Frankenstax Rhizomatix

I am reading a “ginger root” of an article about rhizomatic frankenstacks–spicy and hot. You need to read some of the article yourself in order to pick up the lingo. Don’t fret. It ain’t problematic.

Frankenstacks and Rhizomes

I, also, invite you to pile onto the annotation here.

I love Venkatesh Rao.  He has introduced me to so many useful ideas. He is a bit of an acquired taste, but anybody who can use “The Office” as an analogy to explain the pathology of the modern workplace is way OK to me.

This time he takes on the turgid waters of Deleuze and Guateri and rhizomaticity.  He cuts through the crap with a very simple analogy–the onion and the ginger root–to explain the difference.

Then he applies the analysis to his own personal learning network–the frankenstack.  You guessed it–rhizomatic, not arborescent.

“The diagram above shows a partial view of my personal frankenstack: a mess sprawling over wordpress, slack, mailchimp and dozens of other technology platforms. “

David Weinberger calls it ‘small pieces loosely joined’, but I like ‘frankenstack’ better.  Why?  Because that is what my digital stack feels like: messy, disorderly, relevant and apt.

This also has me thinking about CLMOOC-as-rhizome. Thinking about the thang that was the connected learning mooc, I can re-imagine it emerging again like a perennial from this rhizomatic frankenstack of chaordic joy powered by mutuality, reciprocity, social capital and solidarity.  CLMOOC17 could be that which was and continues to be…now and into the bend in the tunnel that will be.

Like Johnson Grass or a bamboo root,  it knows when to send out growth and new leaves and more roots.  It lay dormant and is now awake.  No one needs to be in charge. No one needs to do anything in particular in any organized way.

As Rao puts it later in his newsletter, “There is perhaps a distinction between a n00b and an expert, but it is highly localized around specific corners of the rhizome. You can go from n00b to expert and back to n00b in 2 steps.”  Nobody needs to be in charge in a mature rhizome.

More on this later. Still working. Join me in the margins here.



Slacking Is Not a Dirty Word

This morning I came across this post in Brainpickings apropos of Labor Day to come and May Day just passed.

Leisure, the Basis of Culture: An Obscure German Philosopher’s Timely 1948 Manifesto for Reclaiming Our Human Dignity in a Culture of Workaholism

I stripped out the relevant links using LinkGrabber and put them into Dropbox’s Papers. Since Papers doesn’t provide an embed (unlike its now open-source predecessor Hackpad did) I had to save it into Google Docs and get an embed from there. See below.

I then opened up in my browser and “archived” all the links I grabbed from the page.  Sorry for the generic embed below, but Webrecorder doesn’t appear to be embeddable. (Update: Yes it is!)

You can go to the link here.
Or you can download the desktop software, download the web archive, and view it there.

Now I get to ask: Why?

I have a webarchive of pages and objects from within all the pages I gathered.  That means text, images, and videos in this case.  You do not get any links inside the archive unless you have opened them while the recorder was  recording.

Perhaps I could use it for:

  1. A collection of readings on a syllabus so that all students have open access to materials,
  2. A reading list for a course,
  3. A course-in-a- box, the box being the archive,
  4. Resources for those with low bandwidth (put it on a USB drive),
  5. Archiving government sites that are precarious,
  6. Check out how NetFreedomPioneers are using in their Project Toosheh to archive the net for parts of the world with no net access using filecasting,
  7. Save live video broadcasts and check out this use of Periscope and

  8. Old applets can live on like this one in Java that is unplayable otherwise.

  9. Creating self-contained journal articles like this one in Google’s new journal, Distill.

It is amazing and the possibilities just keep on rolling.  Add some more in the comments or feel free to hypothesize in the margins.


Sousanis Shares

Nick Sousanis is a generous soul.  Just check out this post where he credits all and sundry, remarking on some “deleted scenes” from his grand graphic dissertation, Unflattening.

I assigned Unflattening this semester as a non-fiction component to my Intro to Lit course.  Students loved it, especially the “Grids and Gestures” exercise.  I will share these in a post early next week. Thanks, Nick.

Also, thanks for reminding me of the PopcornMaker piece I did in response to Unflattening.