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May 28, 2021

Freewriting 5/28/21

by: Dave Gorum

Had a Buzzard call with Shahruz and the boys. Beforehand I was a bit panicky and short. Frustrated because I felt the need to do more than my part. Kristen took in stride, literally, as we did a quick walk around the neighborhood before the call. We managed to cobble together an agenda of sorts. I was feeling unprepared and distant from the idea. It’s an odd way to work for me, this communal design. Holding just what’s yours, trusting that the collaborative intelligence will surface what’s important. It’s wildly more effective and efficient (not to mention fun), but it flies in the face of a lot of what I’ve conditioned.

No need to pull off miracles, overachieve, strive for individual genius. All those things happen as a byproduct of trust. Across the network rather than in select individual nodes. The feeling is quite odd. Rather than forcing, pushing, striving, planning, executing there’s a patient play, a falling back, a settling in, a making a mess for emergence. Some of us are good at questions, some clarifying, some observation, some consolidation. It’s a dance. I’m still working with understanding when best to answer, when to leave room, when to coax thinking from other parties. Still self-conscious in the process, but it’s early. Trusting that if I overstep people will tell me. Trusting that a meta discussion is possible. I’m growing a lot through this process and am thankful for my peers.

Everyone takes notes in the calls. I probably need to start doodling or something. The complexity will likely outrun my brain at some point soon. I like to be present in the information stream though. Holding relevance, bandying about. A type of juggling. I feel at home there. In the complexity. Feeling the way forward. Switching off leadership. Falling back into listening. The latter will show up as a necessity soon enough. I’ll have my big pad ready.

Kristen and I talked out the level method yesterday. The basic principle is splitting the build into levels whose play affords raw material for the design of the next level. The key seems to be defining and constraining objectives to collect or attract the types of material (or people) we think might be most beneficial to moving the game forward. These constraints are arrived at by a sort of improv consensus brainstorm(s). Modeling the problem, querying the collective intelligence, and feeling the natural next step. Creating a useful mess.

We passed around the idea of needing to bring more folks into the game. How we might do that. What they would do when they go into the game. An objective. Questions pop up immediately. Chicken and egg problems. Probing probing until our chat with CJ before I left for Florida popped up. We had talked about using the Buzzard repo as a dumping ground. A simulation of the shared content system. Each of us having an area in the repo connected to a feed. Populated with whatever content we felt should go there. We brought this up at the meeting and started playing with the idea. Found some constraints and some rules. 10 posts in ten days (an aspiration rather than an assignment). Another meeting at the end of the play period to reflect on what’s what.

My approach went to post types immediately. Trying to flesh out a broader ecosystem for myself. This may be too ambitious. CJ is planning on building a telegram bot to do his posting. Likely will be able to generate a fair amount more content. I think handcrafting mine and role playing some pipeline is fine. Go slow to go fast. The frictions will become clear. I’ll likely need to help Kristen some with her system, but maybe not, she’s been posting to the repo more than I have.

So, the resistance here. Feeling into it. The hesitance to get into the code. The worry, confusion, pain I forced on myself. The hiding from grief. Associating the loss of my little family with technology. Collapsing the grieving process into an emotional stew, burning all of it, setting it aside, too potent to feel. But, the years have passed and with Kristen and Stadler’s help I’ve healed. It’s time to pick the work up again. Approach it with fresh eyes. New models of craft. Pacing, asking for help, doing just enough. Working smart. Lovingly. Playfully. Finding a way to slow down. To think about what I’m doing. To notice when I’m speed running. There’s no rush. Keeping up with the engineers isn’t possible or necessary. Only that I find the patterns that my playful ability can find. To clarify, to make accessible. Where possible allow delight to bubble up. Habituating for emergence.