Bergson and multiplicities

In his “Introduction to Metaphysics,” Bergson gives us three images to help us think about the duration and therefore qualitative multiplicities (The Creative Mind, pp. 164–65). The first is that of two spools, with a tape running between them, one spool unwinding the tape, the other winding it up. Duration resembles this image, according to Bergson, because, as we grow older, our future grows smaller and our past larger. The benefit of this image is that it presents a continuity of experiences without juxtaposition. . . .

Historical narrative and communication

In Bateson and Luhmann’s terms, communication is an emergent reality, a sui generis state of affairs that fluctuates between purposes of structuration and trivialization and autopoietic tendencies. The model of multiple selections-operations (information, act of communication, act of understanding, act of endorsement-rejection) may help us in the task of understanding the fact that the goal of communication is not transmission but the absorption of uncertainty, via production of redundancy and reduction of excess, in order to produce more communication. The system of communication has its own goal: reproduction. The absorption helps and facilitates this.

Notes on the concept of disability

Disability is, of course, one side of the dis/ability distinction, and this distinction is made by some system. It’s not a thing that exists outside of communication. That is to say, it’s a social construction. The bodies or brains that are to be disabled exist in the environment of society, the environment of communication. We must observe the observer.

Medicalization

By medicalization we mean defining behavior as a medical problem or illness and mandating or licensing the medical profession to provide some type of treatment for it. Examples include alcoholism, drug addiction and treating violence as a genetic or brain disorder. This redefinition is not a new function of the medical institution: psychiatry and public health have always been concerned with social behavior and have traditionally functioned as agents of social control.

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