I’ve been away from my studies for a couple of weeks, which have involved a research/exploratory creative practice trip in the Welsh mountains, and a conference on the Philosophy of Education. Both have proved illuminating.
Thinking about learning seems important when looking at mathematics – learning and how it affects our future interactions with our environments, given that the procedures and ‘information’ learned seem to exist in such a strange realm. I’ve been thinking a lot about what work is actually completed in a lecture theatre. I’m also thinking about how decisions and representations cut up a problem, and what that acts upon – the instructions that it gives us about how to proceed and the places that we forbid ourselves to go, like following paths on a mountainside. By cutting a certain path, we say: there’s something useful here, there’s something to see. There’s a payoff. But what payoff? What is it we gain, we learn to do? We learn how to respond to something in future, a new way to chop it up.
I’ve been thinking about frames and framing, as well. Various registers and how they’re supposed to relate, how that can be shown – the idea of frames came up in a gesture, and it’s stayed in my mind. Knitting “all this” together. So I’ve been doing some nonsense maths as well – inventing problems (based literally on frames, though that’s just for fun) and looking at how I divide them up to extract – what? Not meaning, but the potential for further procedure. Creating notations and procedures and looking at what looks like a productive avenue to follow, knowing that it’s entirely aimless.
There’s a brief discussion of Kant and the senses in Mathematics and the Body that calls the Kantian legacy “…the belief that mathematics is the mind’s tendency or faculty for apprehending the forms of perception”(p. 145). They’ve also been throwing Ranciére around. All the rage, apparently. This is in a discussion of (dis)ability and the senses which seems like it might be important.
All in all there’s a lot to write up, and a lot to follow up on. There’s a group doing work on diagramming that I need to hunt down, and then there’s Deleuze. All to come.