18th October 2003 | Uncompleted
Framings and Reframings of Approaches to Reality
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This is an exploration of the way in which people develop, buy into, or become
trapped by frames. Frames may also be deliberately used to trap people. They
may be partially understood as categories -- except that this term is too easily
identified with labels, classificatory pigeon holes, or certain academic disciplines.
There is however an existential dimension to framing and to how people use frames
to order their reality and engage with it.
There is a classic example of the interpretation of what is seen through a
window (from a train) as "man striking women". This may be a matter
of any of the following: theatre rehearsal, murder, gestural illustration of
a story, domestic violence (wife-beating), evoked rage, therapy, self-defence,
a play of shadows, or sado-masochistic partnership, etc. Each such interpretation
could be considered a frame with some probability of truth.
More interesting than the variety of such frames is the possibility that they
may have some inherent organization -- each acquiring dominance under certain
conditions. Explicate orderings emerging from an implicate order to which one
has only access through such facets -- usefully represented by a rose window
or mandala configuration that can only be intuited as the frame of all frames.
How does one "reframe" -- moving between the frames to which one has
Complex articulations of integrated sets of frames merit reflection in this
light. Good examples are the 8-fold organization of the Chinese I Ching
(the Book of Changes) into 64 frames, and the 9-fold organization of
the Tao Te Ching into 81 frames. The organization of knowledge into sets
of categories is another example, particularly when it is inspired by such integrated
sets as the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (see .........).
Another approach to frames is through what are termed "models". For
example, the conceptual models used so frequently by management gurus and consultants
are efforts to provide an integrated set of categories through which the approach
to different strategic and operational concerns can be framed. There is an irony
to the fact that the same term "model" is applied to the exemplars
of beauty in the fashion industry. The metaphoric implications are notably worth
exploring given that one of the original futurists, and articulator of models,
Herman Kahn was based at the Hudson
Institute in Croton-on-Hudson (a little-known town named after the base
of Pythagoras) -- as was the World Modelling Association, whose preoccupation
was the world of fashion models. To what extent then can conceptual models be
usefully understood as versions of reality variously "dressed up"
for particular purposes? Are the most popular conceptual "models"
to be understood as having a status corresponding to the various sets of clothing
for a Barbie doll -- to be dressed and undressed in the process of conceptual
play? Does this suggest that frames are somewhat akin to garments through which
reality is "dressed up" to avoid improper exposure to its naked truth?
This points to the kinds of simplification associated with designing models,
the variety of models that are produced for different purposes and to gain competitive
advantage, the value attached to the elegance and harmony of design.
The clothing metaphor also points to the significance of the process through
which garments are selected from a wardrobe and put on -- or removed. Conceptual
frames may be similarly "donned" and "doffed". But, as with
garments, it is useful to recall that many do not have wardrobes and may have
few, or no, clothes. They may be obliged to wear the same conceptual garments
all the time -- or at least the same "uniform" style of garment (as
with monks, soldiers, or business men). Or they may be held within the garments
as with straitjackets.
Whether with respect to dolls (if only in childhood play) or to celebrities,
many succeed in living their lives as projections onto them as exemplars --
for example onto celebrities such as media stars, royalty, etc. Framing thus
provides a way for people to project or "upload" themselves (their
"point of view" or "perspective") onto a wider stage. It
is curious, and highly relevant to the current problematic times on the planet,
that little is known of the process by which people might "upload"
themselves to identify with framings of planetary challenges and the appropriate
responses. Global conceptual models do not encourage the form of identification
associated with global celebrities.
Metaphoric Entrapment in Time avoiding the trap of Project Logic. 2000 (https://www.laetusinpraesens.org/docs/entrap.php)