Walking as a way of thinking. Part one

There are two different strategies I use to apply for developing epistemic devices and multimodal artifacts: the first one is going to walk with the concepts and ideas I am currently working with. The second one is taking a nap with them. Today, I will talk about the first one. 

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Baklavas in Mauerpark

Every time I am reading something, I cannot stop comparing my way of writing with other people’s work. But how I do that is paying special attention to the way how they are knitting their set of concepts. I always find interesting the fluency the rest of the word has for using theoretical notions. The confidence they have for naming things is something I won’t ever have.

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Experimenting in the experimental city

Cities are the epithet of progress. Cities are the humanity’s greatest invention (Glaeser, 2011). Cities are sites for experimenting, creating, and innovating. But cities are also scenarios where poverty, inequality, environmental threatens, and insecurity happen. Cities are administrative ways of dividing geographies. “City” is a metaphor; the city is a semantic resource. “City” is a label used for gathering groups of random-particular places with the aim of governing and regulating them.

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Traveling light, an epistemological promise

How can we close the gap between reality and theory? How can we explain a reality that is fluent and that is always changing when the theoretical constructions we use for it are going slower than the world outside? Those questions were proposed by Hugo Zemelman (2012) in a paper about epistemic thinking. 

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Relativity and an ontology of the particular

The elaboration of a “particular case” has two stages. The first one is selecting a specific portion of spatialized reality for being decomposed and analyzed. The reality, in a pragmatic view the world that is there, is the group of things that exist before the researcher’s interference. In other words, in an urban-open scenario reality is a collective unfinished construction made-up of an x number of elements, happening simultaneously, without any kind of intervention from our side. It means it is a specific group of differences. World, nation, country, city, neighborhood, zone… Those are just some of the ways —accurately or not— we have been using, mostly connected with a spatial demarcation, for trying to gather and to grasp the reality. This primary reality can also be measured in terms of time, relation, action, and affection. 

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Generalities about particular cases

if we want to be on the sidelines of totalitarian points of view, we need to use relativity and a particular and located vision.

To talk about relativity results problematic nowadays due to the possible relationship that could be traced between relativism and postmodernism, interpreting the first one into the frame of the second one. However, relativity, as we will see below, is nothing more than a fundamental scientific attitude to approach reality. 

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Looking for a locality. Working on transitions in Times Square (I)

Transition studies in STS (Elzen et al. 2004; Geels, 20022010Grin et al. 2010) have a preference and a solid background on Large-scale and long-term technological issues in contexts of crisis. (See, for example, low-carbon transition in a situation of climate crisis: Steward, 2012Xiang-Wan, 2016Geels et al. 2017Geels, 2018Roberts et al. 2018). Nevertheless, there are two main perspectives inside this new intellectual tradition: “There are historical studies of completed socio-technical transitions (and) there are studies of current societal changes.” (Darnhofer, 2015)

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