Blogging is part of the social internet, as opposed to the walled-off apps of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…). You own your blog web address and its content instead of renting space from companies intent on keeping you inside their confines as they sell data about you.
Blogging is free of the Liking economy, but participates in the Sharing economy. Once a blog is up and running, it doesn’t matter if anyone likes it. It finds its own obsessions and in so doing generates its own momentum.
Blogging creates its own community. The momentum generated by writing about your interests and putting that online leads other people to you. My blog, for example, has been cited in books and Amazon press blurbs. That’s the Sharing economy in action.
Blogging makes your thinking public. A blog is an archive of your thoughts, hypotheses, and connections that is searchable by anyone, anywhere, anytime.
Blogging encourages longer form explorations of whatever you find interesting or significant. The pleasure of pursuing your interests in long form is an antidote to the Shallow Life, however you define that. Distilled to its essentials, a blog post says: Hey, look what I found. Or, Hey, consider what I’m thinking about. Sharing your distilled interests leads you to a deeper level of engagement.
Blogging encourages you to think through whether or not what you want to say has substance. As you blog, you evaluate what is and isn’t worth saying.
Blogging promotes independent thought. Yes, there are many a blog dedicated to say, stream of consciousness poetry, but these are noises amongst signals. As you think through what is and isn’t worth saying, make your thinking public through longer form explorations, create community, free yourself from the Liking economy, and join the social internet, it helps you ignore the noises and focus on the good stuff—which is what everyone else is not talking about.
Try to be a signal, not a noise.
Some other posts on blogging:
“A Moiré pattern is an interference pattern produced by overlaying similar but slightly offset templates. A simple example is obtained by taking two identical ruled transparent sheets of plastic, superposing them, and rotating one about its center as the other is held fixed.”
“Now a moire pattern… is actually a very good analog of the Steve Reich piece [It’s Gonna Rain] in action. Something happens because of one’s perception rather than because of anything physically happening to these two sheets of plastic which produce an effect that you simply couldn’t have expected or predicted. I was so impressed by this as a way of composing that I made many, many pieces of music using more complex variations of that…
All of my ambient music I should say, really was based on that kind of principle, on the idea that it’s possible to think of a system or a set of rules which once set in motion will create music for you…
If you move away from the idea of the composer as someone who creates a complete image and then steps back from it, there’s a different way of composing. It’s putting in motion something and letting it make the thing for you.”
This photo was submitted by my friend (and brettworks blog reader) Talia. She notes:
“Simeon Solomon’s life and work seem pretty interesting. I’m not quite into Victorian art, but this gathering reminds me of playing easy Bach pieces for family members. And maybe it looks even more interesting in the age of social distancing.”
Get the beat of the system.
Expose your mental models to the light of day.
Honor, respect, and distribute information.
Use language with care and enrich it with systems concepts.
Pay attention to what is important, not just what is quantifiable.
Made feedback policies for feedback systems.
Go for the good of the whole.
Listen to the wisdom of the system.
Locate responsibility within the system.
Stay humble—stay a learner.
Expand time horizons.
Defy the disciplines.
Expand the boundary of caring.
Don’t erode the goal of goodness.
Donella H. Meadows, Thinking in Systems: A Primer (2008), p. 194-195.