October 13, 2015

Twistedpairs - to twist or not to twist - that is the question.....


 Unboil the Egg

As part of the #twistedpairs challenge set by Steve Wheeler I've been contemplating that challenge set out by Dave Cormier in #rhizo15. Could the rhizome get so tangled that it becomes hard boiled? What can be done about that? My unlikely pairing is Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari (circa 80's) and Yuan et al (2015). Ok, that's not quite a pairing....there is more than two in the house but it kinda fits. It's a twisted view on the pairing of ideas.

The colourful animation is Eleanor Nelsen's explanation in TED Ed lesson format of how to relax the proteins in egg white to restore them to their "natural" tangle. The original article here has a much less attractive title of Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies. 

A process explained called 'denaturing' is where the proteins in the egg white unwind and wriggle freely. This seems to be the process in open and online learning where people are free to connect and wriggle around the web as they feel fit or that fits the purpose. In the process of time there are new connections made and the rhizome can get tighter and tighter until it reaches the hard boiled stage. If that was true....can we wriggle free again, do we want to?

The science is suggesting....spin around "ridiculously fast" to relax the protein bonds. Children seem to love that circular movement that makes pregnant women and (most) adults feel sick. From a learning perspective, it is the precise unsettling of the equilibrium that may just free us up to continue to grow the rhizome rather than entangle.

The unboil story for these egg white proteins is a "snap back" to a native state. Do we have a native state as learners? I think we definitely have a preferred state for learning. Perhaps it is best if we can denature for a bit and then snap back. Bringing all our new insights with us. 

The UC Irvine and Aussie chemists have yet to figure out how that happens for the egg yolk! The crux of the matter for me is that while denaturing may occur in the rhizome and we may wriggle free, the main core will move and grow and that is learning! In the meantime enjoy the wriggle space, connect and learn.

My visual summation of this is shown here as an addition to my Bloomin' PC series where I take a piece of technology and match it to a learning insight.

Thought processes also assisted with Nick Sousanis' recent piece on Against the Flow "omelettes can't be put back together" and "we are all the offspring of improbable".

Reference
Deleuze, G. (1987). A thousand Plateaus : Capitalism and Schizophrenia: University of Minnesota Press.
Yuan, T. Z., Ormonde, C. F. G., Kudlacek, S. T., Kunche, S., Smith, J. N., Brown, W. A., . . . Weiss, G. A. (2015). Shear-Stress-Mediated Refolding of Proteins from Aggregates and Inclusion Bodies. ChemBioChem, 16(3), 393-396. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201402427