Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Meta-Conversations

I promise I'll stop re-trumpetting Will Richardson's blog, right after this post. Actually, I came into Blogger this morning to share a comment I posted after reading Will's post entitled "The Conversation About Conversations."

The post is well worth a read. He cites John Larkin, Graham Wegner, Doug Noon, and Chris Craft all talking about the increasingly overwhelming flow of information, and he seems to lament deeper discussions, as if what I term "Information River" makes these impossible. Well I don't believe they do, actually--it seems to me that the River enhances the possibility of those happening. For example, I joined a fascinating discussion with 6 or 8 (attendance changed as the conversation ensued) Denver educators just yesterday, all about how to get our colleagues to take note of this sea change (wow, another water metaphor :) in the nature of discussion. How did I learn about this? By dipping my toe in the Twitter River and seeing a call to talk.

As I write this I see a url to a Congressional session on Online Virtual Worlds. I gotta go to Congress.

Here's my reply in Will's blog.



Woowoo, heady stuff. All this talk, all this talk. We’ve most of us been espousing “get into the conversation” sort of as an end unto itself for so long that I agree the hurdy gurdy man’s monkey is spinning his instrument faster than any of us might have dreamed possible. Harold Shaw says it in his Clay paraphrase, Like Clay told me when I first joined Twitter (paraphrasing) only “sip from the waterfall” (I will add) if you try to drink too much you may fall in and drown.

I find it funny how we’re starting to pick pet flowing-water metaphors–mine is dipping my toe in Information River: if I have time to do so I know I’ll learn something useful; if I don’t, sure I miss stuff, but it’s only “stuff.” There are worse things than a dry toe.

If I’m away from the river setting up a ball return net in the front yard for my boy’s lacrosse practice, or walking my big purebred Tennessee Black Dog Mutt, or reading Cormak MacCarthy while practicing mandolin scales, well, that’s cool, too.

Will, Will, take a deep breath, keep thinking and sharing so eloquently, and don’t despair. That’s too easy and it’s what’s gotten us into this fine pickle, isn’t it, Ollie?

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