"Silo" by any other name would be as ...

Anchor for this item  posted Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 5:22 pm MST

*email blurted while I was waiting for spag and meatloaf to heat*

Looking at the Dec2002 prototype stuff I just posted for you ... that always brings me back. Do folk realize the social engineering that went into creating the Global Indymedia Network? That came about in 1999 ... but it's "radical" or "pinko" or "leftie" or something, so it doesn't count. *shrug*
Anyhow, that's not what I'm writing about ... but I did do a bit of a flash-back just now.

I think the "About" I wrote at Many2Many sets it out pretty well ... but there's something happening at a societal / cognitive level that makes it read like fluff.

"We shouldn't silo information" ... I'm sure you'll agree that most any information worker you or I would run that past would have an immediate sense of what we were talking about. Really? Really not. A conceptual understanding is not the same as an existential or experiential appreciation and, to the point: conceptual understanding doesn't operate like experiential appreciation. Kinda like ham&eggs with the chicken and the pig ... they share a relationship, but one is operating at a different level.

Ignoring blogosphere for the moment (How many hundreds of thousands of good posts have received no comments, pretending that they've ever been read? And how many posts with comments have had the thread die from something like an attentional version of anorexia? And all the while MySpace and FB are bolemic!) I focus on forums ... how many forums? how many discussion sites, like those in newspapers? how many mail lists? The sheer degree of "silo" has to be taken into account, else the concept fails to operate as an existential ... it has no weight so long as, disconnected, it remains an abstraction.

Case in point, dealing specifically with "concept mapping": feast your eyes on this slab of maps stored in Mindomo.com, picked more or less at random ... page 8 of, gawd, how many? Those are 9 of 2499 maps on file. How many individuals' work? How many hours? *shudder*

But with that I was kinda trying to set you up for a joke ... that site? Mindomo? It's relatively trivial in terms of size and maturity compared to the number of documents hosted by the Compendium community. Talk about siloing? That app (very mature and very sophisticated) uses the internet, but is essentially invisible ... along with its members and their work.

There is 1 country called Iraq. There is 1 war in that country. There is 1 discussion about that war. However shattered and fragmented and inchoate and splintered ... there is 1 reality. That's why the founders were satisfied with merely "the pursuit of happines"; the framers of the constitution understood reality existentially, experientially, and so their thinking was in-formed by more than conceptual constructs and elaborate abstractions.

Discourse ... the term is kissing cousins with enlightenment. (Our civil freedoms arose from the movement called "rationlism" ... we called that time "the age of enghtenment", though it had nothing to do with guru-beads and incence ... it gave rise to the "emancipation project".) When we become disconnected we don't appreciate the existentiality of discourse ... or enlightnment ... or emancipation ... or democracy. Then we lose our civility. Then we are stripped of our rights. Not in the abstract: concretely. And at that point we have nobody to complain to, nobody to share with ... and we long for emancipation and discourse.


15DEC07 1654MST

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