Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Learning Ordinal Forms

I'm thinking about my early learning of ordinal forms and smile at the memories of playing with the other neighborhood kids as a child. We all learned ordinal form together from the older kids in games that we played. We would each put one foot into a circle formation. Then an appointed counter would touch each toe counting arond the circle of shoes or barefeet saying,

"Eenie meenie miney moe
catch a monkey by the toe,
if he hollars let him go
my mother said to count to ten
1 -2 -3 - 4 - 5 -6 -7 -8 -9 -10"

That was our early training in democratic form. A kind of lottery with luck to choose the order for the game. It also cued us that there was such a thing as ordinal form, which served as a foundation for all of the games that we played. The most important issues in playing these games were of order and position. Who is first? And who is "It". Tagging someone and calling "It!" was an official cue for a running game. "It" had to run after you, following where ever you led, catch up to you, tag you and call "It!" This cue reversed the position and order. This was our first experience with the democratic principle of "taking turns" or what we adults call - roles.

Now that I look back on those early experiences with ordinal form, I realize that democratic procedure is only role playing in the expository mode.

I'm wondering how to get people involved practicing democratic procedures in the form of games. I am not interested in push button democracy, so no computerized games. Democracy is a human endeavor. To computerize it is to trivialize it.

democracy games put hand on bat next hand up to the knob of the handle last one grips the knob wins
lottery everyone launch a post at a given minute first or last to get a post stamp within that minute wins gets to post next OP or lead Evaluation Team
open circuit games spamming games for kids most active spammer wins

serendipity good for individual growth but not community it's anti community
My Take on Facilitation
I want to help people to learn through self-teaching dialogue how a community may facilitate itself through proper applications of traditional democratic arts and skills.

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The ordinal discussion arts lead us into coherent group building and groups become the building blocks of communities.

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