old wine in new bottles


I think I took this line from an online sensemaking community I am part of. More on sensemaking communities in a later post. Instead I want to talk today about creating knowledge vs maintaining knowledge. This also came up in the aforementioned sensemaking community.

How important is it to be a creator versus a maintainer. There are many ways to look at this, a creator versus an audience, or a creator of open source software, versus a maintainer of open source software, versus a user. A creator of a musical piece (composer), versus an interpreter of a musical piece (musician), versus a listener (audience member).

Notice I started out with a dyad creator vs maintainer and then I moved into a trinity of creator / maintainer / participant. I did not plan that. I almost said consumer but that is really some capitalist logic and I dont like it one bit. It feels passive. It feels less important some how. There is a problem with hierarchy in this culture, perhaps in all cultures. In my job I am a consultant, most of the other people I work with are highly capable and knowledgable technicians and the roles are divided into account principals, that manage the account, technical principals that manage the delivery, and consultants that manage the implementation or execution. I see these roles as equals, and quite frankly at this point in my career I want to work with equals.

Participant I consider in terms of participatory knowing – like going to a night club or rave. You have the dancers (the party goers), the dj, and the promoter or the night club owner (the producer). The different members undergo different transformations according to their participation. Their sensations are activated differently, their bodies are engaged differently. Ok what was my point.

Ahhh, now I remember.

I am starting a new experiment some what related to this. I am writing a newsletter every day for maybe (at least) a month. Every 7 days my newsletter will be a rewrite of the newsletter I sent 7 days prior. The idea is that I am at first creating and then maintaining, not sure how I am participating, but I suppose every rewrite involves a re-read… Or perhaps a future experiment is that someone rewrites my email and I rewrite theirs. The inspiration for this newsletter will be in the first newsletter – you can signup here.