Sunday, October 26, 2014


Continuing from the last post:

Starhawk's chapter 6 is packed with a lot of helpful information. But for now I'll focus on one particular leadership role that seems at least broadly akin to the plus-one noted above. This is from the Snake style:

"Snakes keep an underview. They watc
h the group’s process and also help the group adopt practices and projects that build connections. They watch the patterns of emotion and communication in the group, and bring hidden conflicts up into the light. They challenge groupthink, keep watch on gossip and look at what is not being said or spoken about openly or directly" (131).

Here's how Bryant describes the plus-one:

"[...] the plus-one is an empty place. The person that occupies the position of plus-one is not a participant in the discussion, but is rather a function that halts the endless sliding of discussion. S/he– or should we refer to it as f(x)? –is an empty master with no illusion to containing knowledge or wisdom. There’s nothing– to use Zizek’s early vernacular –sublime about the plus-one in his/her exercise of the act. S/he’s purely empty, a function. [...] The plus-one, by contrast [with the Philosopher-King], is abject, an idiot, containing no knowledge or special wisdom whatsoever. S/he is a function but not a father or master. S/he’s an empty performative point."

This reminds me of the function of 'meta' in computer language. E.g., metadata is how data is organized but does not itself contain content or data. IT is chock full of content and seems more a theory than a meta-theory. Recall Mark Edwards description of meta-theory, more consistent with the computer usage of the prefix:

"Whereas theory is developed from the exploration of empirical events, experiences and 'first-order' concepts, metatheory emerges from the direct investigation of other theory, models and 'second-order' concepts. Integral metatheory building is based on the analysis of extant theory and does not deal with empirical data. Consequently, it cannot validly make conclusions about empirical data based on its metatheorising. If it does so, it is stepping outside its realm of authority. To put this in another way, metatheory is primarily about other theory and not about the prediction or evaluation of first-order empirical data."

Meta-theory is not a monistic super theory per Sean Hargens, the latter of which is more like AQALingus. Hargens describes integrative monism thus:

"Searches for super-theory that supplants and marginalizes (integrates) other views."

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