Monday, December 15, 2008

Preface to the next (and hopefully future) post(s)

I’ve been wanting to blog more, but haven’t yet gotten into the habit (mindset, paradigm). Part of it is typical habituation, like getting started on eating differently or exercising. Part of it is focus. I have lots I want to say, but am unsure of what to grab onto and write about. And this disconnect feels poignant as I read some of the books (and articles, blog posts, etc.) that have been exciting me so much. So, what I’ve been thinking of doing, which will address all of these concerns, is to blog about each book chapter when I’m reading a book.

I’ve read some terrific books lately. Books which have excited me (to a degree similar to how Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society radically and profoundly woke me up in 1977). And as I read these books, I highlight passages and think about how these ideas fit into my own ever-emerging paradigm.... And then they’re gone. The two most exciting books I’ve read lately (twice, and still have more to get out of them) are:

· Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

· Everything is Miscellaneous by David Weinberger

And, currently, I’ve just begin another book about intellectual property called The Public Domain: Enclosing the Commons of the Mind by James Boyle, which is hot off the presses (publication date: December 8, 2008!). I’ve finished the preface and first chapter and stopped. I’m anxious to continue (and admit to skimming ahead), but the practice I want to try – hopefully repeatedly, but at least once – is to pause after the chapter and blog about it. I was thinking about this as I was reading it, and I noticed that my attention was focused in a different way. My highlighting and annotation was more purposeful. I already know what I want to write about. So, here we go...

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