Like my friend Bill Kinnon, I’m struggling with an article for Wikiklesia‘s inaugural project. I’ve been asked for 2,000 words. Oddly enough, I could fairly do about 1,000 or I could fairly easily do about 5,000. Trying to distill what I want to talk about into the right length in a way that provides enough support and still leaves me enough space to interpret and opine is proving more difficult… but I will prevail! And I’ve got to do it before we slip into the weekend, as the deadline is Monday. Next week I’ll have to record the audio — every author is submitting not only their manuscript, but an MP3 file of themselves reading it. Very cool idea, and I’m proud to be involved. Can’t wait to read everyone else’s submissions.
So this means I’ve got quite a stack of books sitting out… which may be contributing to my difficulty in wrestling this into 2,000 words. Here’s what the deliciously eclectic multidisciplinary stack looks like at this moment:
Not all of the editions are as pictured… most or all of what I have are hardcover first editions. My copy of Cluetrain is one of those, and is signed by Doc, and I have to say that my copy of Pekka Himanen’s The Hacker Ethic is far more handsome than the paperback. Surowiecki’s is a library copy, and Starfish is borrowed from Jamie Arpin-Ricci… I want to own a copy of that one, but Jamie’s refused to sell me his. I’ve also got about 15 or 20 browser tabs open with related material, and I’ve fallen way behind on keeping up with reading RSS feeds and with posting on my other blog. I hope to catch all that up on the weekend, and then next week I start into two more writing projects, one a for-pay technical article and the other a piece for the July Porpoise Diving Life. After that, I’ve got some more significant writings to complete for my other blog(s), and I hope to dive deeply into some missional writing that I have conceptually in my brain, and hope to get it down before I lose it. I’ve also got some other reading to catch up on… interspersed in the above stack of books are the following:
The first two are for review, so I’ll be writing more on them for sure. The third one is something I saw mentioned by Robbymac in a comment on his blog, and it looks truely interesting… I quickly nabbed it at the library. I may review that and Starfish on my other blog. Besides these, I’ve got Jamie Howison‘s copy of Robert Farrar Capon’s The Third Peacock: The Problem of God and Evil. It’s a first edition with Capon’s signature inside… didn’t realize that until I got home with it, so I’m honoured to have borrowed it. Jamie read a passage from this book on Sunday evening at St. Ben’s, and afterward I told him, “You must tell me where that passage is from. I must have it.” He gave me the information, but then more than obliged by putting the book in my hands right away as a more extended introduction to Capon’s work (this is also part of a trilogy). Jamie described Capon as being “mad as a hatter” in a most endearing way. I intend to mention this one further, specifically the passage he read (on creation) and which I utterly loved.
So, for now — based on the book list above, anyone care to guess my thesis for the Wikiklesia chapter?
Hmmm … I’d venture a guess that your thesis has something to do with crowds/community and how those groups operate. That those groups come up with good ideas and interesting paradigms on their own, without outside interference. And that while they may look confusing to an outsider, there are often patterns and behaviors unique to the group that allow it to perform easily.
I think it’s more likely, “How I Survived So Far with Severe ADD!”
No. Wait. That’s my chapter.
LOL! I’ve added Len Sweet’s Summoned to Lead to the pile, just to make it worse. I’m down to about 2500 words now, more to cut. I fear it’ll stop making its point though. I’ve decided I’ll have to write an unconstrained version which would be no less than 12,000 words. I initially wanted to do something on “voice” but ended up with “hyperlinks subvert hierarchy” as a beginning concept to lead into a discussion of decentralized organizations. Of course, decentralizing yields empowerment of individuals, encouraging their voice. I’ve had to cut a lot of what I feel is really good stuff if I had more space to build an argument, but what are you gonna do? I’ve got to share the platform with 50 people, so I can’t monopolize! So Sonja, you’re pretty close on… though I’d say that the patterns may also look confusing to insiders as well!
hmm, maybe I should add a coda about ADD. Or OCD.
Confucious say: Sometimes patterns look like chaos, unless you can step back far enough … or wait long enough for the pattern to emerge.
Sonja say: Oh … wait … look! Chickens!
and there’s your coda on ADD. LOL …