Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Give Us this Day our Local Foodback

Give Us this Day our Local Foodback

Dear Colleagues,

Local Food

“Clarity is not a virtue.

If everything you say is detailed and explicit,
you won’t give your collaborators room to run.

Put ideas out there that are half-baked, ideas
where you’re not even sure what it means yet.

Put yourself in an environment that rewards failure.

Creativity is risky; successful creative people are also
the ones who fail the most often.

Creativity is inefficient.

Don’t expect every idea and every project to pan out.
Know when to cut your losses and move on.

“Innovation emerges from the bottom up, unpredictably,
and it’s only after the innovation has occurred that
every one realizes what’s happened.

Innovation can’t be planned; it can’t be predicted:
it has to be allowed to emerge. Like successful

Key to understanding innovation: to realize that
collaborative webs are more important than creative
people. The power of this collaborative web …is
what companies must tap into if they want to create
a culture that encourages significant innovation.

Sampling some of Keith Sawyer’s Group Genius:
The Creative Power of Collaboration

which I saw reviewed in last night’s Citizen Times

Can we agree on how radically incommensurate the values and
aims of “creativity” are from what seem to be the standard
common sense values & aims of sustainability?
I’m asking. Not that they are not related.
But HOW? I claim the relationship
always needs to be argued out—
locally again and again, like
who takes out the trash.
Need we argue? Or
what’s a college

We might could Turn Way Up the conflict and opposition
(“hostile” really) between these sets of values before we
try to integrate. So we know what we’re doing.

Ok Ok: we are not a company. Our business is not to foster
INNOVATION.. Many insist creativity can’t be taught.

Differentiation precedes Integration.

IT’s the SAME with “Academics,” “Work,” “Service”:
these 3 are NOT bottom-line compatible.
Appreciating the exquisite differences
between them is prerequisite to
gaining a sense of their relationship—
what we call “integrity” or integration. We easily
mush them together in the name of unity without
conscious celebration of their own integrity & diversity.

Taking IT all for granted.

Theory even has a bad name among some, practical
minded, the anti-hegemonizers: suspicious of philo-
sophists & platonic lovers. Sawyer views IT like jazz:
reciprocal, collaborative, like good conversation going
on and on. Live as opposed to scripted. Improv. Call
& response. Back & forth. Putting IT in play.

Who knows what will emerge?


The TRIAD which we call Academics, Work, &
Service I understand in terms of “theory,” “practice,”
and “in-performance.” An Internal Affair:
Kingdom Within. 3 radically different modes:
2 of them quite Self-Conscious in different ways
(working up a theory, working out the moves,
automating the chops) and then the 3rd:

IN PERFORMANCE—lost in service to the muse,
swept away un-self-consciously: in play, of course.
(The Conversation made me say it, damnit. I walk
away from a good session and realize: IT educed me!)

In Performance

(not to be collapsed,
conflated or confused with
Theory or Practice ) is the mode
where notions of being-lost-in-order-to-be-found,
dying to live, and other absurd descriptions of what
it means to be alive & “in service” make good sense

The differentiation (between academic mode, work
mode, service mode) is pre-requisite for integrity
to emerge. Otherwise I’m confused, looking for
integration in all the wrong places. Not that
there’s anything wrong with that. It
mothers invention.

Yrs always for the sake of argument
& sustainable converse. xxxooo, Sam.

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