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A Year and a Day January 4, 2010

Posted by Eyal Sivan in Defining the Connective, Self.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A year and a day have passed since I published the last post on this blog. That means if you visited here in 2009, it would seem as if nothing has happened with the Connective in the past year. While that’s mostly (and unfortunately) true, some significant things did happen. This post is to bring my dear readers back up to speed.

So without further ado, here is a list of the all the Connective related stuff that happened in 2009:

  • From January 6th to April 7th, I assisted in a course entitled Mind, Media and Society at the request of author and friend Derrick de Kerchove of the McLuhan Program at the University of Toronto. I was given the opportunity to share my ideas with a small, bright group of students, and to learn some new things myself.
  • On February 5th, I joined the Evo Devo Universe community, after being invited by one of its founders, John Smart. Don’t let the new age name fool you; these are very, very smart people. Of particular fascination for me was the work of John McCrone, whose site Dichotomistic presents one of the best philosophical positions I’ve ever encountered.
  • On June 14th, I spoke at the 12th Annual Subtle Technologies Conference in Toronto. There I presented the Connective for the first time in over a decade, using a dramatically updated version of the original presentation. It went quite well, even ending with a formidable question period. It seems I also came away with some fans.
  • On June 21st, I was scheduled to speak at the 10th Annual Convention of the Media Ecology Association (MEA) in St. Louis. Unfortunately, my flight was cancelled. I would have transferred, but according to the airline the skies were riddled with funnel clouds. Thanks but no thanks. Maybe this year.
  • From September 14th to December 6th, George Siemens and Stephen Downes facilitated the 2009 Connectivism Online Course. Although I did not participate this year, I did lurk about the forums and was happy to find an intelligent, captive audience.
  • On December 6th, I had my busiest day yet, with 141 hits. This wouldn’t be of any special significance if it didn’t happen so late after my last post. Almost a year after I had written so much as a word, the traffic inexplicably spikes for one day. Neat.

The decision not to post about these things as they were happening was deliberate. This blog was not intended to be a diary, but an exploration of an idea. Every post aims to be interesting, relevant and constructive, so until I find the time to put together a proper article, I’d rather not write anything.

The Connective aside, the main reason that I have been so absent from the world of bits is due to a very active 2009 in the world of atoms.

Work seemed to suddenly become a torrent of interesting architectural challenges, each more abstract and urgent than the last. Among other things, I was charged with authoring our bank’s systems integration standard, which turned out to be a great exercise in applied scale-free thinking.

Last and most, my wife and I hunted for, purchased and moved into our first house. It’s lovely and we’ve been enjoying it a great deal. Our new neighborhood is right by the lake, so I’ve been spending a lot of time outside enjoying the beach with the dog. Sorry blogosphere, but life is short.

To make up for my absence, I come bearing a modest gift. I have finally gotten around to posting the original Connective presentation from 1999 on YouTube, subtitles and all. If you can get over the poor presenting, I think much of the content is still pretty relevant. My favorite part is how young I look.

Later this year, I will add narration to the updated deck that I presented at the Subtle Technologies Conference, and post that on YouTube as well. The new material, while still following the structure of the old, reflects a much revised position. Where all those years ago I was convinced that the Internet was a decidedly individualistic medium, I now believe it is something very different. Something that ultimately forces us to revisit our nice, crisp definitions of individual and collective; to understand that one cannot exist without the other.

I’ve also set up a twitter account for the Connective (@the_connective). After playing with twitter for the last few months, I feel the best use of it in this context is as a notepad. The goal is to tweet any relevant thoughts, quotes or links that cross my mind (but not what I am doing right now).

My New Year’s resolution is to commit more time to this blog in 2010 than I did in 2009. The development of this idea is far from over; if anything there are too many threads for me to follow. It seems there is a strong current out there already, ending in a whirlpool of fierce, dedicated thinkers who are every day presenting and debating and plotting. They are getting louder and they all want the same thing: To change the world.

With a little bit of effort, maybe I can help.




1. jp981561 - January 10, 2010

i probably contributed to that burst of hits as that was coincidentally the date i came across this website and became immediately captivated by the ideas expressed here…i am looking forward to contribute to future discussions…keep up the good work!!!

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