Updated: 6/27/2005; 9:37:23 PM.

Mathemagenic


...giving birth to learning...
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  Wednesday, December 17, 2003


  Weblog as an easy way to stay in touch

I'm thinking why I encourage some of people I know to start a weblog. The answer is simple: I don't know easier way to stay in touch, to maintain and develop an intellectual and emotional connection with someone over the distance.

It's like chatting with friends over a drink or with a professional acquaintance at a conference: not goal-oriented, open-ended, easy and fun, creating shared context without any deliberate effort. And RSS feed works much better than relying on a chance to meet or remembering to call, to mail, to plan a meeting: it make sure that people you care about are on your radar. It creates some kind of awareness, weak-tied connection that is needed to make joint fun or work possible when the time comes to get closer.

That's why it's more difficult for the people I care about: I'm very selfish constantly suggesting that they should start a weblog :)


  Slow down time

Chris Lawer on plenitude

Now my unfortunate problem is that I am suffering real bad from a plenitude of plenitude, i.e a curse of consuming plenitude itself, i.e. a deep desire to consume all the books, articles, comments, papers, journals, magazines etc etc. that discuss issues of plenitude in modern consumer society. And its driving me nuts, to the point that sometimes I feel that I just want to give up - a real case of "Amazon Overload"!!

While reading it I thought of the old post by Ton

With all the enthousiasm that comes with entering new uncharted territories at first everything is interesting. All special interest groups on KnowledgeBoard are worth contributing to, all interesting blogposts, and boy there are many out there, are worth commenting on or reflecting on in your own blog. You reach addiction levels when you start being afraid to miss something interesting.

But that eagerness takes its toll. There is no real time to filter all that passes before your eyes, as you're already sprinting to the next interesting post as soon as you've linked to the last one. And finally there is the time when all that discovering and exploring, and playing with ideas for fascinating projects, becomes too much.

I'm learning to deal with this thirst for new isights, to let it go, to make sure I have time for a reflection,  for working on a bigger canvas and for the "simple act of human contacts" as John Moore puts it commenting on the post of Chris.

There is so much real pleasure and satisfaction to be had in the simple act of human contact without the need for an orgy of consumption.

And I keep coming back to my own mantra: let's put relationships before ideas. Blogging at its worst becomes a diet of too many ideas and not enough real contact. We tend to think of innovation as inherently good, but an awful lot of grief is caused by the championing of an abstract idea in a way that trashes relationships. It's a mistake I catch myself making, or about-to-make, quite often.


  Weblogs from a philosophical perspective

Elmine Wijnia, about her thesis on weblogs:

What my thesis is going to be about? I haven't got my research questions formulated yet, but I do know one part is to describe the weblog as a communicationtool and compare the weblog to other types of communicationtools used on the internet, such as chatboxes, fora etc. The other part of my thesis will consist of a philosophical investigation of the weblog. A Dutch philosopher (Jos de Mul) has written about personal homepages as a tool in the construction of personal identity in the postmodern world. That's a very interesting subject. An other thing that I noticed about blogging is that the communicational culture amongst them has some resemblance with the ideal speech idea of Habermas. In short that is: respect for the opinions of the other, no differences in power between the persons joining the conversation and transparancy. It is worthwhile to investigate whether my ideas about this are true in some way.

This post also appears on channel weblog research

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© Copyright 2002-2005 Lilia Efimova.

This weblog is my learning diary. Sometimes I write about things related to my work, but the views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

 
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