Sunday, September 13, 2015


The community observer noted down my position and my role and the way that I connected to my fellow community members.

It appeared that clearly identifiable apprentices were grouped around my work position taking notes.

From time to time one of the apprentices took on my role and I gave them what appeared to be encouragement.

The observer wouldn't have been able to note the subtexts...

The observer wouldn't have been able to note the chemistry.

That would have been lost on him.

He didn't bat an eyelid.

He had quite enough data for his purposes.

We didn't bother to wonder what they observer was up to, we were too busy working to ask.

We ambled off to lunch.

I have been thinking about permutations in rhizo14 (as one does).

There has been a certain amount of discussion as to whether WEs constituted networks, swarms, communities, groups etc.

Is there not a case for suggesting that one must use a series of terms which are necessarily interconnected and permeable to talk of activity at a nexus of discourses?

I am simultaneously operating within networks, family, friendship affiliations, professional affiliations, time zones, operating systems, applications, languages, gender affiliation and so on..

Combinations of these attachments are constantly being weighed up consciously or unconsciously and constitute an ever changing and mutating ecosystem.

I have the impression that there has not been enough analysis of the varying and often competing attachment patterns between nodes at microlevels in the #rhizo14 netverse.

Tensions in competing attachment potentials are both inevitable and no doubt desirable.

Grouping of 'individuals' in 'clubs', 'communities', collectives is both a operational necessity and an endless source of bickering.

How far are tensions embedded in the technology which is used?

Can I make the hangout?
Will I be alone in my hangout square or with others?
How can I find my footing in a Twitter torrent?
How can I feel part of a group which is active when I am asleep?
How far I am aware of the ripples from the secret DM conversation?

What might have been seen as "rhizo14" from certain perspectives (more or less conveniently) was often more perhaps a continuation of previous or parallel cMOOC affiliation, #ds106, #clmooc, #edmooc.  

At the heart of much of the activity is academic discourse: research, abstracts, papers, conferences, phds.

Rhizo14 has been a useful hive for extracting conference honey.

There was no hierarchy in Rhizo14?
I fear that this is far from the truth.
A Keynote is not key for nout.

Rhizo14 has been a useful tree (he chokes) which might also hide the deeper forest ecosystem.

I suppose this is what I was evoking when I wrote Submission.

Rather than looking wider, at MOOC level we need to scratch around in the undergrowth, we need to timelapse what emerges, how we ourselves are caught between flow and critical ebb...

There is also the importance of wonder at what patterns emerge from nature.

Such patterns go beyond what is human and such feelings are inevitably uncomfortable.

Oh marvellous I am a bee...

Is it perverse to look at the microcosmos of a MOOC?

As I am writing this, I am at a nexus of competing discourses:

It is morning, breakfast time, Monday is the start of class, CLAVIER web site needs working on, the pleasure of writing here, the desire to put my thoughts out in some sort of form drives this on, I have been reflecting on the complexity of what brings us together and what takes us apart.

I feel somehow part of a wider discussion.

There are those clouds of competing memories, sensations,desires, thoughts, instincts which come together at a point HERE to result in this being written.

I don't really know why, but it's fun.

Image credits

Composition of permutations corresponds to multiplication of permutation matrices.;_Cayley_table;_matrices.svg


  1. I was interested that you started by distancing yourself from the role of community observer, and by distancing the role of community observer from the community. I am sure that I can rememember you sharing your observation on community on several occasions.

    1. No doubt you are right Frances. I am an observer as well. I think distancing oneself is perhaps a fictional device.

    2. Or telling the observer's story in the course of telling your own story:)

  2. Agree - we only tell our story. Or our perspective/version of someone else's story

  3. Or maybe it could be said we listen for our own story in everything instead and lose the beauty of difference?

    1. I think that may be the case Scott but we also may be attracted out of curiosity or emotional attachment or desperation to accept moving through cognitive dissonance or difficult emotions towards a possibilty of transformation.