Re: [unrev-II] Dervin and Sense-Making [& an example]

From: Henry K van Eyken (
Date: Thu Nov 15 2001 - 10:23:15 PST

  • Next message: Eric Armstrong: "Re: [unrev-II] Dervin and Sense-Making"

    Peter Jones wrote, while making sense of sense-making:

    > "In a more general way, Sense-Making aims toward achieving these ends by
    > implementing an interviewing approach that
    > does not name the world for the actor but rather mandates the actor to name
    > the world for herself."


    Prof. Michael Gazzaniga of split-brain fame postulates the existence of a mental
    process called "interpreter." [No, not a "hermeneutizer."] It is our
    interpreter that lets us make sense out of nonsense. Gazzaniga tells us of an
    intelligent lady who suffered from a malfunction called reduplicative
    paraamnesia. "The standard interpretation of this syndrome is that the patient
    has made a duplicate copy of a place (or person) and insists that there are
    two." He interviews her in his office.

    "I started with the 'so where are you?' question. 'I am in Freeport, Maine. I
    know you don't believe it. Dr. Posner told me this morning when he came to see
    me that I was in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital and when the residents
    come on rounds to say that to them. Well, that is fine but I know that I am in
    my house on Main Street in Freeport, Maine!' I asked, 'Well, if you are in
    Freeport and in your house, how come there are elevators outside the door
    here?' The grand lady peered at me and calmly responded, 'Doctor, do you know
    how much it cost me to have those put in?'

    "The patient had a perfectly fine interpreter working away trying to make sense
    out of what she knows and feels and does. Because of her lesion, the part of the
    brain that represents locality is overactive and sending out an erroneous
    message about her location. The interpreter is only as good as the information
    it receives .... The interpreter tells us the lies we need to believe in order
    to remain in control." Better change what one believes than find onself at a


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