1. I so enjoyed your research strategy and humor on what is really a serious subject, because context matters. The owl meme, then, is perfect! Thanks for your thoughtful words.

  2. Sheri, Thank you very much for your kind comment. Trying to “make” things, rather than just writing ideas, has been a boost to my thinking and writing. Creating a meme about the difficulty of conveying an idea across cultural/contextual borders at first made me think that I have no talent in this area. But then I realized that memes are also fundamentally incapable of crossing borders. I certainly value their powerful communicative functions within contexts (in fact, most of them also require sub- sub- … contexts), but they also seem very useful for conveying the idea the idea of difficulty of inter-contextual communication. I am grateful to the #clmooc community for the opportunity to share and learn from what others are doing. Thanks again.

  3. What a great post for sharing thinking and making, and how to move into something even when context is confusing. You provide such a great model for reflection here.
    Thank you

  4. I agree that the owl may not be a universal metaphor suitable for a meme, but I do think that the process of creating or defining it culturally and personally is universal. Metaphor is how our minds work, not just a term Literature teachers pull out when they analyze poetry. Your awesome struggle here is part of how memes work across social DNA because you may be laying the crosscultural scaffolding for “owl” as universal meme. Who knows? The zeitgeist knows. Thanks for a very neat baby universe about memes. Look forward to even more owl talk from you. And I don’t mean silly. Or perhaps I do?

  5. Thank you again, colleagues, for your kind comments.

    Kevin, I was thinking about the productive paradox of trying to communicate about the challenge of communication across contexts– while trying to laugh at those who seem to be willfully ignorant about it.

    Tellio, I agree that the desire and process of metaphor use is universal, and indeed, the use of certain metaphors may also become relatively global/universal. But these words are very quick to plunge me back into self-deprecation, as well as sarcasm about the video-lecturing naked emperors of xMOOCs who seem to teach the Everyone of the Middle Ages in Britain because thinking about the backgrounds and knowledge, perspectives and understanding of people from around the world is far less attractive to them than “changing” the world from the convenience of their laptops. Incredibly enough, the advent of MOOCs has exposed that few educators at the global centers have learned anything much from half a century of developments in critical theory. It’s a shame that in the 21st century, way too many people with PhDs in the arts and humanities still seem to view the world like the owl in the picture I shared.

    That said, in a highly connected world like ours, I agree that certain memes could spread across contexts/cultures further than we might expect/believe at first. I would be a happy person if a thousand people see and share the image of an owl trying and failing to teach the world what he thinks X means for everyone 🙂
    Thanks again for the comments.

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  7. Shyam, finally got a chance to finish reading your post, Great points, made well through visuals – it’s amazing how quickly and easily you realise how myopic, closed & absolutely embedded within a single culture your view of the world is > that is, until you actually go and do what you have done, and explore multiple meanings of a single concept (owl) across different cultures.
    I’m so glad to have become involved with edcontexts – the exposure to this thinking has opened up my perspective and changed the way I view almost everything – have learnt so much from you & the edcontexts crew, in the last couple of weeks! Thank you : )

    Also love the diverse personal contributions and perspectives on writing- just goes to show there is never a single interpretation on anything, no matter how simple a concept we may initially think it is.

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  9. Thank you very much for your comment, Tanya!

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