Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Learning Community::seclectic.

Last Tuesday I was faced with wading through the shallow waters of a new experience. I finished teaching, led our collective of young adults into communion, prayed and then expected that people would, like every other Tuesday night, move forward, participate in financial worship, and share communion. Nobody moved.

Well I suppose, in all honesty, they did move forward slightly – I think, only to readjust how they were sitting. And then the encore came.

Ideas are powerful things; they may be ethereal and abstract but powerful nonetheless. They move us to greatness and to defeat. There has been nothing great ever to take place among the human race that did not begin first with a great idea. Ideas are powerful; they allow us to gaze into the heights and wonders of awesomeness and help us to shamefully shuffle our feet in a dark room when the idea wasn’t the light bulb moment we thought it was. Ideas wield incredible power.

I began this blog in December 2005 simply as a place where I would force myself to write; someday I would love to get paid to write. I have started a new blog in order to continue to force myself to write regularly. However, this particular space in the wonderful world wide web has taken on a life of its own > a place were ideas, perspectives, views, debates, and heated discussions have taken place to the benefit of those involved. A learning community.

This place has become a small magnetic field of teasing, annoying, and controversial thinking that has opened my eyes to new ways of seeing; I hope it has you as well. Should a thing be believed and held to be true if others could see things differently? I suppose I might call it a seclectic. Seclectic, as defined by postalpedia, is a scattered gathering of diversity. A gathering and scattering of diverse ideas. Thank you for being apart of this little seclectic group of learners.

The most significant thing I have learned since beginning this blog in December is how people are inspired to think. Learning happens in two ways: 1. Dealing with the implication of weird vaguness. 2. Dealing with the implication of bold specificness. Either way, you are forced to think.

One. Weird Vagueness. Ideas that are too big, too broad, too evasive, and too vague force people to categorize, organize, and make things more specific. That is just how humans operate.

Two. Bold Specificness. Ideas that are definitive, absolute sounding, and presented in a tone of boldness immediately chisels at people defenses; the natural response, call it whatever you may, is thinking. Bold specificness has generally a more aggressive response to ideas while weird vagueness tends to be more reflective in nature.

If we were able to effectively use weird vagueness and bold specificness I believe that we could really allow this to become a great place of learning for people across the country. That said, how can this little magnetic seclectic of learners become a scathering?

1. More people generally means more ideas and perspectives. Link and recommend this blog to someone.

2.Use bloglines so that you do not miss a post. It is easy to subscribe to and saves you time.

3.Ask lots of questions; leave bold comments and opinions. Try and pry others eyes to at least seeing your point of view.

4.Try to keep comments somewhat short and open for dialogue… leave your thought slightly incomplete so others can fill in some blanks.

5.Begin your own blog; cross-post your responses.

6.Instead of posting everything in the comments section, write your response, post it on your blog, and link back to the original article.

7.Feel free to post anonymously to float your ideas. Anonymous posting is easy enough to turn off but I know that there is value in the unnamed author. Do keep in mind though that continuous anonymous posting is consider a faux pas.*

8.In commenting, don’t be afraid that the community may disagree with you… Your goal is not to be right but to contribute to others learning.

9.Dare others to respond; call people out on their bad(good) thinking.

10.Try and write as well as you dress yourself; for many of us, your words are all that we know of you. Give us good impressions…!

11.And for the highlight!! Though this is a place of learning it is also, and maybe more importantly, a place where relationships are cultured and developed. Consider it a place to meet friends.

That should be it for now. Hope you had a good weekend! Happy posting!
-Jer, Mark, Alyne

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jeffro said...

can you show me how to set up pings for technorati?


Boomer said...

Some good guidlines. Might I add that "lurking" is strictly prohibited. Lurking is when you read but don't comment. If you read the blog at least once a week you should be leaving comments, even if it's "good post".

e.d. said...

Lurking is not as cool as stalking.
I tend to agree with you on this Mike; I think we each should be active parts of the learning process.....however.....on the same side of the same coin, lurking is the only option sometimes; say for example when I need to process some thought before I can respond.
Ya know?