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Polarity: conventional-radical


Distinguishing Emergent Conceptual Polarities: experimental ordering of a collection of research papers (Part #8)


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Conventional -- Radical (alternative, original)

Conventional: Many of the papers have built on conventional "static" modes of thinking, notably in relation to information and organization. The challenge was seen as one of shifting from conventional to new modes of thinking such that the merits of the first are fully acknowledged in any new context (see for example Sustaining a pattern of alternative community initiatives: based on their differences from the conventional economic rationale, 1998).

International conventions in general (1971, 1976*), and their potential to facilitate the action of international NGOs, have also been a focus (1988, 1996), as has the misapplication of legal norms (1994). The articulation of legal conventions has also been used as a structure through which new perspectives can be comprehended and given credibility (Universal Declaration of the Rights of Human Organization, 1971; Convention on the Rights of the Child Within, 1997; Interplanetary Security Council: Nibiru draft resolution on Earth, 2002; 2003). The possibility of alternative structuring of conventional declarations has also been considered (1993).

Radical: A continuing concern has been the possibility of quite different modes of thought, the perspectives to whch they might give rise, and their relevance to contemporary challenges (Systems of Categories Distinguishing Cultural Biases, 1993). Alternative approaches to design have been a focus (The Territory Construed as the Map: in search of radical design innovations in the representation of human activities and their relationships, 1979; Designing Cultural Rosaries and Meaning Malas to Sustain Associations within the Pattern that Connects, 2000).

One approach was to look "beyond method" (Beyond Method: engaging opposition in psycho-social organization, 1981). A particular focus has been radical coherence (1994, 1995) and the enactive embodiment of the environment (En-minding the Extended Body: Enactive engagement in conceptual shapeshifting and deep ecology, 2003).

As noted above with respect to Nibiru resolutions (2002, 2003), another approach has been from the perspective of aliens (Communicating with Aliens: the Psychological Dimension of Dialogue, 2000), through appreciation of alternative communities with "alien" perspectives (Renaissance Zones, 2003), or through entry into inner-focused realities (Entering Alternative Realities -- Astronautics vs Noonautics, 2002). With an aging population, and the emergence of suicide bombing, radical re-empowerment of the elderly has also been considered (Terminal Empowerment: socio-political implications of radical mutual assistance amongst the terminally ill, 2003)

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