Relational Dialectics

April 23rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

A dialectical approach to communication starts with the acknowledgement that opposing desires/commitments are present at all times.  In our relationships and interactions we try to negotiate contrary commitments:

Autonomy and Connectedness

Favoritism and Impartiality

Openness and Closedness

Novelty and Predictability

Instrumentality and Affection

Equality and Inequality

These were articulated by Leslie A. Baxter in 1988, and in a larger landscape, a dialectical approach comes from Mikhail Bakhtin and a Yin-Yang perspective.  Instead of viewing problems I encounter as one-way departures from a norm, it helps me to think about how opposing forces shape the problem at hand.

back and busan

April 14th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Wow, it has been over a year since I posted here!  My life has been filled with graduate school classes, moving to South Korea, and living in Busan.  As the spring weather arrives here I feel more inspired to express myself.  I suppose I haven’t been totally defunct for so long; I put up another blog,, where I’ve talked about some of my experiences, but even there I haven’t posted for a long time.  I keep these the two arenas of gut stuff and thought-life separate, but they do bleed into each other.

Bleeding Lights

November 29th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Short film on light waste.

Follow Focus

November 28th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Simple solution for shifting focus:

Depth of Field

November 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Nice demo.

Aperture Tutorial

November 27th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This video helped solidify my understanding.


November 7th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

This post has been a long time in the making; maybe one cannot write about authority until one has become an individual, capable of autonomous action and of feeling the effects of assumed authority.
It’s strange that for the majority of my life so far I have been involved with authority systems such as education and government. These institutions are run by people as much as 7-11 is run by people, yet the people working within larger institutions are, in some way, quite comfortable with constructing guidelines for others to follow. Ostensibly these rules are for the good of the individual, and when this reasoning fails, the good of society is the justification.

Accomplishing tasks in a timely manner is a big part of authority; it seems primarily practical to me. And in large part this is connected to a sense of modern society that ought to be progressing via many individuals who don’t know much about each other. The nature of conflict/change morphs due to the positions of the participants. Within an anonymous society the justification for conflict and change must come from an abstraction of the common good. If I lived in a smaller more contained society I could find many other justifications for helping others, such as I know your father, or your brother is helping repair my barn. But since I don’t know much about people I have to fall back on guidelines which are based upon a general view of what is good for society.  Lo and behold, authority is there to provide guidelines.

This is where democracy comes in: ideally the majority decides what the standards of the society will be, tempered by principles that are not easily negotiable. Here’s where things get really strange though.  All around us we see aspects of society that ought to be changed: poor investment in education and health care, generational poverty, and crummy working conditions for many citizens.  So why not elect people who will create systems of equality?  Apparently, we have been electing people who have no problem exercising authority to maintain the status quo, and even to increase gaps between groups in society.  It strikes me that many people want leaders to tell people what to do, even though it is not in their best interests.  In this sense our leaders are manifesting our ideas of how authority should be exercised.  In another sense, if these leaders are brought into power through an influential minority with monetary input, we could say that our leaders create expectations of authority and that people get used to being told what to do, in a passive acceptance.


November 4th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Radiant Leopards

are prowling about.

Glistening fangs,

devouring doubt.


A guardian cat

lies proud at my feet,

his belly digesting

a plentiful meat.


I found him a kitten,

he grew in a blur.

Now actions all flow,


as his purr.


October 3rd, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

Lately I’ve been considering sensitivity as an orienting capacity.  If you’re not sensitive enough to pick up signals, you will be unable to respond to what is going on around you.  Last year during classes I read about “sensitizing concepts.”  Instead of thinking that an idea about people is fully correct, or always useful, conceptualizations can be used to sensitize an observer to what is happening in his field of vision/study.  Yet if I am too sensitive, I will be unable to make connections between phenomena, and to decide on a course of action.  At least this is what I would think based on my past education: we use reasoning to guide us through a world of sensory perceptions.  We use thought to make sense of all this input we are receiving.  One problem that arises is the blocking out of relevant information.  If I immediately put a perception into a category, I might miss out on a large part of what is actually happening.  For example, if I think that government is always wasting money, I might miss out on understanding all the good that comes from certain social services.  So, I’m wondering, how can I be sensitive, without being overwhelmed by what is happening around me?  If I tried to understand everything through categorization, I would become frenetic and exhausted.  The answer I am practicing is to live presently, and to allow the world to exist right in front of me, apart from my judgements or reactions to it.  This also involves allowing ki, or energy, to be constantly moving.  Without creating conflict through categorization, it is possible to feel an active connection immanent within all things.

Beach Yoga Angle

September 25th, 2011 § 0 comments § permalink

cool angle for a yoga pic