Resonance capability, continued

This post continues a line of thinking from previous posts on affect and resonance capability.

Affect is all about resonance capability. For instance, in teaching we say we want students to “relate to” or connect with the course content. We want them care about the subject matter or see some connection to their own lives or something that already interests them. In other words, we want the course material to resonant with the students.

For example, in everyday life, if there is a famine in South Sudan and we want other people to care about this problem and do something if possible, this means we want to famine is South Sudan to resonate with people. If something resonates with a psychic system, this means the person will have some kind of reaction, as in thinking about it–processing information about the famine. Expectational structures or programs may change, which means learning has happened. The opposite of resonance is alienation, or the sense that the world no longer speaks to us; nothing moves us anymore (Hartmut Rosa). As an example, a student who develops a passion for Dante’s Divine Comedy after being introduced to it in a class (or anywhere) experiences a systemic change. S/he is now able to be affected by anything having to do with The Divine Comedy. The person might even say something like “The Divine Comedy changed my life.” This text is a “difference that makes a difference. ”

Events like a famine can also resonate with other social systems, such as organizations–humanitarian organizations, government organizations, religious organizations, etc. If there a disaster somewhere in the world and the United States government ignores it, this means the event has not resonated with that organization. There is no sense that a decision needs to be made.

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