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May 20, 2021

Freewriting 5/20/21

by: Dave Gorum

Feeling back on to baseline after having my cells scrambled by the covid vaccine. A little out of sorts from drinking last night, but nothing a bit of exercise and coffee won’t balance out.

Did our first Buzzard convo with Shahruz yesterday and it was a doozy. I’m excited to watch back through the tape as I’m sure I missed a bunch in sync time. Not even sure what to write about here. I think I’m just happy. To be surrounded by people playing with complex ideas in an area we all barely understand. Or not so much that as giving each other room to understand our dividual thought processes so as to come together into a fluid whole. It’s surprisingly fun frustrating. I still notice a lot of social tension on my part. The wanting things to go well part of me is calming slowly.

Jon posted a bunch of notes and some updates to buzzard last night. I need to go through them, but one line stood out: paraphrasing: “the hangout felt like school, improv, a dinner party and more. Fun and exhausting.” I think this is pointing to a style of play that undergirds the whole game. Cognitive, creative, social working out. It requires you to be present, to be open, to participate. Trusting each other to the flow of thought. That in silences the collective intelligence is pondering. Room to let the next thread bubble up.

I’m ready to start contributing more writing but need practice folding. Practice communicating coherently. I’m fairly sure I have the base set of skills built up from doing this journal every day for, I’m not actually sure how long now. I’ve been dancing around the need to move toward folding, can’t ignore the call. So, a practice or practices that encourage the working with the canvas of thought (this might help me understand how Jon and Kristen think as well. Looking forward to our time in MX to tease out what I don’t understand about textualvisual thinking)? A serialized practice taking some previous thinking and processing it for consumption. Polish is not the point. Habituation of sharing folded thought is the point.

Habituation and emergence are related. Picked this up off Alexander Bard. When attempting to find something for which you think there is a solution or market or discovery, it’s best to habituate the behaviors of the type of thinking that would see that thing emerge. Act as if the discovery already exists and you just need to put in the reps to encourage it to appear. Brian Eno had a passage from Steward Brand in his diary about this re: his book. Paraphrasing: “write as if the book is already done. You’re just filling it in”. Good sign here, having a bunch of intellectual synchronicities.

I think the role I’m enjoying most right now is info hunter. Looking for tools /of/ thought to aide in our adventure of building tools /for/ thought. Moving between tribes, trying to learn their languages, spotting commonalities in logics that might speak to each other. Telling the story of what we do to different audiences. Offering vision work and translation services until the swarm’s intelligence outruns mine. Can’t control these things. If you try, they’ll die before developing. It’s about cultivation. Providing bounds, nutrients, the arena for transpersonal play.

Noting this time. In this moment, across geography, and styles of mind, we have a little kernel of something working. Kristen and I are healthy, excited, changing and learning together, at a rapid pace. Our relationship is moving into a sort of parenthood mode. It’s exhausting in a way and can be hard to make time for the dyad, but we’re managing it well enough. Important not to let the project eat our lives. Luckily, we’re finding ourselves amongst talented, caring people.

What are some simple documentation methods to help pay some of my studies forward. I think this is a place I can use a folding practice. Sacrificing speed of learning for depth. I can cover a lot of ground through text, audio, and especially now video. That’s not going to stop. But the bottleneck is my ability to express what I’m learning through primarily conversation. Working with the media and sharing that work in a way that pays it forward. What style? What practice? At the very least: a post with the media and my annotations. Video annotation. I’ve been doing this sloppily with bear and youtube. It’s the brunt of my work at this point. A frame.io style editor would be very nice for this.

Proposal: Linear media annotation interface. YouTube and podcasts to start. Upload as well (hopefully the web3 ecosystem will provide a hosted solution for all these soon). Ability to annotate via text to begin (audio, video, and graphical sources to follow). Built on the Relational media standards.

K, for now, can hand write timecode. The possibility of annotation and having a ready to hand query system to link thoughts would be very nice. For now those will have to be discrete steps. Collapse after fundamentals are in place.

K, another habit. Doodling. Habituate visual communication. Free flow sketching to start building a primitive language for interface. The point is not to worry about solving a particular problem or flow but to see if there’s a method or methods to sense into the visual swirl of a user interface floating around in the ether. I can sense it’s there. And the more logic we play with the more it wishes to be known. Sitting in figma and trying to mine the thing isn’t the appropriate method for me. It may be that it becomes so, but my hunch is there are a ton of very talented technicians who can bring the details to life. However, if I’m to be a party to this style of work, I need to offer a legible style of visual communication which can be thought in in realtime. I prefer freehand for this if possible. Starting with open canvas drawing apps and big sketch pads for now. Developing form by habituating play.

The schedule menu. A scheduling framework based on self agreed habituation practices. Weekly sketches with some method to recap habit uptake. A day would look like an offering of practices and tasks oriented toward the building of fluency in areas deemed by macro discussion to increase the probability of emergence. Curating the menu from a macro perspective on an ongoing basis is vital to the health of the system. Mentality should be healthy pacing, limiting overwhelm, with social and silence affordances. Need to think on how and what transpersonal time looks like in this model. Games would show up in the menu. Some measure of energy flows here (think this layer will show up on its own later)

Proposal: a tool for managing the habituation menu. Need to talk to Kristen and other organizers about this one. I have a bit of a sketch in mind on how it can work for me, but undoubtably missing nuance to make it useful across a squad or swarm. I tend to have rudimentary thinking in areas of scheduling and organization, learning slowly.

In the convo yesterday, I found myself thinking in game dynamics. There was a fluidity of thought there that I hadn’t expected. Especially with someone like Shahruz around to check my work and to improv with, I found designing with game mechanics pretty fun. A bit of stress around not being an expert, not knowing enough, and all that malarky. But, I have played a fair amount of video games at least and a good number of my friends enjoy role playing games. This has leaked into our interactions. Plus, this mentality around ecological design has game like features to its practice. Creating fields of play with tensions and obstacles and frustrations as a way to allow for players to find solutions from unique perspective. Designing elegant frustrations seems to be the key here. Picked this up directly from watching Shahruz present his games. Friction balancing. Ease of use on unimportant technical hurdles is still a fundamental part of this. A lot more to learn here.