various words of wisdom

from diveintomark: If you can imagine yourself not doing what you’re doing, do something else. Do whatever it is that you can’t not do.

and Gus has written an excellent bit on credibility & the media – the comments are pretty interesting, too.

All of us know which of our friends are prone to exaggeration; who can be trusted to show up when youre moving to a new apartment and whos just saying they will; when its socially OK and not OK to tell white lies. The problem now is that our small-scale systems are, before our eyes, spiraling into their place as tiny fractals along the arms of a vast, chaotic social and informational system. That systems influence on our smaller systems is more than any of us is currently equipped to handle.

I’d agree with the commentor who said that we were just living in “1913 with fiber optics” – a great phrase, no? – because I think the moment that those small-scale systems began to fragment/spiral/etc. was at the beginning of the urban/industrial age, once you get social units that are too large to actually know in person – which means both 1913, and in Rome, 13 BCE. 🙂

I’d even add the thought that newspapers, in the best-of-all-possible-worlds, are an attempt to rebuild, systematically, those networks of trust, with the newspaper serving as the voice of the trustable individual. the fractally bit, now, is that the scale is shifting again. (I feel like I could make a much more interesting and cogent argument if I’d gotten around to reading David W’s book.)