I built this blog began in the summer of 2005 based on a couple of insistent thoughts:
- The standard media/cultural categories for topics and discussions were entirely too sterile and limiting for the way I wanted to think and talk;
- Based on my mode of working as a reporter (diving intensely into one topic after another) it was increasingly obvious to me that my learning in one area (quantum physics) influenced my thinking about another subject (microbiology), which provided insight into seemingly separate topics (mass media, sociology, politics, etc.).
Hence, Xark began with a foundational statement: Because there are no unrelated topics.
Our thought? Maybe by involving people from multiple backgrounds in multiple topics, we'd have more interesting and productive discussions and insights. I based this on the notion that communites that grow up around "themed" blogs tend to evolve into monocultures. Ecosystem biology teaches us that a monoculture (tree farm) simply isn't as sustainable, healthy or as valuable as a naturally diverse ecosystem (rainforest).
These days I'm happy to observe how well those concepts fit into our developing understanding of knowledge and human intelligence in the networked world. From Peter Morville and his book Ambient Findability to Dave Weinberger and his Everything is Miscellaneous, the leading edge of the culture is rapidly incorporating radical ideas about the semantic structure of information -- quite literally, how the Web works better when we pattern our information systems on human-ness. The Web has rather haphazardly grown into an extension of ourselves. The next step (generically, The Semantic Web) may be very deliberately built as an extension of human consciousness.
Intertwingularity is not generally acknowledged -- people keep pretending they can make things deeply hierarchaical, categorizable and sequential when then they can't. Everything is deeply intertwingled.
So Anthropology professor Michael Wesch begins to make sense instantly: Everything is connected. Nothing is separate.
I suspect it was always this way. Perhaps we saw it differently before because information and communication was so slow and precious and difficult before. It took improvements in maritime and navigational technology before we could "see" the Earth as round. Maybe it takes the explosion of networked media for us to "see" that everything is an expression of the one, that technology is evolution by non-biological means, that political, economic and social systems based on keeping us artificially separate and oppositional are wasteful relics.
The rest of the world doesn't think this way right now. We're still in the minority. But that could change.