Friday, September 30, 2005

ObjectRhetoric and cleanliness of spirit

For my inaugural post, I'd like to say how liberating and (unfortunately) paralyzing it is to begin a new thoughtspace. Sure, I think about how it can be deleted or changed or fade into nothing and really not mean anything, but it is a commitment I'm not sure I want to begin. It's like buying that new Moleskine notebook and lovingly hand numbering every page then sitting down to write and discovering nothing seems worthy of this fetishized object. Perhaps the problem is that like J. K. Rowling's character Lord Voldemort, in doing so we somehow break off a piece of our soul, something that is no longer in us...now outside, and imbue some inconsequential material object with such precious value that it is not really the thoughts that are unworthy, but that the container may be unworthy of us. Such thoughts remember echoes of Foucault's self-writing, the practice of creating self through the manipulation of language and symbols intended to expose the self to public view, the unitary view of the panopticon. It creates a new self clean and unwritten.

So why ObjectRhetoric? This has more to do with my time investments than anything else. I am finishing a dissertation centering on rhetoric and technical communication, the ways in which the two intertwine with technology, theory of mind, object-orientation, and activity theory in order to produce a new rhetoric (as in a singular from the plural rhetorics) germane to a world of blogging, microcontent, single sourcing, and multiplying selves through cyborgization. ObjectRhetoric is the name I give for this rhetoric.

4 Comments:

Blogger dave said...

Roland,

I prefer to think of a blog as a way to externalize your thoughts and conversations. As a manager i sometimes find myself repeating things that I've learned as I attempt to communicate them to others.

The blog has a couple of functions for me:
1) As I work through my day it helps me focus my attention on various conversations as I look for that "blogworthy moment" -- the nugget of value that will have worth to others.
2) It's a way to keep those thoughts and conversations alive: unlike pages in a Moleskine, you can always edit and expand upon your thoughts later. To me the blog is like a set of index cards that can be used to store thoughts, ideas and references. Rather than have a lengthy management conversation, for example, I can simply email someone a link where they can see my thoughts alogside other people's responses.

Along the "index cards" line of thinking: I wish there was a link you could add to your blog that allowed readers to do a "random shuffle" of the blog's contents.

Also, thank you for the very funny dialogue lines you recently posted on my blog -- it's what led me to this site.

Best,

d

12:59 PM  
Blogger dave said...

In fact, I'll blog this concept, and then you can see how a random thought translates into a post, at least for me.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Roland Jones said...

I've posted to yours too...so you can see how my random thoughts lead to blogs...Moleskines mean longer term storage for me, which is part of the reason I have such a fear to write the "wrong" thing in them...makes index cards necessary as well. Blogs are like Moleskines in they are longer-term storage (potentially archived by the world), but they are external (which means whole thoughts count) and they therefor more risky. Yet, I would not put this blog post into one of my Moleskines, unless it was designated "random thoughts" or "diary."

11:14 AM  
Blogger Passion said...

I blog to share my learnings in personal, professional and political fronts

7:53 PM  

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