refine refine refine

There are lots of places—but two in particular are top of mind—where I’m storytelling these days. There’s this very difficult form of storytelling where you have to craft an experience of discovery for someone. You have a project, and it’s on the Internet. Someone comes to some part of it. From somewhere. Maybe someone told them something about some part of it; What they were told may be correct, incorrect, useful, or distractionary. (Is that even a word?) And every single one of those variable things would be different for each person.

And I have my ideas, my wants, (what I may want this new person to do,) and my way of seeing and understanding the world and this thing this other person is experiencing. I can use language, colors, design (esthetics, affordances, familiarity, etc.,) audio, video, gamification, revealed complexity, feedback, and more.

I create something, and release it into the world. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, it is the best thing I can possibly create. Later, I look at it—perhaps after seeing someone encounter it for their first time and their having a flawed experience, perhaps after asking someone to review the thing, whatever… Later, I look at it and omgbecky I suddenly see several serious, glaring flaws. Not spelling error type “flaws” — no, this whole story is told backwards, or this isn’t the right thing to tell at this point in their journey type flaws.

I used to get petulant when that happened. I’d worked so hard on it, and now it’s clear that my best wasn’t very good after all.

But today, my reaction is the opposite. I get really execited! “Wait— slow down— I’m scribbling notes as fast as I can,” excited. I used to think, “where were you when I worked so hard on this,” and now I’m thinking, “being able to see that this thing actually sucks, is awesome because now I can make it better.”

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Hate

Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man’s sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Community creation as art

We make art with everything we are, the doom and the glory of it. We make art to know ourselves, to locate ourselves in the web of being, to make ourselves more alive. We make art that, at its best, helps other people locate themselves and live.

~ Maria Papova from, https://www.brainpickings.org/2021/05/04/keith-haring-on-art/

I think that art is, among other things, a physical something which exists separately from the artist. Art can be ephemeral—chalk work that disappears, a dance performance—but it exists in reality. (As a counterpoint: Art cannot exist solely in one’s imagination.) We even acknowledge that property of art being something-which-exists within the word artifact. (As in art-i-fact, and facts are concrete things which can be known about reality.)

Artists. Art. Artifacts.

Until just reading Popova’s comment, I hadn’t thought of creating a community as art; But now I am wondering.

I’m certainly a creative person, and creativity is required to create—hey, look at that—a community. Clearly a community isn’t summarily disqualified from being art simply because it is ephemeral, both in the sense of its appearance changing over time, and that it will one day cease to exist. But is it art?

Because a community sure looks like something that fits within what Popova is saying up there.

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Community for podcasters

So I went and built a new thing: The Podcaster Community.

If you create podcasts — whether you’re thinking about it, just starting out, or are publishing your 100th episode — we’d love for you to join us. It’s free to create an account. Logging in enables the platform features and you can immediately begin posting/replying in the public categories.

I don’t idle well. I get an idea in my head, and I start thinking about all the ways it could be realized. Recently, I’ve had a few separate conversations with podcasters who were looking for something—what they each wanted was different. And so I set off to build it.

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Tension

I’ve been thinking about ways to create more opportunity for engagement among the people who are following the work of the Movers Mindset project. We’ve reached a point where we’re creating plenty of content and sharing ideas—but currently almost entirely in the broadcast direction. We’ve a considerable collection of people who are passively consuming.

Meanwhile, every time I manage to engage with someone [in this context of Movers Mindset], it’s an energizing exchange of ideas about movement, movement’s place in society, and sometimes even philosophy in general.

The whole project is intentionally aimed at people who are becoming, or already are, reflective. Such people tend to have made the growth step beyond low-value interaction and engagement and are increasingly aware of how they engage and expend their time especially online. I suppose the key is to simply engage with them one by one, until that becomes untenable for me.

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§22 – The forty-eight other guys

(Part 34 of 37 in series, Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

Understanding community has always been a challenge for me. The first key understanding was that “community” is just an abstract concept; A community does not exist in the world as a concrete thing I can point to, touch or clearly delineate. Instead, when asked to explain community, I list things which I feel identify a community: its persistence, members’ unifying or common interests, having a focus in a specific physical or online space, etc. But when I really start digging in, it’s all simply interpersonal connections, behavior, communication, expected norms, shared identity, etc.. If that’s true, then functional interpersonal communication is necessary for the creation and continued existence of a healthy community.

My question these days is: What is sufficient for the creation and continued existence of a community?

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