Recent Fascinations

Things that have been fascinating me for a couple years… things I believe are crucial to the emerging age:

  • Relationship of node to network in defining context and therefore meaning. Picture the image and quote misattributed to Lincoln on Facebook. Lots of stuff on the web is creating a crisis of context. Globalization produces a crisis of context. Nomadism destabilizes contexts. Blurs boundaries.
    • Not only is it hard to maintain context once we unhitch from absolutes, we need to get a better grasp on what portability information has. And how it gets corrupted as it travels. I am not going to argue that it should not get corrupted, this is part of cultural dispersion and the lifecycle of ideas, but we need to better understand that lifecycle in a world in which things are evolving at different paces concurrently.
  • Trust and how it operates with specificity within a context. I don’t just “trust” the way the word is often used vaguely. It is specific. Specific person, specific action, specific timeline. Trust is a lubricant (for better or worse), so how do we encourage it and discourage it when cultivating flows?
  • Emotions in decision making and motivation. We aren’t as rational as we thought or wanted to be. We are highly emotional. Knowing this about ourselves, how do we use that to our advantage? How do we work gently with these emotional creatures around us?
  • Boundary spanning. Boundary crossing. The dance of discernment and integration. I think a lot in network diagrams…. I have always been someone on the boundaries between in some critical way. Much of the last 20 years has been about shifting away from silo models, whether in education, organizations, or social networks. We integrate again. And yet, disaggregate too.
  • Multiplicity. I am not a single identity. I have several online. I have many more inside me. I belong to many tribes, many networks, and many communities. I flow between them, but not with the same people. How does the multiplicity within me and within networks encourage resilience? How does it make things brittle?
  • Time. Again, this is about discernment. Something is going on with time. Asynchronous communication, synchronous around the globe. Time on a clock. Duration. The varying experience of time. Time as a distance. Time as a frequency or beat within a pattern…. What is going on with time? And how does it influence all of the above.

    Do you have insights on these? What might I read to figure out more?