Sunday, July 15, 2007

Hi, Steve,

[I've responded here instead of in the comments because I'm glad to hear back from you and I don't know how many would ever fish back that far to read this exchange.]

I didn’t realize until your reply that my “I hear you clucking, big chicken,” could be misconstrued as name calling, though I can see why it could be. I really didn’t intend that, so please read that as an unrefined “I concur”—so as to say that I agree with your basic premise. Also, I’m the first to admit that I can go whole hog after an issue, and in the process overlook the reality that another’s priority-of-the-moment may not necessarily jive with mine. I’m sure that you have a life off line. I’d also moved on, but I’m really glad you came by to talk after all.

Since starting this blog and sorting through my own motivations, I’m realizing that one means for the intelligent interaction that I’d been starving for is out here with you and others who are thinking and processing and sharing. So, to some degree, you’re right: “So what?” We’re all wending around, spinning wheels, trying to both find and impart meaning on and between lines. Sometimes we hit on something good; sometimes…not so much. I know I’ve written some stinkers.

At the same time, I’m a little surprised that you downplay your written “wanderings” when they’ve obviously either inspired or are inspired by enough conviction to creative generalism to coin the concept and spawn a lengthy manifesto. In my mind, it would seem that all of this pushes past hobby blogging and implies intent to...what? I don’t know. That was the cloud I was trying to pin down.

I could have been clearer about the intent of my rant.

My librarianship semantics example was more to illustrate the value of moving beyond philosophizing. So you clearly can move to action beyond philosophy in the off-line world. I can appreciate your accomplishments, and I’m sure you’re very successful and productive. I'd love to hear more about the nitty gritty of your efforts in publishing or other struggles or triumphs...and a lot less belaboring the legitimacy of creative generalism.

I lean more toward expression and discussion that present something raw or new or that rummages and plucks out gemstones to show them in a new light. The nonsensical is also very much appreciated. I prefer revelation to regurgitation.

CG is your baby. Go on and nurture it. If I was throwing stones, it was in the hopes of hitting upon something more of substance.


Steve Hardy said...

Thanks Erin. I appreciate the feedback, especially when it's as eloquent and passionate as yours.

It's only been in the last year or so that I've injected any first-person commentary into my posts. I've generally been less comfortable relating any larger discovery or creative happening to my own experience. Partly because of privacy, I suppose, but more due to whole big nature of generalism. It's difficult, and probably even foolish, to assert a position of expertise on knowledge in general. Generalism is inherently broad and subjective, and lacking the ingrained commonalities specialists define for themselves. And so I often find myself torn between the passive curator role and that of advocate for an underrated yet nebulous group of indiscriminate learners.

The "eclectic curiosity interviews" was a way to introduce a variety of real stories of accomplishment and endeavour into the discussion. I've been very pleased with that series and it will continue to grow. But I'm also glad to see that you and other readers expect more from me too. So, thanks for the push. Cheers!

erin said...

Anonymity does have its benefits.

Try not to kill yourself advocating for creative generalists...good work speaks for itself. The showcase is a great idea.

To quote you, "Generalists are very good at introducing strangers to one another." You've done a fine job at that.