The economic condition has corrupted academia thoroughly. The notion of creating a space within which people are free to pursue exploration of ‘truth’ or ‘knowledge’ for the sake of truth or knowledge, is no longer viable. Perhaps this bubble of freedom remains intact in the arts, but the financial concerns of the university as an entity are thoroughly commercialised.

“Regressive Pedagogical Practices”

“…the introduction of new technologies (e.g. Edwards & Clinton, 2018), the harvesting of big data to enact ‘learning analytics’ (Munro, 2018; Williamson, 2018), the recruitment of very large student cohorts (Arvanitakis, 2014), and the promotion of the ‘student-as-consumer’ model (Nixon, Scullion, & Hearn, 2018) may foment a perfect storm of regressive pedagogical practices. Students are unlikely to develop efficacious agency whilst subjected to a barrage of such restrictive interventions.”

from Langer, S., Bunn, G., & Fellows, N. (2018). Towards a Psychosocial Pedagogy: The ’student journey’, intersubjectivity, and the development of agency. Learning and Teaching in Action, 13(1).

Accept the Situation

The trick is to let myself understand this is the case. Those within the institution find it hard to buck the effect, because they are paid by the institution, and their sense of identity and positional power is dependent on the fraternity of practitioners in that institution.

I am in the unusual position of being at the boundary, as always. Not sufficiently trained to demonstrate the skills required to ‘enter’ the institution as a qualified PhD. A PhD student, in the antechamber. And I am aware that by acceding to the demands of entry, I forgo some aspect of the change I bring. And thus, I am the unreasonable man who expects the system to change in order to accommodate me. It is not quite this, in truth. It is genuinely my lack of skill. However, the problem remains that should I have the skill to promote the positionality of Reflexive Reading, I shall be a member of the academy and suffer from the institutional pressures, should I try to take a position and become a paid worker.

Since I am not interested in being a paid worker, since I can do that as a teacher, though perhaps the life of being an academic would suit me, my age, temperament, and might provide better service. So, I would like to continue with the PhD, conduct the research in schools, or conduct the Delphic Study on Reflexive Reading.

However, what I must acknowledge is that, in all likelihood, any significant change is only going to happen through economic shift. That is Sqale. When academics and practitioners are freed from the organisational payment structure, and yet have some serious flow of money which enables them to keep pace with the brightest minds in the world. I think there are plenty of ‘retired’ academics who have more freedom of thought and action, but why should they commit to the level of conceptual and institutional change that is required? I’m happy to work with anyone, of course, who is willing.

“grow the network of participants, readers and authors, who have the courage to introduce the system wide changes we need.”




  • Sqale for everything: projects are created on sqale, contact with others are done through sqale, tracking thanks for people who help with projects, remunerate participants; use Sqale with any form of engagement
  • Urb: come up with narrative stories which reflect my experience, challenges; metaphoric, and explorative, so that not just like boring blog posts exploring possible solutions, but emergent within the fantasy world… perhaps? Perhaps share stories which suggest the transformation required to others… Certainly have characters yabber on about what they are trying to do in their respective system, and someone yabbering on about whole system change
  • ABC State: Yes, I need to push this along. Can ABC state be used for all social engagements beyond a dyad? Actually, I need to relate it to tango, perhaps.
  • Action Cycles: and other business related practices relevant for confluence collective. We are working together.
  • Reflexive Reading: and the other techniques to provide basis for social science. Use the theoretical underlabour of Bhaskar, third order cybernetics etc. The social version of Hippocratic Oath.
  • XQ: Define the maths for this. Use maths to explain.
  • Zero Social-Distance: Need to practice this, while engaging others live. And Jaxing for the sharing of internal and responsive content.

Make it Happen

I need to start practicing all the systems.

I can’t keep going on about each one of them.

I need to operate all of them. So when I am operating one, they make use of the others.

I can not proceed with eg trying to talk to environmental folk in Hope Valley using eg email. I need to operate the business method of human-to-human engagement, using Sqale. And not to simply give a talk about, but to invite action while listening.


“I need to practice simultaneous systems in my mind, so that I do not fall into using traditional methods.”



Paths Ahead

I can see three paths ahead. I’ve only got 5 months to complete. And because it takes a month to sort things out and give two weeks for people to review, realistically this is 4 months.


ABC State

Extract material relating to ABC State. Use material for Reflexive Reading which applies to ABC State. Define qualities of ABC State. And do further research into other educational material which is related. However, drill into Doll’s work, what his references are and who cites him and his work.

Although this is the easiest to do, and what the reviewers are asking for, it goes against what my supervisors advised initially. Tricky.


Reflexive Reading

Extract Reflexive Reading. Go more into depth with the material I have already explored, ie Shotter, Roth. Also do another literature review of anyone exploring academic reading. Perhaps define the process mathematically, though this goes into XQ territory. Might situate it against Organic Sharing, or second social fact. My supervisors are not confident of supervising me with this, but with a clear research programme, it should be ok. Not the mathematisation, though.



Reflexive Reading edges into Organic Sharing, which brings in the economic. Also, the mathematical mapping of intention links to credits. So, rather than embed this in the Reflexive Reading proposal, let me extract it here.

Organisational Complexity

Option 2 and 3 involve a formal application for Changing Candidacy, which if allowed by the IS department may involve finding another supervisor and department. Given such a short time frame, I doubt this will happen. I could end up doing all this work, without having a supervisory team. So no matter what is written, it will not be read. This would be rather disappointing.


It looks like I am faced with exactly the same issue I faced when I conceived of the idea of doing a PhD. Ended up writing two of the three PhD proposals: one in education, one in economics, and the other I didn’t complete, one in psychology and mathematics. That was two years ago. After a year’s PhD, I have not defined ABC State, introduced Reflexive Reading which is a deep contribution which lends itself to vector-intent and XQ (ie psychology and mathematics) and organic sharing (ie economics hack). I have much more detail on the academic landscape. The mess (as in Ackoff’s term, the mess as opposed to a well defined problem) that is the interface of academia and practice in schools, the mess of theory and method post- post-modernism. The attempt to retain simplistic concepts, render them manageable and analysable and researchable, at the expense of finding application in the real world. The misplacement of ethics, the invisible subject (Roth), the need to evoke the categorical imperative (Kant) as the basis for ethical praxis. and transformative praxis (Bhaskar).

I am confident with Reflexive Reading. I think it is feasible to create a reasonable research project. The ABC State too. The maths, economics, of course because we’ve built a tool that operates it. These are empirical research projects: in each case we can conduct an experiment, and see what the results are. The philosophical or epistemological basis are rooted in several blindspots in academia, however, and my way of navigating this has not met with recognition or acceptance. Therefore, they will continue to appear ‘weak’. Hence the attempt to mathematise Reflexive Reading. This underpins all of them: a mathematical description which relates to the nominal data of ABC, the readership of Reflexive Reading (and social accountability), and the intention-projection of economic. Basically, how number is used for social organisation.

For example, the DIKW ladder in relation to the longitudinal ‘data’ that ABC State derives, the ‘information’ it has for participants (the relationship of their own behaviour to collective state) versus academics (a degree of social cohesion or coherence to group of people); the ‘knowledge’ it contains for teachers and students (namely the reframing of the teacher-student relationship in terms of authority, ie adult-institution empowerment); and ‘wisdom’ as it correlates to the ‘internally persuasive discourse’ (Bakhtin, but also Schon’s ‘reflective contract’ and Doll’s ‘dissipated control’).

The Path Ahead

Do all three simultaneously. This is what I had planned originally, and separated and attempted linearly. This has failed to meet with institutional acceptance. I can’t compute the additional institutional complexity, so let’s do it my way and run all three simultaneously. After all, what is my failure in comparison to the rate of loss globally because of institutional intraction? (And yes, I know that word is invented, but I don’t like the noun form of ‘intractability’ or ‘intractableness’?)

  • Economics: Sqale
  • Fantasy: Urb
  • Education: ABC State
  • Business: Action Cycles
  • Academia: Reflexive Reading
  • Mathematics: XQ
  • Spirit: Zeroing the Distance



The primary objective of this reconfiguration of the happyseaurchin site is to provide a transparent window, which we may find is glassless to enable greater interaction or participation. I am attempting to collate my thoughts, consolidate previous work, and to assimilate or construct or confluence ‘products’. These ‘products’ are meta-tools by which we can alter how we operate. Like watching  river forming an oxbow, carving out its path through the land. All process. It gets a little tricky. I have multiple perspectives, tools, etc, and formalising them requires a reasonable amount of effort. Not brick-by-brick work, more like herding cats.

I’ve introduced the major systems and tools in the fixed pages of this site, and they are indicated to the left. There are a bunch of others, like tango and tai-chi, an online tournament structure, happening hangouts. These generally fit into the systems outlined, and they all involve our embodied presence and action. The text-related ones are relevant for this blog in order to escape the standard written-reading practices, reveal the underlying assumptions of word-thought construction, while providing a creative means for us to progress well through text. We need to subvert the standard writing-reading contract which induces a deadening effect (that all this has already been written for you), in order to reveal the actual process (that it is being written, word for word, as you read). That is, Reflexive Reading. I describe text-tango below.

Why the bed image above? Because some of my best thinking emerges from sleep, the surface of wakefulness where the rules of linear logic are loosened up to enable a more fluid exploration of thinking. Mindflow, I call it. We’ll be encountering that here. You have been warned…

Read Home Page Check About Page

Unique. Undefined. Unrefined.

Typical text. Although written alive to your live reading, the tendency is for the unsuspecting reading to fall into the standard practice of thinking it has all been written, and that they have to chase for the meaning which is being conveyed.

Relax. We are co-constructing the meaning. Yes, I’m writing this at the moment, but it could be you some day, or another. What matters is that we are sharing the experience.

Text-tango. This involves writing on a single page, deleting and editing as we go along. The process is captured on video, so the temporal nature is obvious. It is self-evident the text is being written.

There may be a finished ‘product’, a block of text, like these columns of text. The editing is not visible. Only the final product. The point of text-tango is to show the original writing and the editing process; both are creative.

Variations. I normally don’t edit typical text, because I think it is unfair. A well crafted piece of writing can become too seductive, where a first-time reader is struck by the well-crafted quality. I prefer the equality of writing live and reading live for the first time, with minimal editing. Closer to synchronous communication, talking rather than being lectured, a common misunderstanding when someone hears me talk. I am not lecturing. I am exploring. We are exploring. The proof of which is a new idea to us both.

Real Blabbing

Use the way-back machine to check out previous material. I will insert links for other material as I go along. Probably a set of links to the right side. I’m 50, so not so up to date with modern blog styles and formats for writing blog posts. As already noted, I have developed multiple ways of changing the way we read and write, which we will experiment with during this blog.

I am starting to compile the different areas of exploration I have conducted over my life, the various ‘processual products’ that I have formulated. That’s about thirty years of adult life. The intention is to produce clear descriptions of them. They are all pretty ‘minimal’: a handful of processes conducted simultaneously. But because they are minimal and processual, they generally go under the radar of people’s attention. As a result my life journey hasn’t appeared ‘understandable’ to others. The attempt is to make this clearer by showing how these different activities are related.

That is slightly misleading. Misleading in that I am misleading myself. I need to bring these processes together, with the hope of defining a minimal mathematical description. These blog posts could be conducted in private, but that would be in the same modality as the construction of the ‘products’. I didn’t want to confuse myself, to have my explorative meanderings, in the same ‘channel’ or modality as the work to construct the ‘products’. By making it public, I can pursue my line of thinking freshly, as indeed I write this, and I do not fall into the error of producing a ‘finished product’, which unfortunately is the objective of the real ‘work’. However much I like Sqale, and see it as a useful tool, or Reflexive Reading, they do require a considerable effort in creating.

I hope this makes sense. It may not. But then again, I am not explaining. I am exploring. The evidence will be in the subsequent posts, in combination with the actual results of what is created. For example, Sqale app. If the Sqale app takes off, then those parts of the blog which relate to it may be useful retrospectively for the reader, but more importantly, the writings are useful for me to sort out my thinking in relation to what we are doing with Sqale which may be influential in Sqale taking off. All too often, we see ‘success’ as a completed result, without the preceding toil and turmoil of its creation. We get retrospective fictions, sure, but they are dramatised; we then get inspired by these retrospective stories (I just watched Ford v Ferrari last night), and then attempt to ‘replicate’ them in our daily lives; in this process we end up replicating the fictive, not the real. Disorders occur. And we are particularly interested in how fiction becomes real, or how we realise things. So it it is important that we employ tools, and adopt methods, which equip us without colouring artificially. Which leads to this transparency. Not so dramatic. More struggle. But definitely real.

The world needs us to be more present and active, more than ever. If not, we shall succumb to the machinery, the machinery of tech, jobs, et al which contributes to so much automation of our lives.


posts written


sqale shares


credits awarded


average rating


The above bar of number is not live. I’ll have to update it manually. And I may edit the whole thing considerably. Or I shall create another post which will be pinned to the top which is a generic Welcome with instructions on how to use the blog. But I will do this once I have got a bunch of stuff up. Yes, that makes sense. But for now, we’re done. I need to get on with the actual work. I may find that blogs are too distracting, or the format not as convenient as Gingko, or Apple’s TextEdit or Google’s online docs. May the experiment begin.