I have bemoaned the lack of sustained engagement in online communications as one of the reasons why I have been skeptical of even the chance that dialogue might occur online. However, in my schema for dialogue I do not include as a criteria for dialogical space that and engagement must be sustained.

In fact, it's not the sustainability of discrete instances of dialogical environments but rather, I believe, it is possible for even momentary discrete instances each in isolation from others that can offer seeds of overall dialogic process. These moments seem to me to have long laster effect, far beyond the moment itself. And, even a single moment could catalyze transformation far in the future. The ability to connect these remote nodes in delayed causal relationships must be difficult to verify or even to identify, even perhaps for the individual or individual experiencing that transformation.

Bohm recognized that dialogue groups do not last, and yet they are a worthy enterprise in the moment and in an overall meta-pattern of engagements.

Though some engagement may be momentary and appear isolated from any others, it must be enough for seeds to be planted in this manner. One does what one can to create, instigate an overall dialogic shift; and even isolated moments participate in this overall meta-pattern.

Posted by John Bell on April 18, 2009
Tags: Fragments of Dialogue

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