W o K     :     Ways of Knowing

A Virtual Seminar


Using the Working Hypothesis

I talked about the original formulation of the WoK working hypothesis, 'ontologically, all that IS is already complete, and this completeness functions as a basic resource that can be explored directly.'

I discussed in particular what the content might mean, and how one might go about working with that content. I talked especially about the importance of openly and honestly engaging confusion, and about the value of working with what it might mean to work with the working hypothesis.

I used an experimental approach to this talk, speaking relatively spontaneously with minimal structure, in a kind of extended "lab time." This method also reflected the minimal structure of the practice of working with the hypothesis itself.

In some ways Qwaq was well suited to this approach. At some points I was speaking openly and honestly from a deep sense of confusion. In these cases, Qwaq provided enough of a sense of presence to draw out what I was trying to convey, but I also felt safe enough, sitting behind my keyboard, to really relax with the confusion and discuss it.

In this particular case, however, I was also already relatively well acquainted with everyone present, either through Qwaq or in real-life, so I am not certain how well this approach would work with a broader audience consisting largely of people I would not know. It may be that the familiarity, rather than the somewhat attenuated sense of presence, was the crucial factor in lowering anxiety, in which case speaking to an unknown audience might increase anxiety.

Andrew McGowan

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