[OPE-L:31] Re: Theoretical study and cyberspace

Iwao Kitamura (ikita@st.rim.or.jp)
Mon, 11 Sep 1995 18:31:49 -0700

[ show plain text ]

Dear ope-l comrades,

On Sun, 10 Sep 1995 06:04:59 -0700 Jerry wrote:

>A few comments on the limitations and possibilities of the medium that we
>are using for communication seem to me to be in order at this stage:
>1) There is a long tradition for group study and writing in Marxist
>political economy, most notably, in German study groups. The tradition in
>many other parts of the world is for individualized research and writing.
>Perhaps Iwao would care to comment at some point regarding his
>experiences with group theoretical research.

My experience is only traditional ones. Monthly meetings where reporters
give 30-60 minutes lectures on the topic and discuss, for example.

>2) In previous study/research groups, people communicated with each other
>directly. The medium of the Net allows for more frequent communication by
>people in separate geographic areas (its positive aspect), but it also
>has its limitations and problems as well:
> a) Net exchanges tend to be brief and often suggestive, incomplete
> and/or assertive. This can lead to problems regarding
> interpretation of posts.
> b) In traditional groups it is much easier for participants to gauge
> the motivation and perception of participants and to interact with
> each other. We have, for instance, no way of reading body language and
> intention in cyberspace.
> c) Some topics, due to the their inherent complexity, can not be
> answered adequately with brief ("sound-bite" type) posts. As we
> continue, we'll have to give some thought to how this could be
> overcome. Perhaps we could try seminar papers at some point.

I think we need common materials. A report by a participant may be one.
Or published material which is available to all.

>3) Unlike most Net lists, we not only want to exchange views, but we also
>want to get something done. This makes our task harder, but more meaningful.
>As we continue, we'll have to give some thought to time frames and
>concrete organizational structure for us to meet our goals in a
>reasonable time period.
>4) The sine qua non for this medium, given our tasks, is good faith,
>logic and patience. If we give consideration to the problems outlined
>above, I believe that we can (and will) overcome them. This post is *not*
>directed against anyone nor is it a response to anyone else's posts. The
>mere fact that I have to make this statement to ensure that the intent of
>this post will not be misinterpreted, reinforces my perception of some of
>the problems outlined above.
>We need to discuss our goals more and how we initially attempt to go
>about meeting them. I'd like to hear more discussion about this. I've got
>a lot of ideas, but I can't be expected to come up with (necessarily) the
>best ideas about this project. As I have said repeatedly, we need more
>input and exchange of ideas.
>In OPE-L solidarity,

I cannot say _our_ goal yet, but my goal here is to clarify the present stage
of world capitalism, not in a "situation analysis" manner. If this is in
question, we should start from methodology. If we can pass this, I dare to
say my concern is in understanding of the world trade and financial systems.
I would like to hear personal motivations from others.

Thank you Jerry.

in solidarity,
Iwao Kitamura
a member of theoritical study group
Socialist Association (Japan)
E-mail : ikita@st.rim.or.jp
personal web: http://www.st.rim.or.jp/~ikita/