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April 4, 2012

“I find an interesting toe-hold for the problem in which I called the playful facet–the element of tease inherent in the idea that it would be particularly oxymoronic to convey the idea of constructionism through a definition since, after all, constructionism boils down to demanding that everything be understood by being constructed. The joke is relevant to the problem, for the more we share the less improbable it is that our self-constructed constructions should converge. And I have learned to take as a sign of relevantly common intellectual culture and preferences the penchant for playing with self-referentially recursive situations: the snake eating its tail, the man hoisting himself by his own bootstraps, and the liar contradicting himself by saying he’s a liar. Experience shows that people who relate to that kind of thing often play in similar ways. And in some domains those who play alike think alike. Those who like to play with images of structures emerging from their own chaos, lifting themselves by their own bootstraps, are very likely predisposed to constructionism.”

Papert, S. and Harel, I. (1991) “Situating Constructionism” in Constructionism. NY: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

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