My new friend Forgnot

Some time ago, I added a note to the front page of the Wiki to the effect that the its structure wasn’t especially effective for people who were just starting to get involved with what I’m doing. I’ve wondered if that’s part of the reason I’ve been doing this alone so far. (Probably not.) In any case, I’ve made great strides in the creation of a structure that’s more suitable for someone to just jump in and read.

What progress has been made, however, has been inside a specific paradigm, which has recently been replaced.

So I made a new friend, Forgnot, who’s been challenging me in some very useful ways. The most important way is to give up being annoyed at, or invalidating his suggestions, and taking them on as challenges and ways I might possibly improve. Much of it is not appropriate material for this blog, being of a very personal nature, but I’ll share what I can.

We’ve clarified, at least in my mind, what this is all about, and how to make it work better. When I first started assembling the wiki (actually, the second time; the first one was destroyed by my incompetence) it was a very, very loose and jumbled collection of ideas that I tried to form into a narrative patterned after the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. Later I realized this would not work. (I forget why, and unfortunately made no notes about it.)

So the organization of the wiki suffered and it became more of a glossary or ad-hoc encyclopedia. I decided that I needed something more concrete for people to get into, so I started assembling ‘conversations’ based around a few related ideas, to be presented as one-off seminar-type things. They started out strictly linear.

A linear format doesn’t work very well for a conversation where you don’t know what people will bring, so I  took sections of each conversation and created different ‘options’ for what could go in that slot, depending on what was called for.

I didn’t realize how constraining this format is under Forgnot pointed out to me how rigid my thinking was and how much it was getting in my way.

We’ve had several long conversations about what this is all about; the why and the how. Like a character foil, he’s clarified these things by challenging my ideas about them. We settled on an image of creating ‘bricks,’ or kind of self-contained ideas, which can be added to a conversation to increase its value. (I didn’t mention this to him, but the ‘bricks’ will probably end up structured such that you could throw them into any old conversation, not just the kind we have here.)

I’ve created an account for Forgnot here, and he’ll be posting his own thoughts and contributions. This should be a very helpful and rewarding collaboration.

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