Perspective, Convergence and Overload

December 16, 2008

A few weeks ago I complained about an something that wasn’t spot accurate on a topic I’m very much involved in and I embarrassed myself and someone else, because I lost an awareness of perspective. Specifically that mine is mine and is informed by factors I do not share with others. I try to share them with others but I know to stop when the eyes start glazing, these days.

But, feedback on that item has been extremely positive and the bits I could quibble with are pretty much irrelevant to the point of it and in no way detracted from the readers’ benefit. Call me a fruitcake, it still bothers me that I didn’t do the right things and take a step back when my feelings engaged on something, or consider how much it Mattered in the real world. In this case, not so much, really.

Since we cannot divorce ourselves wholly from our own perspectives, only partially and often with difficulty and frustration, it behooves us, rather, to get acquainted with NEW perspectives.  These, distracting in their novelty, may well skew our own without our notice so we can trick ourselves into changing our perspectives by pretending we aren’t.

Trust me, it does work. If you’ve read the Hitchhiker’s Guide series you may recall that Arthur Dent taught himself to fly by throwing himself at the ground and missing. If you haven’t read this series, I recommend it heartily. Along with anything by Terry Pratchett. Those guys have WEIRD perspectives and it’s made them a lot of money.

Convergence. It was pointed out to me that there are just too many resources on the internet for us to expect to share many in common even with the folks in our own group. How can we communicate as a whole group without everyone getting the same content even if it comes from different locations. We have a Facebook group for the Amoeba. Only there aren’t many people there. We have all heard that you can lead a horse to water.

How to address this massive lack of convergence in the New Media we are all playing in here with those the rest of the SRO are looking at and come up with something coherent that everyone can and will use? Mailing lists are good for certain things but they don’t allow folks to opt out of discussions that don’t concern or interest them if they are carried on over the whole list. Blogs are only useful if they are read, and most people if asked would say they don’t have the time to go mucking around with Yet Another Thing To Read Every Day. At least a Blog is just a URL to click on, you don’t have to sign up and create a profile.

So, should we look at converging on a BLOG? If we all encouraged to read Rich’s blog should it have a discussion board linked? Should we hijack his Comments sections covertly or just take over the joint? Should we make up a survey and then paint a representative Venn Diagram in the hallways of building 1216 in order to decide on the easiest path to full, direct and open communication within the organization? Or should we just all go out to lunch together every other week, and watch a communications strategy build itself around the arguments over restaurants and times slots?

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3 Responses to “Perspective, Convergence and Overload”

  1. Mike F. Says:

    Good thoughts. I think as far as what should our communal well be, the blog is a fine central place, easy and accessible. Features could be added … help needed there. Other than that, we still have email, the phone – and, oh yeah, talking with each other and having meetings, concepts so retro they may someday be considered new. IN/OUT, okay. Action-tracking systems … yuck, just ain’t me. Twitter … hmmm, not a 140-character guy. Yammer … same thing as Twitter. IM and texting … occasionally.

  2. kbarnstorff Says:

    You had me at Venn Diagram! What is one? (I now know because I googled it) … but thereby speaks volumes. We don’t all speak the same language … but we are capable of learning from one another.
    For instance, I can be a 140 character kind of person, but I want to make sure they’re good characters that offer something of value. Kathy B.

  3. Melissa (Dorsey) McDowell Says:

    I suspect a semantic mis-match to be the root of many problems that crop up when people start negotiating something. Mathematicians always define terms, maybe we should too!


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