(or are you a douchebag?)
The smiley face is great. I am fair, thank you for noticing! Also, you’re right, diversity is a good thing. You’re honest too, which makes our unlikely interlocuting possible. I can overlook hyperbole ;-)
Forms of Genius
Cutting through comment clutter
Whence comes the wit and wisdom you pack into your (self-proclaimed) genius blogs? I wager its the distillation of thousands of interactions, observational as well as linguistically-based. Aside from the ideal of a self-contained, de-contextualized single work of art, what if Sankhalina Nath is onto something with the notion that “connections, classifications, relatability and order” are the new “raw material” for meaning?
Could Meta be Betta?
Frank Chimero’s “tracer cells” of language
So, Graham, I imagine you might relate to Frank’s account of his 12-second burst of creativity, especially when he says, “Dumb fun moves fast.” Interactions do, too — but can Medium Comments be more than one-offs? That is, more than simply clutter getting in the way of supposedly stand-alone works exhibiting a particular facility with writing? (Is Meta Betta asks The New Yorker’s Bob Mankoff about Frank’s one-line universal caption wonder, obviously concluding “No.”)
You may hate this, Graham, and I apologize in advance if there’s no room here for us to continue. I’m hoping your cup of tea and attendant desire for camaraderie either has enough depth for continued engagement or isn’t the sum total of your Medium brand. Surely you could mock my earnestness, at least! Thanks, anyway, for recommending my story, The Birth of Psychohistory — I figure coming from you that’s a real compliment!
Writing our way to new stories and better relationships
A while back, I asked Veronica Montes if we could go meta. She “recommended” my question, which I took as an affirmative. We had originally gotten into an exchange through Comments on a post by Todd Hannula…I “categorized” (using Sankhalina’s word) something Veronica said as a discursive instance of whiteness; she reacted to my assumption that she was white. Since then, I’ve been waiting for a ‘right moment’ to re-engage. Kellie Marie highlighted this in a Comment I wrote,
“Sometimes taking a bit of time away and coming back after other things have happened is useful to create an actual tangent in a new/different way rather than simply (quickly) repeating another loop through the same territory.”
Bob Mankoff scoffs at the universalization of captions because the reduction of infinite variety to one encompassing label clearly diminishes human expression and creativity, but this isn’t the sole terrain of meta! Meta allowed me to read a humanizing ambivalence (because he promised not to toot his horn again in this exchange) into Graham’s disparagement of Commenting — which felt like quite a rebuke since I had just proclaimed my hope for Medium as a medium of interaction moreso than (or at least in addition to being) an outlet for expression expression expression. (Reception is so quiet in comparison, isn’t it? And channeled: recommend, highlight, respond, bookmark or leave no mark except an anonymous tally in the stats.)
Misunderstanding as opportunity
Minor moments for innovation and creativity
I understood exactly why Veronica was pissed at me. And I could see she had misunderstood at least some of what I was attempting to communicate, too. For instance, I was not imposing Rules of Engagement; I meant only to identify that we were in the process of figuring out what they might be. (As we are, Graham, if you’re by chance still reading.) I was puzzled, at first, by a reference she made to “internet combat” but realized she was ‘going there’ because the concept of “rules of engagement” stems from military matters regarding the conduct of war.
The Fine Art of Nexting
Finding ways to continue…
Meta helps us see the patterns of discourse. If we notice patterning, we can act creatively to (try to) avert common disjunctures from becoming permanent disconnects. It could be uncomfortable, though, which is probably why it’s easier to stay in the same ol’ groove. DeRay Mckesson was just taking this on in the twittersphere, for instance, over the new Macklemore song, White Privilege II. It’s the deep knowledge of social patterns that makes David Bowie’s death art so powerful: he showed us an immensely graceful way to go. Medium could instigate and support collective art, not just provide a platform for individual writers.
We can write new social rules — not through words alone, as finely-crafted as they can be — but by how we choose to use words together, in interaction, collectively writing new patterns of communication that fundamentally alter the structures of our inter-relationships.
But only if ya wanna!
__________________________________________________________________Additional Credit: Michael Mark Cohen
FYI Cara Meverden, this is why I need to be able to trace and recover all of my highlights, not just the most recent batch! I’m doing something with them; or planning to.