Social Media, episode 5: Storybook

“In a network, pretty content all in a row.”

In a network, there’s nodes, edges, clusters, holons, flows and feedback. With different graphs in various stages of being gamed and gaming us in return, and some choice, select social cognition and social interaction inbetween, for good measure.

Hi there, how are ‘ya?
It’s been a long time

“It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle — they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.”
— Alfred North Whitehead

Handmaid’s Tale: Intuition
In a network, your intuition is a dynamic, mostly self-organising handshake protocol between conscious and subconscious. Our conscious minds can process ten bits per second. Our whole mind can process ten million bits per second. Our handshake protocol is hard at work translating back and forth every moment. Or, when not hard at work, constellated, configured differently, enacting a different place — playing, flowing — in a context of synthesis, selfhood and service.

Seems like we’ve come a long way
My, but we learn so slow

We likes us some suffering
From the point of view of our social sense of self and our personality, synthesis is more or less co-extensive with cognition, selfhood with the slow building of character (or not) and service with ten thousand hours of suffering, followed by overnight success.

And heroes, they come and they go
And leave us behind as if
We’re supposed to know why

Master And Handmaid: An Intense Reciprocation With What Is Real

One of the most subtly dangerous aspects of “role” as a social artifact, is when combined with a less than dynamic mindset and a tad too much willingness to adapt ourselves as if “inside” the role — lots of flows suddenly becomes “somebody elses problem”.

Why do we give up our hearts to the past?
And why must we grow up so fast?

Conversations that Mind and Matter
Eg inside the Conversation Community, there’s one and only one rule:

“add considered considerate comments on other people’s posts”

And all you wishing well fools with your fortunes

This conflicts (good, healthy competition and cooperation)
with most every participants

Game the social graph through negotiated self-interest.

Someone should send you a rose
With love from a friend,

Out of which, there’s complex responsive processes,
which more or less distills into

It’s nice to hear from you again

The Outcome
Substitute considered comments with
- comment spam
- emojis
- lurking
- skimming
- drive by liking
- sneaking in as many content marketing posts and
comments you can get away with

And the storybook comes to a close

Almost all participants are quite ingenious at coming up with ways of only doing their most favorite thing.

Gone are the ribbons and bows

This also means that the rule — add considered, considerate comments on other people’s posts — is an ongoing source of frustration and thus, serves a deeper function really well, as a catalyst for creativity in the face of constraint.


This has worked really well from where I sit, with my openly stated intention of field-testing a pattern language, one subset and packaging which includes the themed posts

Participatory Inquiry.
All of which are written, based on an underlying pattern language, enabling a scaffolding of an open inquiry graph, a cocreation of value through conversations that mind and matter and an ongoing revitalisation of discourse, co-evolving with content, context and contextual intelligence. Thinking things through and building things, together.

Things to remember, places to go

A glimpse from inside the Conversation community
Select field-test findings, offered as a service to the reader:

- But, but, John, *MY* content is different!
- No, it’s not.

- But, but, I thought I *WAS* adding lots of comments?
- Did you review that? Can you show me?

- But, but, I’ve added *TONS* of likes?
- Yes, yes you did, thank you! Did you review the rule?

Just to be clear, I’m not forcing anyone to add comments. If I would, that would only make the Conversation Community more like the rest of Facebook, powered by vague resentment and fostering a spirit of of shared unhappiness, aka, the Gamed (near to death) Social Graph. Which I don’t want and we don’t need.

Pretty maids all in a row

Graph? Yes, Graph
The various graphs. Consider these questions who were once as meaningful and generative as you.

It seems to me like they’re having a great conversation over there,
maybe I should go join and participate?

What happens if you pour your unique voice into an article
and share it with others, instigating conversations?

What shareability your mixtape?

Wow, The Clash, coolness. What did you find?

Communication via Signals versus Cues

“Social insects, interacting cells, interacting neurons, and interacting computers communicate both with signals and cues. Signals are active communication events in real-time whereas cues are information embedded in the stigmergy structure to be read and reread many times. Both are specialized messages in the sense that they mean different things to different specialized receiving cells (or insects or computers). However cues are further specialized by their location — that is, in addition to the information intrinsic to their molecular form or digital content, there is information inherent in their location in the stigmergy structure.”

Conversation via Signal Processing

“The difference between communication (including the technical, information-theory sense of Shannon) and Pask’s conversation is that for conversation to have occurred, something must have changed for one or more of the participants — understandings, concepts, intent, values. That is, something has evolved. Otherwise it is merely the exchange of messages.”
Paul Pangaro

Digital and Analog Signal Processing

“In fact, wherever information — or comparison — is of the essence of our explanation, there, for me, is mental process. Information can be defined as a difference that makes a difference. A sensory end organ is a comparator, a device which responds to difference. Of course, the sensory end organ is material, but it is this responsiveness to difference that we shall use to distinguish its functioning as “mental.” Similarly, the ink on this page is material, but the ink is not my thought. Even at the most elementary level, the ink is not signal or message. The difference between paper and ink is the signal.”
Gregory Bateson

Seems like we’ve come a long way
My, but we learn so slow

A Signal By Any Other Annotation, Would Play As Sonorous:
Handcrafted, co-produced, convivial polyphonic mixtapes

“When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.”
Buckminster Fuller

The wonderful thing with the universe is, we get to be part, parcel, parsing and participatory sensemaking of it all, and celebrate our being perfect amidst our seeming imperfections.

What social cognition if we sang out of tune?

Our every moment of dissonance, turning an even more beautiful resonance.
In a network, with nodes, edges, clusters, holons, flows and feedback. With different graphs in various stages of being gamed and gaming us in return, and some choice, select social cognition and social interaction inbetween, for good measure.

Handshake Handmaid’s Protocol: Code of Convivial Conduct

By the end of the day, art, your art, is co-extensive with your celebrating there’s things left for you to do, and your music, how what you are doing resounds.

“In a network, singing things into vibrancy, into being.”

Code is your attempt at capturing and sharing what needs to be brought
into form and the mixtapes is how your code turned notation, plays.
Techne. What produces polyphonics.

infused with heart, head and skillful hands and feet

Techne infused with heart, head and skillful hands and feet: art.
Art and music, turning what was thought ugly into resounding beauty. Polyphonics.

Ooo ooo ooo
Ooo ooo ooo

What happens if you pour your unique voice into an article and share it with others, instigating conversations? Would it neatly sort itself into pretty content all in a row? If we sorted things through together, would it form a storybook?

Cards catalyzing stories, Conversations that mind and matter, Digital communities & immersive productions.