Raising the Signal to Noise Ratio: A Digital Feldgang

Venkatesh Rao called it a ‘frankenstack’.  He defined it as,

An assemblage of information technologies duct-taped together with a mess of protocols, and forming what philosophers call a rhizomatic structure.

Everybody has his or her own frankenstack, so which one am I referring to ?  The #Digciz.

The Storify embedded below arises directly from the #4wordstory hashtag and indirectly from the gathering of folks into #digciz ,part of the frankenstack rhizome.  And the common plaint is one shared by @teachercreates (Emily Page Oh)

So I try to curate a path through to a main course and away from the chocolate fountain–

#4wordstory (with images, tweets) · tellio

Break the digital ice.

I call this trail a “feldgang” which roughly translated means “field walk”. I am a sheep farmer and I do feldgang’s every day. I have been doing them here for 30 years. I check the grass in the paddock where the sheep are to see if they need to be moved onto fresh grass. That is a very direct feldgang with a purpose. Sometimes I do general feldgangs. For example, I will scan a field for the green haze of growth that indicates good news for ruminants. Or I just turn over stuff and see what is there.

A few years ago I discovered you can do digital feldgangs as well. They can be particular or general. My storify above is both.
Part of the feldgang is intended to address those in #digciz who have been a part of #4wordstories. Storify is dead simple as a gathering tool to make this possible. Once I have created a ‘field’ then I can walk in it. Here are some of my discoveries:

1. #4wordstories are rarely concrete. There are exceptions.
2. #4wordstories are not poetic.
3. #4wordstories are abstract.
4. #4wordstories are often vague and de-contextualized.
5. #4wordstories might not arguably be stories at all in a fictive sense (plot, character, setting)
6. #4wordstories sometimes are more like zen koans than narratives, puzzles in service to the larger #digciz context
7. #4wordstories can (and did) inspire more creation
8. #4wordstories are invitations, implicit or explicit. Very few seem to regard them as invitations judging by the lack of response.
9. #4wordstories can be both examples and non-examples. (Note: Bonnie citing George Seimens’problems.)

10. I have some serious blindspots about the abstract, the adverbial, the lack of context.

So…the blog post is just a thinking out loud about what is in the digital field.

I started talking about the frankenstack at the beginning of this post and ended in the digital field.  The rhizomatic nature of modern digital discourse is so apparent to me (and @teachercreates, too).  Venkatesh Rao’s newsletter piece about rhizomes is a must read. I want to quote stuff, but it isn’t a hierarchical post so you gotta go for it all.

He is right on when he says,

43/ In a rhizomatic world, if your expectations and work habits are built around architectural cleanliness, you will get deeply frustrated and be perennially frozen.

44/ If you can only navigate well-paved paths and clean, well-lit spaces, you’ll likely spend a lot of time in low-value, or even futile, ritualized behaviors while getting nothing done.

45/ You must be willing to adopt an opportunistic approach to navigating complexity, and switch from ugly hack to elegant beauty, from amateurish fumble to expert flourish, in an instant.

The world he describes is most definitely #digciz.  Get over it.

 

 

 

Newsletter 4 a Second Coming

Terry Elliott’s Newsletter
Sun, Apr 23

I love the smell of collapse in the morning.

Not a bad attitude, just clear aptitude. I see the wave rising, curling, and………….BTW, why do they call these things bubbles? Is it because the economic system has little going for it structurally except the surface tension of belief? Yup.

‘The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst’: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017
Zero Hedge – Apr 22, 4:50 PM

“Thousands of new doors opened and rents soared. This created a bubble, and like housing, that bubble has now burst.” Richard Hayne, Urban Outfitters CEO, March 2017 The devastation in the US retail sector is accelerating in 2017,”

Comment: ‘[E]stimates that there could be more than 8,640 store closings this year, which will be higher than the historical 2008 peak of approximately 6,200 store closings’ Had to happen sooner or later. Even the shitty jobs are going away. Zombie retail space

John Deere just told the copyright office that only corporations can own property, humans can only license it
Boing Boing – Cory Doctorow – Apr 22, 6:22 AM

John Deere has turned itself into the poster-child for the DMCA, fighting farmers who say they want to fix their own tractors and access their data by saying that doing so violates the 1998 law’s prohibition on bypassing copyright locks. Deere’s…

Comment:  Just like only corporations can go bankrupt, but students can’t. Corporations are people, students are not. Res ipse loquitur (Latin for “the thing speaks for itself”) This argument needs to stamped out with size 20 boots and then incinerated. DNA next?

Spying on Students: School-Issued Devices and Student Privacy
eff.org – Apr 13, 7:33 AM

Students and their families are backed into a corner. As students across the United States are handed school-issued laptops and signed up for educational cloud services, the way the educational system treats the privacy of students is undergoing…

Comment:  We teachers are playing Chopin in the Hindenburg Lounge. The hydrogen is leaking and lightning is in the air. Let’s start collecting student DNA for the coming identity chips. Maybe DeVos Schools can make a few bucks selling that info to Silicon Valley?

The Student Debt Crisis Is Exploding
truth-out.org – Kevin Zeese – Apr 22
Nothing Less Than a Student Debt Jubilee Will Do The level of student loan debt in the United States has risen to $1.5 trillion, and defaults are at more than 40% of debtors and rising. Student loan debt has grown to overwhelm all other categories…

Comment: What happens when the retail bubble and the student loan bubble meet? Magnitudes of complexity, that’s what. Or as Lady Macbeth would have it, that future is murky. For all the kool kidz out there that means not good.

Tay Zonday talks ‘Chocolate Rain’ on its 10th anniversary
popj.ca – Giselle Melanson Tattrie – Apr 17
April 22, 2007.

It was a landmark day for YouTube as University of Minnesota graduate student, Adam Bahner — going by the moniker “Tay Zonday” — decided to upload an original music video titled “Chocolate Rain…”

Comment: Oh ‘Chocolate Rain’ man, where art thou? He is interviewed here and has some pretty profound things to say about Internet property, music online and the train wreck that is modern journalism. Profundity ratio: 91/100

SCOTT GALLOWAY: Investing in Snap is something ‘no one responsible should ever do
Business Insider – Apr 18, 4:44 PM

Scott Galloway is a marketing professor at the NYU Stern School of Business and the founder of business intelligence firm L2. Galloway stopped by Business Insider to talk about the biggest names in tech. In this clip he talks about why he thinks…

Comment:  If this is true, then this Zuckerberg dude IS the embodiment of evil AND modern stock valuations are untethered null fields, the ultimate sinkhole for stupid capital. Oh boy. Rollercoasters. Hell ride. No seat belts in the loop-the-loop.

Get darker?

Johnny Cash-The_Man_Comes Around

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME9XpnQiU-8 And I heard as it were the noise of thunder One of the four beasts saying come and see and I saw And behold a white horse There’s a man going around taking names And he decides who to free and who to blame Everybody won’t be treated all the same There’ll be a golden ladder reaching down When the Man comes around The hairs on your arm will stand up At the terror in each sip and in each sup Will you partake of that last offered cup?

Get lighter?

The Wailin’ Jennys – Apocalyps Lullaby with Lyrics

another pretty wailin’ jennys’ song.