January 10, 2016

Social experiment: Alice’s guitar lesson

SoX - Alice's guitar lesson

[This fictionalized real-life guitar lesson was also an experiment in enacting scenius — group/scene genius. Following the story of the lesson is the story of the scenius module that helped generate it. The story has already begun and is now addressing Alice:]

Alice, these guitar lessons, and our conversations on many topics, benefit me in experience and work, and should for you as well. To that end, I always ask what would you like to do, and what are your ideas?

Imbedded in this story is a review of the materials and topics of today’s lesson.

The conversational quotes are made up, comments of a fictionalized Alice. I hope you are fairly represented here though, because yours is the voice of generational change at humanity’s crossroads.


“I’m not sure what we should do today. I’ve been busy with the holidays, general life, and back to school, an exhausting schedule, and it has been weeks since we played,” said Alice.

“We have a couple of things in progress” said Ron. “One is your interpretation of ‘Home Studio’ and the other is the social media project.”

“Let’s do Home Studio.”

“Sounds good.”

“I’d like to show you a video,” said Alice, “that changes the style of another song from Hip Hop to Acoustic.”

. . . . .

They watched the video and studied the chords and rhythms, generating ideas toward reinterpreting the song “Home Studio,” by Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment.

Then they practiced the rhythms of his lyrics:

“Young black boy / How he got the labels scared? / A&R’s like ‘Chano, you ain’t playin fair!’ / You gon set a bad example for the average bear / You a yogi, you should idle while in child’s position..”

“Apparently his song is about his experiences in the art and business of music,” said Ron. “A&R as in ‘Artist and Repertoire’ in the music business.”

“Right, I know the term.”

“And I think you know Chance the Rapper ?”

“Yes, I met him a few times, and saw him at the Metro. He built a large following on his own, resisting the record companies, but now he has a recording contract.”

“He built his audience without the companies,” said Ron.


. . . . .

“I was up late last night doing homework,” said Alice. “It’s making me tired.”

“You’re holding up well. You played E minor, G, D and A chords from memory. We can use them in your version of Home Studio. I know your schedule has been hard.”

“It is hard — family, school, social life — and on top of it our generation is in the eye of the storm of advancing technology. I told you before how I feel about educational programs that have nothing to do with real life. We all realize they’re a waste of time. Technology is advancing but people aren’t.”

“You said you are network-dependent though..”

“Absolutely. I need to have information available to do the things I have to do.”

“Me too. I utterly depend on it for relationships and work, that couldn’t be done otherwise.”

. . . . .

“Practice the chords and the vocal rhythms?” said Ron.

“Maybe I’ll start memorizing lyrics,” said Alice.

“Good idea.”

Outside the studio windows, rain spattered on the streets below, in the home town of Chance the Rapper, who criticized a film about the town as being uninformed about the real local situation, the children of the town, and watching someone die. “Don’t tell me to be calm,” he said. The filmmaker said the film IS about serious business, lives that have been murdered, senseless violence.

It is all part of the story, and of Alice’s social milieu, and inevitably reflected in the interpretation, development and performance of her song, Alice’s song.

“Maybe there is some way to integrate Home Studio with our social media project,” said Ron. “Basically if you post or text something of it or about it in any medium, like a seed planted, it might grow into something.”

In the streets below, rain was turning into snow.

“We’ll see,” said Alice.


CSM-X test enaction

After the Sceenius team did some virtuereal simulations in the Immersion Lab, I took the experimental Core Services Module for a spin in today’s real-life guitar lesson.

Last night I went over the lesson plan, aligning it with the CSM-X. I set the social presence control to 5, the work-play balance control at 3-7, and set the complex responsive practices selector to #symmathesy.

Starting with the first of seven principles, QUESTIONS, I entered in its field: “What should we do in Alice’s lesson tomorrow?” Then based on my understanding of the lesson history, I entered notes for the remaining six principles.

Notes for the second principle, SITUATION were: “2 lines of work / song / network.” This played out today as:

“We have a couple of things in progress” said Ron. “One is your interpretation of ‘Home Studio’ and the other is the social media project.”

The next principle I annotated was OPTIONS: “Chords / rhythms / vocal rhythms / social media / text / image.” Before this played out, Alice introduced a resource that was not specifically in the plan, but which led serendipitously to some of the ideas that were in the plan:

“They watched the video and studied the chords and rhythms, generating ideas toward reinterpreting ‘Home Studio,’ by Chance the Rapper and The Social Experiment.” Etc.

I did not think about the module during the lesson. My subjective experience was that the content and process of the session was condensed, connected and amplified.

Setting aside further detailed analysis, the outline of the principles of the Core Services Module is:

QUESTIONS <–( #Symmathesy – #Intersubjectivity )–>

SITUATION <–( #Presencing – #SocialCuration )–>

OPTIONS <–( #ParticipatorySensemaking – #Enactivity )–>

STORY <–( #Scenius – #Liminocentricity )–>

TASKLIST <–( #Lines of Inquiry – #Path )–>

NETWORKING <–( #Virtue – #Biosemiosis )–>

PRODUCTS & SERVICES <–( #StakeholderMetalogue – #Immersion )–>

Some of these elements can be seen working in the preceding story, in its social context, and in relation to its protagonist, Alice.


 Also see Social field method cards and Sceenius as a service  

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