Category Archives: rhizomatics

Candy Blox Versus Pallet Liquidators

I was waiting in line at the Sav-A-Lot yesterday to purchase some bananas and milk. In the ‘impulse’ section next to $1 pregnancy tests was CandyBlox. Charming. Candy you can play with then eat. $2.50 a box. The frugal dude in me said, “Not a good deal. Don’t even think about it,” while part of me screamed like a six year old boy, “Please, please, please!” My frugal self won. The little guy will win another day. Still…such a concept.

Walking out to the car with my groceries, I noted a new store had opened where the Family Dollar had been. There is a continual churn of these stores which consist entirely of the contents of container ships from China and points east. There are no small clothing, hardware, or appliance stores in small town Kentucky anymore. Only these outposts for slave labor goods from around the world. Only this one was obviously an outlier in that group. They called themselves “The Pallet Liquidator Store”. I walked over to view dozens of tall, pallet-sized cardboard boxes filled with the leftover stuff from the contents of container ships from China and points east.

The phenomenon of salvage groceries has become entrenched since the Amish moved into our community over twenty years ago and started them locally. It is a national trend now. This is the natural extension from groceries to big box store leftovers. Commerce has devolved to the point where rural communities are the very tail end of the cloaca of 21st century consumer culture. Below you will find a twisted pair of videos that bespeak this low truth. Useless stuff re-packaged, but still useless. Similar to the Japanese idea of chindogu.

Feel free. Is this what crazy Yeats meant when he ended his apocalyptic poem “The Second Coming” with a question:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Sometimes the best view of the apocalypse ain’t in some future urban blightscape. No, it is right where the beast hunkers down for the long haul in some small town strip in Kentucky with the nail salons, the tattoo joints, the adult GED centers and the great Sargasso Sea of plastic that is the pallet liquidation biz.

 

VS.

 

#Twistedpair : Epictetus | Mojo Nixon.

In the spirit of infinite play I am following a recent prompt from Steve Wheeler:

Choose a strange pairing from above (or make up one of your own, the weirder the better). Let your imagination run wild, go very slightly unhinged and dig deep into your knowledge of those characters. Some of the connections may be tenuous. That’s part of the fun.  Come up with an inspirational, satirical or thought provoking blog post about teaching and learning. Share it and include the tag #twistedpair. Don’t forget to also challenge at least three other people. If we get enough responses, I will create a page that links them all together.

My twisted pair are Mojo Nixon and Epictetus, the profane rocker and the profound Stoic.

OK, I am feeling resistance here.  I have had my fill of writing prompts over the years.  They often feel false.  Other times I recognize them for what they are–pump priming fuel that gets burned up in order to start the engine.  In this case we are asked to play.  I like play, but generating inspired, satirical or thought provoking stuff about teaching and learning?  This feels like managing chaos and a little forced. Isn’t the nature of the imagination that you don’t so much as give it permission as it seizes it?

It is true that both of these figures taught me something. I learned from both of them.  It is also true that I could draw many other connections.

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So I get to have cake and eat it and save some for later.

Here’s some Mojo to listen to, his only big hit, “Elvis Is Everywhere”

Here’s some Epictetus to listen to, his biggest hit, “The Enchiridon”

I recommend that you play both at the same time.  Twisted, dude, twisted.

A Date with October: A WIP (Work in Progress)

2ENSO2

I get a daily poem in my email from Poetryfoundation.org. Today’s is by a younger Robert Frost before he became the scary old man of American arts and letters. No, really. If you thought that “The Road Not Taken” was truly suitable for commencement addresses, then you need to dig down into its cruft. Not that nice. I know he must have laughed at the thought that others considered it an ‘optimistic’ poem. In truth it is a devastating one about death and despair. But not this poem, not “October”–I don’ think.

I was struck by the heartbeat of the iambics in it-lubDUB, lubDUB, ad heart-finitum. I wanted to read more and connect more with the poem and I wanted to connect the poem to the world it describes, my world on the farm here in Kentucky in October.

I want to have a date with October today starting with Frost’s poem.

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So many approaches, many of them redundant, but in the good way that the walnut tree makes more nuts than the squirrels can ever remember to eat.

This post will be a work in progress as I have lots of little micro dates with October the poem, October the month, October the place. I will return as I add links to this post. Consider them as reports from along the edges, the hedgerows, the bramble tangles, the fallen leaves, the wool and warp and weft of October’s loom and shuttle.

For example, I could go the annotation way:

Diigo
Hypothesis
Genius
NowComment

Or invite others to go the Hackpad route? This is a collaborative path that converges or diverges as much as anyone could wish. Create your own adventure, mild or wild.

Or I could go with a Storify slideshow?

Or maybe Z33ga?

Or Pocket? (The mobile version will read it back to you.)

Or Soundcloud? (Perhaps you would like to read the poem to us and I could put it here or on Hackpad or make a playlist there.)

Many stances. Some analytic. Some juxtaposing. Some emotional. Some analogical. So many stances to choose from, but all arising from the passion that arises from getting to know someone or something more closely.

Perhaps a Youtube feldgang and a Vialogue annotation?

What am I hoping for, what do I expect on this date with October? What is my null hypothesis? Where will this take me?

I know not.

&

that is OK.

 

Graphics as Public Space

I have been digging into Daniel Bassill’s work with the Tutor/Mentor Institute as a way to question, rethink, adapt and pirate his ideas about systems in organizations. I am essentially using the public spaces he has mapped graphically about his organization. My annotations are an occupation of his public space, a happy pirating for happy purposes.

For example, I used this graphic to ask questions and push our conversation forward, upward, downward, backward, and otherward. Part of the beauty of this work is its public nature, a commons for those who will have it or need it. It is the ultimate ‘potlatch’ and part of the gift culture that is pure Internet to the core.

CLMOOC-1

 

I used the Commons that Daniel created here as a happy pyracy (pyracy with two “Y”s  is self-defined as white hat skullduggery). Every time I post I assume that it is the creation of a public commons to be shared by as common pasture by all the “flocks” and “herds”.  I took Daniel’s image above as just that, a commons to use but not abuse.

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One moment I am a lamb gamboling in fresh white clover and another a serious old ewe stamping the ground in protective warning.  (I am a sheep farmer and you have to allow a certain amount of latitude here in my extending the pasture metaphor.)  I make a point that I am playing in the public commons of Daniel’s graphic as well as its margins, its metes and bounds, its interstices, its fence rows.

Here is a another commons, public and intended to be used by others, an organizational map that sums up the systemic work of Daniel’s organization, the Tutor/Mentor Institute.

Knowlege-Flow

I used this commons space to close read with a filter on it–facilitation.  In other words I am interested in creating a large system/organization with facilitation at its core much like what Daniel has done with putting tutor/mentoring at its core.  I pyrated his work by messing about with it in SnagIt–close reading it in SnagIt.  This kind of commons work forces one to be quite a bit more deliberate in considering.  I could have gone slower but I wanted to publish this new public space for him to get his reaction.  And I wanted my peers in #CLMOOC to see what I understand public digital space to mean.

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I have moved beyond comprehending Daniel’s work to apprehending it and finally toward appreciating it.  You come, too.

 

Case Studies in Rhizomatic Practice

I have been working at trying to identify what #rhizopractice might or might not look like.  I kept expecting some kind of look at rhizomatic practice (and we may yet get that), but this week seemed like a free for all so I decided to learn rhizomatically, medially, marginally, and disruptively as much as I could.  I have created a resource for trying to figure out what rhizomatic practice looks like both in and out of the #rhizo15 community.

My next step is to set up Case Problems where I ask #rhizo15 members to help determine through observation and discussion whether an example is or is not rhizomatic.  It is a crowdsourcing project.  Maybe I should put it on Kickstarter?

View Confessions on Hackpad.