Gamifying the Mess

I responded to Kevin’s post from June 3 by annotating with

Here is a screencast of my responses to his page:

Here is a screencast of the annotations and Kevin’s original post side-by-side with some play-by-play commentary:

Gamifying the Mess: A video response to Kevin Hodgson’s post

Uploaded by TERRY ELLIOTT on 2016-06-05.

I may be Captain Obvious here, but it is clear to me (as I also state in the YouTube just above here) that Kevin’s post is the ship and the annotations are the anchor. Or a better nautical term (both naval and aero) might be “trim tab”.  Buckminster Fuller brought me to a much finer understanding of this metaphor.

Something hit me very hard once, thinking about what one little man could do. Think of the Queen Mary—the whole ship goes by and then comes the rudder. And there’s a tiny thing at the edge of the rudder called a trim tab.

It’s a miniature rudder. Just moving the little trim tab builds a low pressure that pulls the rudder around. Takes almost no effort at all. So I said that the little individual can be a trim tab. Society thinks it’s going right by you, that it’s left you altogether. But if you’re doing dynamic things mentally, the fact is that you can just put your foot out like that and the whole big ship of state is going to go.

So I said, call me Trim Tab.

— Buckminster Fuller
Annotations are a trim tab for the larger ship of the text.  It is our way of pirating the post and hijacking the meaning.  All readers and writers are pirates.  Some of us are happily lost and some of us have equally happy destinations, but we are all pirates.  We just have to have a code, don’t we?

Pirates of The Caribbean

The Pirate Code


  1. // Reply

    You continue to show a path forward into honoring and adding to other people’s work and writing in a way that moves beyond mere “liking” and “thumbs-upping.” I am hopeful we get more of this in the summer, too, and perhaps, we all need to do more of it to show what annotation looks like in all of its coats, and why we might do it.
    For me, having you look at what I wrote and shared allows me a reflection, a sort of mirror, that brings up some questions: did the reader see what I saw? did the reader see more than what I saw, and now I need to re-evaluate? did the reader take me somewhere new and now that original point on the map is merely pushpin and it’s time to get on the raft and keep moving?

    1. // Reply

      Arrrrr, matey. All the seagoing metaphors in the post are not mistake. I have weighed anchor and set sail. Soon…the jolly jack will be slapping in the morning wind in the fighting top. Are ye wi’ me?

      What did you see in the mirror, Kevin?

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