γ. Ausgang
Anthony Stavrianakis
Paul Rabinow
Finally the Ausgang: From Subjunctive to Indicative

The Haltung got us to the position that we needed to exit and to embody a stance such that we could exit when the conjuncture was appropriate. Our own mode of subjectivation was necessary but not sufficient.

The NSF report essentially dealt only with the mode of jurisdiction, which reinforced the fact that this was the only modality that counted. Given that and given this episode and since  we were now prepared to act on something objective, the Ausgang could now be completed.

Since the mode of veridiction was unaddressed the conditions for Ausgang then opened up the only exit line, i.e. along the connection from the mode of subjectivation to the mode of jurisdiction. We were now enabled to leave, feeling and knowing that we had fulfilled our obligations; however little they had been attended to by the powers that be.

Thinking alone, Winicott tells us, is insufficient to break a double-bind; to break a double-bind one needs to find a way not only to conceptualize what was going on, but to find a conjuncture through which to leave the jurisdictional situation with its unequal and contradictory power relations and demands that are ultimately producing and maintaining the double-bind.

No Transitivity: From Human Practices to SynBERC

We Human Practices were working collaboratively. There was a hierarchy, yes, we wouldn't have gotten the money without a Professor, but the work that we did produce was possible because of a collaborative mode, form and practice for the purpose of caring about the practice of inquiry.

We proved and lived internal to Human Practices that collaborative work was not only desirable but possible. The discursive affirmation and practical blocking of extending collaboration from Human Practices to SynBERC, i.e. a  lack of transitivity,  was constitutive of the double-bind.

At one level, until recently, we needed SynBERC, both as object of investigation and to support us materially. We were committed to this larger project, as collaborative equal participants in the organization,  but came to realize that this project was not shared within SynBERC.  Hence the equipment we designed proved to be inoperable in the venue. It worked in the venues we created and governed; labinars, websites, 311 Kroeber (our short hand for the venue in which we could work unhindered).

CONCEPTUAL INTERCONNECTION

“It is not the ‘actual’ interconnection of ‘things,’ but the conceptual interconnection of problems which define the scope of the various sciences. A new ‘science’ emerges where a new problem is pursued by a new method”

Max Weber, 1904

Objectivity in Social Science and Social Policy,  Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik 19. Bd., Heft 1, S. 22-87.

HUMAN PRACTICE'S DOUBLE-BIND

The double-bind was produced by our simultaneous dependence on the apparatus and our commitment to the original purpose of collaboration.

Step1: There was a contract made at the NAS meeting, based on our sense that there was a real opportunity – given current deficiencies –  and a  problem; the problem was the Weberian problem of “value spheres” however updated. The opportunity was that the bioscientists and engineers were proposing to work collaboratively with us on identifying emergent problems, just as they were doing on the biological side.

Step 2:  Once we started it became instantly the case, and clearer that this collaboration was going to be blocked tacitly or explicitly. The double-bind then became operative: we were both given approval to do what we wanted to do and denied the possibility of doing it. It was denied not in the sense that anyone said ‘you can’t do that’, but rather that there was a simultaneous affirmation and indifference that constituted our experience of stasis and stultitia making it extremely obscure as to how to proceed with the the affirmative project.

An ethnographic account of the emergent biosciences would have been possible. But at this stage such an account was not the point. The point was to work collaboratively on emergent problems. To do this we had to be part of the organization and this is what produced the double-bind.

Parallel Remediative Experimentation

Step 3: As we began to realize that SynBERC's double-bind was merley intensifying power relations and not building capacities, we intensified our diagnostic work as well as devoting ourselves to the construction of new web-based venues designed to enable collaborative work ( Bios Technika).

In the latter, indifference was not a design parameter. Later on this oversight proved to be significant.

Breaking Binds

Step 4: This stultified situation left us with a re-enforced dedication to truth, care and collaboration. Whatever comes next, the core commitment to thinking and caring about how to work together is fundamental to a commitment to collaboration and a different form of science as a vocation.