lines of decision making, mandate oriented
He argues for a diffusion of innovation approach throughout the institution.
(Hmmmm, top down, managerial, with direct and control overtones, as he said before, an industrial model, but maybe forgivable given institutions are still in a way back way of operating...)
With core decisions at programme and he says increasingly by students (but has not said how)
Formal quality assurance processes surprisingly the unis that had these were often not best at integrating IT
Better ones, programme level working up with media designers,
Really interesting Q:
What’s the cost, more or less expensive for an online course vs a classroom one.
What we know is we don’t know!
2 main costs:
How much instructor support
Ways to control costs
Redesign, transfer work to students
Eg students collect data, wk collaboratively
(my own eg is students use of peerwise, writing their own exam, giving feedback to each other)
What would be better also:
Preservice training = none did this. Teacher training often assumed, yet having a phd as basis for entry to academia has an emphasis on research not teaching.
No one taught to teach is the general culture (made worse by positively discriminating toward research and against teaching)
A Socratic myth, 6 bright rich students, one Socratic expert all under a linden tree
It simply doesn’t exist
We haven’t moved from idyllic, it cannot be
We don’t have a good reward system for teaching
Lack of training as they only have the model they had as students themselves
Lack of admin knowledge
All creating systemic barriers to change
(like the way he keeps going into discussion with the 30 or so people present in this online session)
Ideas from the audience:
Kahn model, still it doesn’t alter for students to be participatory
Opportunities for making learning informal but accreditation restricts this
Use video much more
Global accreditation system
Flipping the lecture- use capture, then ask students to come in after, but doesn’t really change the model
Look at what students need to do on campus that is critical, and what they could do online
Interest area of Stephen Downes: How this sort of advice might work outside of an institutional context, eg for a mooc? Where there is distributed learning rather than an institutionalised focus.
Tony's response: Some people don’t need or want accreditation as lifelong learners, I wouldn’t be on it if I didn’t think it was useful for my learning
But many need the accreditation, and therefore a portfolio rather than a transcript but employers don’t recognize the importance of that
Huge investment in current accreditation processes
Most unis would not support mooc as a business plan
And then it stopped working, the mp3 I mean, just as Jenny was asking a question.
My overall feeling, ANT would be a better approach to the concerns, it really needed some empirically based observation versus the information told from a management centred data collect.
Ant approach could disrupt the power of a management centric approach, and perhaps inform ways that things might be otherwise, from any level in such a network.
Noting the systemic barriers provides opportunity to also chip away at the shape of things, because these barriers take work in being sustained, and that such chipping away can also occur anywhere in the network, not just from the top.
Managed change an oxymoron: we never know where it will take us.
The changes keep happening faster than we can ever catch up.
The best we can hope for is to mediate the damage as we move toward hopes and avoid fears.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
From Graham Harman (2007). The importance of Bruno Latour for philosophy. Cultural Studies Review, 13(1), 31-49.
Latour’s metaphysics is utterly democratic. Atoms and quarks are real actors in the cosmos, but so are Fidel Castro, Houdini, and unicorns. We cannot declare a priori that certain actors are more real than others; all we can say is that some are stronger than others. But this strength is never measured solely in the currency of human struggles for dominance, since animals, stars and brute subatomic matter are engaged in the struggle for reality no less than are Machiavellian cabals. (p.35)
Fact or fiction, real or unreal, and perhaps also good or bad; there is no difference except in as much as there is power in being aligned powerfully.
Posted by ailsa at 5:47 PM
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
I started responding to Jeffrey Keefers post at Silence and Voice that was prompted by Alison Littlejohn's paper for #changes 11 and would have said in response to the conversation occurring turning Alison's response on its head: can individual learning ever really exist? Things have to intersect dont they for new things to occur? But in such intersections, what other collateral realities are being done?
My pre-identified area interest in #change11 is to learn of the non-human actors, having committed to being an ANT groupie, and so following my own learning agenda- but having been touched y a collective learning forum of this mooc - i go off like Alice down another bunny hole...
Media literacies suggest the need for understanding that media has influence (McLuhan, Meyrowitz), and in education, teaching and learning understanding CCTs is to understand that they are more than tools (Turkle, Bigum and Rowan, Lanksheare, Bennet, Nespor)
Knowing what a techy does or can do lets me respond with more or less trust in the process.
Knowing of computer generated images means i make a judgement call on the veracity of what is projected. If i dont know how the techy has influence i dont make this call.
Manipulating the influence of the techy i can 'trick' others into believing things more or less. Used to be i could produce a word processed doc and my boss would be in awe- such days have passed :) But formality can appear persuasive.
In watching the Blair witch project, reality is conveyed by deliberately downplaying the polished product.
And so i would argue yes the technologies demand new knowledge, for they shape us.
The meme as discussed by Susan Blackmore http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ_9-Qx5Hz4 suggests a cultural evolution has occurred, and the meme of technology is that it requires humans to breed....that which is imitated, and spread, a meme not an idea but that which is copied, imitated and altered as it transfers from person to person, why do they spread? because such meme ideas are selfish information that will spread if it can. So what is in the environment that makes breeding of new ideas more and less possible.
Is getting a new replicator dangerous- to carry an idea, getting a new carrier of knowledge is dangerous? Does google or other network engines shape what i have access to? yes.)
In teaching and learning, and in health, if i seriously take a web 2.0 approach, then i need to consider the influence of working in a participatory culture, wont that shift my expectation of not only what i learn...but how? Would it not also influence what assessments might be involved if assessment drives learning?
Is it dangerous to a planet to be so technologically shaped? Arguably it has done some horrid things to education. Globalised learning that can deny the import of local content. Testing of knowledge by MCQ tests because the machine can mark this. Teaching by ppt because it can be disseminated to the masses...
That my colleague can be made redundant because i can be teleconferenced out to four sites concurrently...
And for my own studies, what happens when the techy shapes the counselling, well it also shapes the roles as well as identities of those in the network. Passive actors are shown as much more active than commonly construed. If agency is seen as a distributed activity, how then also might this lead to altered conceptions of empowerment and of emancipation; to altered conceptualisations of what it is to learn collectively...
I dont have time for witty ness right now, nor for tidying up the blog today, this one's just another rough scribble
I have a conf paper that demands my attention, a deadline to meet.
Sunday, October 02, 2011
Schrödinger's Cat >^.^<
No cats were harmed in the making of this blog.
Nor apparently in the following video....or at least not in my current universe.
Thanks to loadedphysics for this great rendition on youtube
The most commonly held interpretation of quantum mechanics is the Copenhagen interpretation In the Copenhagen interpretation, a system stops being a superposition of states and becomes either one or the other when an observation takes place.... so looking makes it so >^.^<
In another galaxy far far away... the many-worlds interpretation holds both alive and dead states of the cat persist after the box is opened, but are decoherent from each other. Multiple realities/ distributed realities with no capacity to coexist. Just needs a timelord to travel between them...
Alternately: The relational interpretation makes no fundamental distinction between the human experimenter, the cat, or the apparatus, or between animate and inanimate systems. The cat observes the human, and not till the box is opened do the realities collide. The relational interpretation allows that different observers give different accounts of the same series of events. More than this though; for they live different accounts (or not as the case may be).
Distributed realities but with potential to talk between them.
And so yes, reality is multiple but does not have to be conceived of in the far far away type renditions.
And in the collateral realities of scientific research how come the cat is the one in the box?
How come the experiment is not about happy cat getting a cheezeburger rather than a bomb or radiation poisoning?
Where was the ethics panel and what were they thinking?
If the same experiment might even have been imagined in a way less harming to cats wouldn't that have been a better idea?
And why stop there? The box also has a position played out but not voiced in the typical scenario.
I note that blogger would not let the cat >^.^< appear in the subject line. Sometimes the technologies talk to each other and dont converse with the actors that those of us who are human centric tend to orient toward.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Live with Michael Apple
26 September 2011
[ these are my rough notes of his talk]
The state is not weak. He takes a pen and says this is the resource, if its this long…but neoliberals want half the pen taken away and put into private schools. This is not choice at an individual personal level for all.
Not everyone has choice equally. In my working life I can choose when I start stop. The other “Michael apple who also loves his son, but cannot drive across town get the child to the preferred school, pay in time and resource to get there…
Markets privilege the economically advantaged
They also privilege the male body, safety is not as even for girls, women, gay people
When you think of choice, as democracy it is a fiction.
A slippery sycophant of a word denying difference, denying gender, race, age,
Who has choice
His favourite quote surprises even himself, it is not Marx but Adam smith
Takes 500 poor people for every rich person
When god gave out genes white men at the front…
Front and back of line,
Cannot dismantle the masters house using the masters tools
Decisions on whats good or bad, they have to teach the same thing or the measure don’t work, if they tech difft things get a regression to the median whether it works or not…if it raises test scores its good, neo conservatists love this
But in Canada, what is agreed on, what we agree on is we are differently positioned, what is common is the question
Rather than evacuating the curriculum lets deal do it
Cultural literacy…if a us/American kids..
What is common is disagreements, what is common ins the process of deliberation
We must have kids ask whose glasses am I putting on, whose knowledge s this
What is common is that this nation is in motion
1st nation people, some stopped sasquatacwan, china,
policy smallpox vaccination, genocide
stolen people from africa dying before they got to montreal, Jamaica, new york they died
alice walker poetry (I think)
I will kill myself there is no I
Whose common is that, an African survivor
Politics that does not deal with the politics of voice
A changing population
With teachers who say this is not working daily
That destroys bodily understanding
Is not a curriculum at all it is an imposition
That lies of teachers, real children
Authoritarian populists, fundamentalists, increasing in Alberta is home schooled
And their curriculum bought on the web and says things like islam is the religion of the devil
And they believe teachers are worshippers of the devil
A final gp
Mohammed, sacred is his name, jesus, moses, people spiritual but do not believe in a man in the sky and to be honest I must work with the impoverished
The only way to restore order through the imposition of the religious
Go to stereotypes
A gp of people who enslave others
I think we have to speak out, it is something we should not ignore
If it moves in classes measure it and if it doesn’t measure it for it might
Performance pay is now the law in USA
Country of china has now also performance paid
If we can find good smart loyal teachers who improve good smart kids we will give them more money
Every nation who has implemented performance pay for teachers, has used it to fire teachers, not to pay them more
particularly, it devalues the wages of teachers who are working with disadvantage
Please vote against this
Its over why do u have to vote
I don’t have to say anything else
The smartest teachers in the worlds
Don’t take the risk
Really nice people but you don’t have a clue of what is a good school but we will tell you
Two things for a strategy of interruption
1. the north must learn from the sth, Brazil a History of economic crisis
with influence of frère and Apple, teachers given more money because they had to work harder in a situation of 90% of children drop out in primary
that statistic now reversed.
Places with fewer resources than the north, with respect have to become our teachers as well
Places where kids can use the metaphor of putting on glasses to see whose knowledge it is that they are consuming, and to question this.
This becomes seriously crucial everytime I go to brazil I get stupider- I don’t know things- I watch to learn as coteachers and please be my teacher
2. simpler act- we in this room must become secretaries in everyschool teachers do unbeliebvable things yet press do not talk of this, teaching causes questing society u r teaching race gender…and we do not have the patience or money for this, you are creating unemployment, when the media say its all crummy lets attack it, it takes huge work to find what is being done well,
of all the books I have been involved in
best description of teaching I have ever heard; Gregory: I didn’t have time to pee, the best description of teaching I have ever heard in my life
a book called democratic schools, and asked by teachers to say…
and I understand this without quotes from Foucault, im feeling worn down, you must be my secretary I don’t have time to write it, but you must tape me, rewrite, make my successes known because I don’t have time to
democratic skills on 5 schools translated…
in the face of the blames and having to go out every day to change peoples lives there are things going on of which we must be immensely proud and our task is to keep alive the practice of the victory
There was a time in teachers lives in Boston in which there was a victory, you will be evaluated…a 19yr old young women on 6 months teacher ed said no. Let us say yes to keep Emma’s memory alive in our own bodies.
Liberals and the left have given me nothing but rhetoric but neoliberals will give me money, so there is no homogeneity, there are parts of poorer communities who accept therefore a neo liberal agenda. Caution needed in homogenizing groups.
Identity politcs no common ground,
Neoliberal would not be powerful without aspects of good sense…what is it about people’s lives that cause people to say this is broken, for some oppressed groups it is rediscovering who I am in a society deeply racist
If black or first nation person combination of class and race
And so identity
My solution to find a common agenda
A right to say, whether neo lib or otherwise there is a powerful sense of what is going wrongin whats behind the argument
Victories for some gps not others,
Im about controversies..
Friday, September 23, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Ive some nervousness about this mooc having been in three previous moocs...
What i have learned from previous moocs:
1. I need to keep myself contained, moocs will take as much as you/i give them
and at this point in my studies and working life, i need to be setting my own boundaries.
2. Distributed learning- who and where is exciting and challenging, can work, but might be a tad too serendipitous. Because of this I'm really up front with my selfish/narrow area of interest.
BTW thats actor-network theory, how we are shaped as well as shaping when mediated through technologies
3. Change theorizing is a passion of mine grown out of discovering thwarted meglomaniacal tendencies (my own).
So Im very interested in seeing change in Machiavellian terms, or in a whirlwind model (Bruno Latour), or as messy (John Law)
And reject any top down or bottom up analysis.
Will entertain a thousand plateaus type approaches, rhizomatic descriptions are great, as are baroque folds, imho
Am willing to consider eco-system approaches (so long as they dont go too cosmic on me)
I just love the vibrancy that encompasses every actor in the network as well as the objects and practices that might be studied.
4. I set limits not only on my own area of interest but will also set limits here. This is a personal blog, its for my learning primarily, feel free to visit and to post, but dont write more than me- if you need a soapbox get your own blog and make a link :)
Enough for today; 30 mins on any day is the limit i am self imposing as ive a phd that is not writing itself.
But if you are interested in ANT, or in assemblages, baroque folds, or distributed agency and identity these are all areas that I love to engage on, so please do say hi!
Thursday, September 01, 2011
Seth Godin tells a story of Keith Richards telling a story of Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger
And it just goes to show that realities differ...
As told by Seth:
After a night of drinking, Mick saw Charlie asleep and yelled, "Is that my drummer? Why don't you get your arse down here?"
Richards continues, "Charlie got dressed in a Savile Row suit, tie, shoes, shaved, came down, grabbed him and went boom! Don't ever call me "your drummer" again. You're my ... singer."
No drummer, no stones.
Now if the drums had voice...
If we were a bit less androcentric...
If an ANT analysis was being undertaken, we might also have it said ...
You are nothing without me, you bang around as much as you like, but without drums you are no drummer
No drums, no drummer, no drummer, no Stones.
We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us (Marshall McLuhan)
Identity is made in association
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
I recall years ago reading a nice little magazine article (in the days when i still read magazines...obviously pre thesis)
It talked of it being a good thing your teenager was bored.
It then very quickly reframed boredom into having a thinking space.
Its the moments of not doing, that give time for contemplation.
So when Im spring cleaning in the middle of winter, replacing the curtains, vacuuming the ceiling, its because the ideas are fermenting. Just like a nice cider, it requires a little bit of time to bubble...
There's the possibility that
1. I do not want it to end.
I dont. I like being a student. And I like having this intensely selfish undertaking of depth. I want to graduate at the same time as two colleagues....I want to go to a conference next year that i could only attend with uni funding for a phd student...
However even if i finish next week, its still going to be the status of a student for a while so those arent very real excuses.
2. I havent yet found the cure for cancer *sigh* I havent yet scaled Mt Everest! I'm a perfectionist who want the best possible, that would be a problem, but unlikely. Dont think Ive ever been one before so its not likely. However i do not like failing, and i do not like aiming for mediocrity, I havent got anything worthy of a nobel prize, nor a booker prize, nor even an Australasian thesis prize. Its not a bodice ripping good yarn (yet).
My friend Heather would say just put on your ordinary...
apparently ball gown and bustier not required.
And Bruno Latour says a good thesis is a finished one.
Many dont....mine will. I know this.
3. I havent suffered enough.
I havent. I dont hate it. At times this is too easy...maybe i have enough now but it doesnt look hard enough.
My little contributions to knowledge do not feel grand.
Sure ive studied something no one else has. Its new in the world. Others might want to know more of it.
And ive a tiny inkling that with distributed agency is distributed responsibility so there's a tiny bit of newness for a theory
And the methodology supports some brave new world stuff on the research processes of working with young people and with sensitive research.
Are my molehills big enough to constitute "new knowledge"
As with no.2....might just need to pull my head in and be satisfied with being a modest witness, a modest contributor....even some of my fav authors are this. They do not come across as earth shattering, so i too should stop trying to shatter the earth.
4. If i finished i would have to play with the big girls and boys in academia contesting funding...
I dont have to. I could publish the smaller things. I can hold it together when its short bursts on a theme.
5. My angst, confusion, curiousity are sated. Having satisfied my curiousity, its boring to retrospectively write the story of my thinking for others...especially if its only going to have a minute audience *sigh*
And i have already fed back to my site of study...and was well received...but is still owe them and the participants of this, completion.
Also there's the scope for what i talk of to be useful for others...and i know it wont be if its not finished.
6. I have writers block. Except i dont. I can write this. What i have are thoughts still growing: mulling. Rereading and editing makes the direction for conclusions a little more cohesive. I keep a rough doc of conclusions in progress: i write them as they bubble... a vat of mulling thoughts to draw on.
7. Twittering has been useful. This weeks twitter #phdchat provided an opportunity to consider what are the hallmarks a a phd's unique contribution to knowledge. The earth does not need more shattering a modest contribution will suffice. (thankyou Jeffrey)
There is uniqueness in what i have studied. There is also uniqueness with how i have gone about this. There is a glimmer of possibility in provoking further thought on the philosophical underpinnings of my methodology. And there is the application of working with sensitive research in a way that is respectful.
The feedback received to date suggests also that what is contributed is useful in affirming and nurturing nascent practice. Such practice being valued when considered in terms of having voice and being heard.
I have not left the world or what i studied, in a worse state than i found it :)
Sometimes i have looked at fabric and thought that it would have been better left uncoloured ... i have also looked at what is written and sometimes think that editing down to the blank page would have been desirable.
I look at what i have written and believe i have improved upon the blank page.
Earlier in my studies- a year ago exactly, I was immobilised with fear of how what i study might be misrepresented, used to rationalize horrid practices. My conclusions will include this, or at least the vat of thoughts shall. I cannot control where what i write of might lead, but i am still alive, i can still respond, I continue even when he phd is done. There is accountability/responsibility and distributed agency that points to this. I just dont quite know how to write of it (yet). But its firming up, congealing, clotting.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
To be dispersed, scattered, shared around, fractional, partial, apportioned...
What does it mean to have agency distributed?
To make changes involves a networked world...inside of which what i want to have happen pushes and pulls on others and vv...as a consequence, what actually happens is a result of contingent relationships and may or may not be what i wanted, or you wanted, but something inbetween...points of tension. May even be what neither of us wanted or expected...and the effects of these contingent relationships, of push and pull (sometimes politely referred to as negotiations and sometimes much less pretty than such a term implies) are sometimes not immediate but way down the track .... I could trace the Guttenburg press and mass literacy to twitter...
In this network of involvement are not just people but things also...widespread literacy needed cheaper ways of making paper, and means for making ink...
The outcome of this tussle, of push, pull, of people as well as things, is something that happens because of a distribution of agency, of things with capacity for altering what is, things of force.
(At this point philosophically it would be good and proper to acknowledge my thinking having been shaped through my reading of Latour, John Law, Lucy Suchman, Annemare Mol).
Where i take this a bit further is to consider then that responsibility and accountability are just as distributed.
Our individuation being a creation of habit rather than of actuality; again a form of thinking that is normative- distributed.
Here are some textual musings from others on our mutual involvements:
Latour writes of the hidden masses of myriad beings
McLuhan tells us the medium is the message
Mol's conceptual analysis: being more than one and less than many in the body multiple
Pickering's mangle of practice
Turkle invites us to think of the things we think with, evocative objects
Lucy Suchman (bother the person who recalled her book on me, but that just goes to show the push and pull)...
Kaen Barad "agency is not an attribute but the ongoing reconfigurings of the world."
John Seely Brown; the power of pull - pdf of his keynote http://web.nmc.org/files/2010-summer-conference
(and the effects of blogging this then had me search for his work some more, finding an article on why the virtual matters...)
And some visual considerations:
The experience of distributed learning on a mooc by Gordon Lockhart http://gbl55.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/cck11-man-this-mooc-is-something-else/
The internet of things Courtesy of Cisco ISBG
Need to do some tidying up of this post, attributions as well....
I'd never have got here without my enrollment in a Phd and the people therein,
And the making of a phd is also distributed: the attributions and acknowledgements go nowhere far enough in recognition of this...
but also I could not have got to this without a computer...many more attributions could/should be made...mobile phones...the use of sms...the use of twitter, this blog...
But my time is a bit partial right now also...
#phdchat for a visual representation this site will do a graphic of twitterings http://ouseful.open.ac.uk/twitter/friendviz.html?q=phdchat%23
And for further food for thought, nurturing ideas comes from such places...distribution in a very organic way... some Latour and Sloterdijk on spheres as well as networks, where the tensions on spheres also produce some things that might be nurtured, in a world that may or may not be ready...tensions might or might not establish such space...
This is "rough as"
a smoothing out comes later, tracing backwards allows for this, moving forwards less so...
a trajectory is so much easier to trace afterwards.
So its now a day later...and i add some more...and then a month later prompted through a tweet i think i should tidy it further...
so back to what does it mean to be distributed...to have agency distributed...what i can or cant make happen...
in what Law might name a hinterland of possibility....one you just entered...your touching this thread spreads the points of tension further....distributed.
And so i continue to mull it over....and you might too now...
how are the tensions caught up that make some things more or less possible,
the resources available,
the sense of "freedom from" and "to do"...
who has push and pull,
what or who is seduced and/or betrayed ,
what promises are made, dreams sold? Who are the purveyors, whose interests served?
What does it mean to be distributed?
of what materially,
and of what i can or cant do because of it- herein lies agency,
but perhaps also responsibility.
Not in the sense of blame as much as it is about
the state or fact of having a duty to deal with something to continue to work with something
a moral obligation
of being accountable
A responsibility to act moving forward?
vs accountability to justify what happened in a past without knowledge of the future....had i known i would have...?
I fear i could do a further decade on this and still be dwelling on such questions
:) could be a lifetimes work such questions!
Monday, July 11, 2011
When i was pretty young I remember our house getting a phone.
It was a black wall mounted model and I remember there being a telephoneman that established its presence. I remember needing to remember my phone number, it was to be as important as remembering my name and my address. I wrote it on the wall in pencil in case i would forget...it was 82029...i think i wrote it on the skirting board in pencil with the twos going backwards, i think i may have been 4. It may have been about 1963.
It was placed in the hallway near the front of the house. As if to acknowledge its intrusive nature, it needed a space of its own such conversations could occur in a non intrusive way.
Or perhaps it was near the front of the house as acknowledgment of it being a point of entry for strangers.
Im struggling to remember where others in my neighbourhood had their phones, but my recall is that they were all in hallways.
They were answered with such formality, the number was recited, or the formal statement of who one was talking to; "Mr McLaren speaking" as my father would say.
I also remember shouted conversations where plans had to be negotiated between people in different parts of the house, or someone being told to 'hang on'.
It was at least 15 years before my family's phone intruded into the living space of the kitchen and a little ways later before a second phone entered into a bedroom.
I note in saying this that ownership of the phone shifted, it became 'familial'. No longer attached to the house, but more to the household. It was no longer an appendage of the house, but a shift occurred in seeing it as a possession of the family.
Being a child of the 60's and 70's i recall the staying home and waiting for a phone call...
I also recall 'being prepared' included having money for a phone call and at Guides there would be inspections for what was in our pockets...seemed string and phone money were requisits...not quite sure what I'd do with the string...
But I'd ring home to say i was ready to be picked up from the red phone box on the corner...I'd make a call and when someone at home answered, i'd need to press button A to talk, or if no-one answered press button B and the money would come back...
It was in the 1990s I remember ringing my brother in Aus and being surprized by his saying he was at a neighbour's pool party talking to me on a cordless phone...am pretty sure my jealousy had more to do with the pool but also surprize at the range for a phone.
It was late in the 1990s when my partner got a mobile phone, a weighty thing by todays standards, but so much more portable than a 'landline' of the times....several renditions later before it could be worn unobtrusively, but nonetheless an excuse for the posturing of here's mine, placing ti on a table. Not they rang so often, but a status symbol of importance: im needed anywhere anytime. A yuppie thing.
Several renditions later, a discrete object that was to be on the person of every member of the household...or at least on any member of the household old enough to go out by themselves. It became a way the youngest members could go out more safely
More recently it became my way of paying for parking, my address book, my torch, my watch, my alarm clock, my appointment diary...its as close as my handbag and it goes most everywhere with me.
The phone boxes have modernized somewhat, but Im now always surprized when i see someone in one.
And the landline home phone fixture seems to be going the same way.
What i would like to know is where were phones were positioned when you were growing up?
Please tell me the stories of phones entering into your life.
Here's how music positioned phones in changing cultural contexts...
Sunday, July 03, 2011
Having spent 5 years on this so far, and a yet to be edited down to 100,000 word thesis, I feel more than well enough qualified to consider, and to write on, the one hour PhD.
My credentials include:
PhD in txt speak (160 characters)
A PhD in a tweet (140 characters)
A PhD haiku (roughly three lines and 17 syllables)
The three minute thesis
A PhD in plain English (for the intelligent "aunty")
The lolcat thesis
And an origami exercise in thesis writing relating to worldmaking
And now I have a new diversion: the one hour PhD.
This one's based on how to read a book in an hour, a useful consideration given I'm entering into my final year of my study (I hope) and have suddenly found books I wish I had read at least 4 years ago...
This however is not about the reading of a book in an hour, nor for those hopeful is it about the writing of a thesis in an hour.
I write of how to present the thesis such that it could be absorbed, if not "read", in an hour. A useful consideration for editing the product of several years of study. It's also a way of putting a smile on the face of a reader, its about a sell job- they are getting nothing less than what was promised and hopefully a whole lot more.
So a rubric to edit to:
1. The title, 10 words. If a word search was going to pick this up in a data base would it have done so?
2. The introduction, 10-15 pages saying what you-and-the-reader are getting into, and what you-and-the-reader will get out of it.
3. Outline the book. Is it evident in the table of contents? Do the chapter titles as well as headings and the first level of subheadings (if any) provide a map to the thesis argument? Alternately it can be a perfunctory outline of what a reader can anticipate of the order.
4. Check opening and closing sections of every chapter. Do these provide enough info to understand the main points. Would a cut and paste of these *and nothing else* make sense in progressing the argument?
5. Does the conclusion progress from the introduction? If the intro and conclusions were bookends, are they balanced; do they match? If it takes the reader somewhere else, has this been explained? What of the argument or journey is highlighted? How does this contribute to new knowledge? What does it contribute to practitioners, to the theory underpinning the study, to future researchers?
And then there's the bits in between...but that's the subject of the other 5-6 years of study time...and for that you actually have to write the book :)
...and read it.
All seems so clear when i put it like this...makes me wonder what i have spent so many more hours on...but then there's the thinking time...and the writing that makes it enticing, a pleasure to write and to read...