It’s my birthday, 51, and I woke around 4 and thoughts buzzed around until I reached out to record them. Not the usual mindflow, but agitated. Disrupted. This, it appears, was my birthday gift for my 52nd year on this planet. 

I’m halfway through transcribing the 1.5 hour yabber, and I remember my original plan while teaching in 2007 which was to create a remarkable class and then invite academics etc to witness it. This was the only viable way that movement might be achieved in a relatively painless way. Result led. Let the academics try to work out what was happening in the class. Let them study what ABC state was, and what combination of motivation, self-discipline, self-efficacy, and the myriad constructs they use to understand psycho-social dynamics. As it happens, the job I took, the first full time teaching job in ten years, was a disaster. It ended up ok, but the kids didn’t respond as positively as I would have liked. A mixture of student institutionalisation where they wanted to test whether I could control them (C state), a personal liking of the previous teacher, and the requirement to create my own lessons in a virtual environment and create materials for every lesson. The conditions were against an uplifting experience for us all. The kids pulled through, though, and there was some enjoyment towards the end of the year, incredible loyalty by the toughest sets for the hassle they have put me through for the year. I had spent 10 years in education avoiding this, all of it, from the testing of discipline implementation (something I could do minimally), to the creation of content for lessons (I was more interested in social dynamics and metacognition).

And here I am in university, and experiencing the very thing I new back then would be difficult. And I am in a department which is quintessentially ‘category’ manipulators: Information School, a department which has evolved from librarians, can you believe it. I mean, the irony is ludicrous.

The Impossible Academic Space

There are a combination of conditions which make it particularly hard to put forwards the ABC State solution which I developed. After my attempt with the Confirmation Report, which rejected or rather dismissed the Reflexive Reading solution I proposed, I have spent a few weeks revising a Report which focusses exclusively on the ABC State. And I wake up in the middle of the night realising that what I am attempting is impossible. I have developed methods to support the results I achieved in schools, involving simultaneous systems etc (see left column below); but these methods are rejected because of multiple assumed positionality of current academic practices (middle column below). The ABC state is rejected and the methods which I use to validate it are also rejected; I am encouraged to adopt categorical and stochastic methods, employ thin linear logic, reduced model of agency, distance to the subject, critical position. If I accept these, and by extension into the object system, ABC State is invalidated. I will never be able to put together an appropriate argument. Just look at how ABC state is defined, how it relates individual to collective, the subjective evaluation of the ‘state’, and non-definition of ‘self-discipline’, and the expected institutionalised response of teachers…

My Methods

  • simultaneous systems
  • immersed social
  • self-organisation
  • meta-cognition
  • result-based (try first)
  • self-organisation
  • social fractal seed


  • categorical thinking
  • stochastic math
  • models
  • ineffective theory; Bhaskar not used well 
  • distance; first order maybe second order cybernetic
  • invisible academic; 
  • invisible subject
  • after-the-fact science

Social science

  • reflexive reading
  • verification
  • third order cybernetic
  • transformative praxis
  • relational ethics
  • before-the-fact
  • correspondence
  • dissipated control
  • action research
  • meta-method

No. I have described this before. I need to redirect my attention towards it: that an alternative academy awaits, which is network-based, which escapes from the institutional problems which current academia, universities, colleges, schools currently suffer from. And the only way this may be achieved realistically, is if there is sufficient funds to enable it. And by funds, I mean through Sqale, because if the funds are directed through traditional organisational methods, then the same institutional problems will persist. We need an economic for networks to fund the academia-network. Think mycelium, think soil. This is the level I need to keep working at. Not at ‘knowledge tree’ level, or the tiny branches which I am encouraged to pursue.

So, in the end, the Confirmation Report document is not really to pass the restrictive gateway to a PhD. But to collect together the evidence such that retrospectively, it may be accepted because of the altered structure of PhD, perhaps through another discipline, and conducted by someone else.

It is obvious that I am in a C State environment. I haven’t thought about how does an individual act when surrounded by students who demonstrate C state behaviour, being institutionalised, and being administered by people who are using institutional violence? This is a bit harsh, because the review process for PhD is to invite someone into the fraternity of PhD holders. However, if they reject my argument and RR without actually addressing the issues and solutions I have brought up, ‘because they don’t understand’ is inexcusable, considering how simple Reflexive Reading is.


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