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December 29, 2005

Consent: A densely-textured life

Little Brother calls during bowling (affection flows back). Blood brother suffers. Parental pathology is passed on. I dream randomly.

SEMP subjected me to the most intensive grilling I’ve yet received over the Informed Consent form for Reflexivity. :-) The beginning point was this “favorite sentence”:

The guidelines used for selecting material have to do with intrasubjectively-perceived salience in the moment,…

The individual words make sense, but what do I mean by stringing them together in this way? Most simply, what I mean is, “I decide”. Yet the consent form puts limits on this power. The different choices people make concerning their own consent establish certain conditions that I commit to operate within – each individual’s decision contributes to a structure of accountability for me. Why do I need to be accountable to others in this way? Why not just rely on my own personal integrity? Because any kind of integrity requires a supporting structure and I’ve had no other. The academic language adds (hypothetically) a precision that seeks to specify the rationale justifying the choices I make.

I’m quizzed about “public” and “private”. “There’s no such thing as privacy,” says Jesus Evil Kachina. Intersubjectivity theorists (whoever these might be, smile) agree: we all mutually co-construct each other through acts of calling (instead of/in addition to "mission", also identity: interpellation). In commonsense terms, one could say we do this through culture (norms, values, etc).

“I don’t know if I want to be a blog! “ A log? A bog? “It sounds like a glob.!” A lob?

Why do I need a “weird computer” representation? Because I’m lonely and ambitious. Who does the representation invite? “Maybe the comments are just computer programs!” Understanding the blog as a representation means part of the selection criteria is the production of my own story – which moments lend themselves to the kind of person I want to be? Which anecdotes establish accountability? “The problem with writing stories is that the rough edges get rounded.” Maybe (just maybe), what I’m doing with this blog that is a wee bit different than other blogs is how hard I try not to round too much. I also deliberately intend to reflect the multiple aspects of my life experiences. I’m most invested in the long-term patterns – which I dearly hope (!) show development (growth, change). Ambition competes with pride. While the selfish ego wishes I could be (or appear) flawless; the trained social scientist grasps for objective description: how I understand life as I/we live it…

There was some tease about how communication majors communicate – or not (!) . . . something about thinking too much. Who? Me?! :-)

Posted by Steph at December 29, 2005 12:31 PM


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