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.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *