Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Living vs. Doing

I had a chat recently where the diffusion of ideas came up as a topic. Discussion around how best to get something done.
Is it possible to pick the best way of doing things?
Or can we let ideas diffuse and allow for natural selection of what's best?

I've recently found that I'm more comfortable with focusing on living over pushing a common best approach on others.

In a practical sense, baking bread over solving poverty.

If I do my thing and let others do their thing, will things all work out ok?
In any case, I seem to help most as a sounding board. Listening, asking questions, supporting, and critiquing constructively. Or not even being involved, just uprooting trees and eating.

Maybe I'm getting old(er). What I know of developmental psychology suggests that this transition from novel/broad/revolutionary pushing to supporting/suggesting/living is part of normal/biological/human aging.

Or I could just be lazy and unmotivated.
Where's the line between not pushing to make an impact and not having anything to do?
Do we live to try to make a difference?
Do we do to have something to live for?

(I'm still blogging existential angst late at night, so I can't be done with the developmental stage (ie. teenageryness) just yet right? :)

Wikipedia = Cities, an analogy

Disclamer: This is not my idea. This is just a reblog.

On the topic of trusting wikipedia - the great online encyclopedia where anyone can change anything, for better or for worse.

"It is this sidewalk-like transparency and collective responsibility that makes Wikipedia as accurate as it is. The greater the foot traffic, the safer the neighborhood. Thus, oddly enough, the more popular, even controversial, an article is, the more likely it is to be accurate and free of vandalism. It is the obscure articles — the dead-end streets and industrial districts, if you will — where more mayhem can be committed. It takes longer for errors or even malice to be noticed and rooted out. (Fewer readers will be exposed to those errors, too.)

"Like the modern megalopolis, Wikipedia has decentralized growth. Wikipedia adds articles the way Beijing adds neighborhoods — whenever the mood strikes. It is open to all: the sixth-grader typing in material from her homework assignment, the graduate student with a limited grasp of English. No judgments, no entry pass.

...

"[T]here is a professional class of Wikipedia skeptics. They, too, have some seriously depraved behavior to expose: Wikipedia represents a world without experts! A world without commercial news outlets! A world lacking in distinction between the trivial and the profound! A world overrun with facts but lacking in wisdom!

But:
"It’s all reminiscent of the longstanding accusations made against cities: They don’t produce anything! All they do is gossip! They think they are so superior! They wouldn’t last a week if we farmers stopped shipping our food! They don’t know the meaning of real work!"
--from: Wikipedia: Exploring Fact City, NYTimes


And so, says scott, wikipedia is to be trusted as you would trust a city.
And so: Do you trust wikipedia more, or cities less?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

all I want...

All I really want is a home. With people coming and going. Some group habits that allow me to make exist in a regular way, and to bake bread and have a garden. These things take time to build into habits, and I want to do a good job of making them into habits, so it will take time.

I want to know that when I clean the kitchen or tidy up the trees outside, that friends/family who are important to me will benefit from it. Plural people. (Where is the line between family and friends? Could I break it up a bit?)

Pancakes in the morning. I get up early. Early enough to go for a run and then make breakfast, early enough to enjoy myself and to help others wake up. *Poke* "Breakfast is ready!"

Where are the people?
I'm lonely.