thoughts, Uncategorized

Of Course I’m Writing A Book

I started in 2002.  Now, I haven’t been writing that whole time.  No.  And in fact, you don’t even want to know all the crap that’s gone down in the last 7/8 years.  Trust me.

The problem is, I keep re-prioritizing what I think are the most important things to do in life.  Sometimes I think the book just needs to get written and sometimes I think, why would I waste time writing a book when I could-be-out-having-fun-since-I’m-going-to-die-anyway-and-it-could-be-soon-and-in-that-case-what-will-I-regret-not-doing-the-most…

I could be baking.  That gives me a lot of pleasure.  I need to find a job and fast (well, I am trying to do that).  In that other “lifetime” I think I would have liked to have been a dancer. So, in this one, I do it at least sporadically.  (The click of “outside” shoes on a wooden floor as I walk out with my bag banging against my thigh…)

I could be giving back to my community or building one or doing various social things or planning more activities… helping people…  Practicing my guitar.

I just read a post by Marc Andreessen (and yes, he has invested in Fluther.com) about maximizing personal productivity.  I keep going to back to it, because it’s interesting but also, there’s this incredible whiff of freedom surrounding it.   It’s tantalizing.  Freedom–I just want to inhale–as if it’s a virus I could catch.  I love the days of totally open schedule and that feeling of time, stretching out like one of those slow moving airport walkways ahead, of course, always faster moving then they look.

Now I am trying to be productive in the exact opposite situation, where I know I have a short and very finite period to write something.

All of which brings me around to the point that the book isn’t finished although people keep saying, are you sure because “perfect can get in the way of good.”  Or finishing.  Very true. But still, I laugh uncomfortably and say, “Uh… yes, I am sure.”

Regarding finishing the book though, there’s a missing piece and I just had this idea about love and the lubricating nature of love (and I haven’t yet thought of an analogy), and something about the Heisenberg principle too, and how the structure of the book has a similar effect in that it affects the characters or the the central character as it progresses.   Cannot be seen and unaffected, right, structure connecting to meaning, form influencing function.  It’s on my mind.

So, yes, I am writing a book, but first, I’m going to yoga.

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What does it mean to be in a community, now.

As I think about a way to communicate to future users, in the most specific and exciting way, what Fluther.com really is, I’ve started to consider what it means to be part of a community. Every site has a “community” now, where you can “connect” to fellow site surfers. But community, as it rapidly diminishes from real life, means people who live/work/play together. People who share similar values and who look out for each. Communities police the community, and bad behavior is usually caught and addressed. People in communities are held accountable for their actions by other members. Communities protect their own, and in doing so the community at large. They seek, like everything in nature, to survive and that means making sure that people act in a way that doesn’t destroy the trust and foundation upon which the community is built.

Here’s a version (see the movie Moonstruck for visual representation). If cousin Joe stands up neighbor Sally for their date, everyone at church next Sunday is going to be talking about it, and cousin Joe is going to hear about it later, if not from Sally’s uncle Chuck, then from the butcher. Joe knows when he asks Sally out, he’s going to have to show up or be held accountable. This knowledge extends to his actions on the date to some extent as well. The community is looking out for Sally, and in a way, for Joe, and ultimately the community is protecting and encouraging the arrival of little Joe’s and Sally’s and thereby the propagation of the entire community.

Now consider this version.

Joe searches from a bank of ten thousand women (where many pictures are not entirely representative). Joe likes Sally’s picture and reads her profile. Joe pokes/nudges/winks at Sally. Sally reads Joe’s profile. She pokes/nudges/winks back. Joe contacts her. They chat online, or send a few emails. They talk words via voice or text by cell phone. They plan to meet a week later. By that time, Joe has met June, had cybersex with her and forgotten all about his date with Sally. He doesn’t show, or call, or email, or respond in any way. After one or two attempts, Sally moves on. For Joe the incident is so long forgotten, it is likely Sally will never cross his mind in any way ever again. It is never mentioned to him by anyone. He doesn’t even have to delete her profile from his list because it drops so far to the bottom it is never seen again.

So, how good an online dating “community” are we working with here? Does that even fit the definition of a community?

How do we fashion a community online that adheres to what we mean when we say (or used to say) community? When, we, at Fluther say community, we mean, a group of people who are serving the interests, in action and behavior of the group and in doing so, their own individual interests as well.

I am seeking to represent this kind of old-fashioned community thriving online in a word, and I’m not sure that “community” will work. And I believe the word matters.