Internet Poempathy

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I have been thinking a great deal about the meta rhizomatic language of the Internet – the ways in which it is manifesting, the implications, where personal learning networks/PLNs fit into the picture (thinking about boundaries and peripheries and similarities and differences between networks and rhizomes) and the implication for both the education system and for life-long continuous learning.

I think that Internet Lingo (the term I use to refer to the meta-language of the Internet/ see previous posts) has much in common with poetry. Internet Lingo is associated with overwhelming amounts of information  . . . where exposition results in getting bogged down – best to tag, find key words and phrases that can be staircases to mystery chambers. Doors unlock not with passwords to walled gardens but through hyperlinked tags and trusted allies leaving bread crumbs. Curation is a form of practicing poempathy (a word I coined), gathering strands that dangle enticingly in one’s peripheral vision. The central, focused vision is reserved for navigation but the periphery provides for depth and serendipitous associations ~ waves of convergent and divergent thinking replace directed thinking.

Learning using Internet Lingo can be confusing. It is more implicit than explicit. Inevitably there are numerous layers (and leaps) that become more accessible after multiple readings. Sometimes there is no going back, only pushing or dancing forward with the traces of what you were able to connect with. It is close to impossible to run exactly the same route twice. There can easily be a wide range of interpretations or points of view. This is a 3D, nonlinear, encompassing everchanging ecology. In its multiplicity Internet Lingo shuns duality. Right and wrong become more and more relative. There is a sense of play, of allusion, an infinite number possible connections and sequences.

As I was thinking about waves of convergent and divergent thinking in relation to Internet Lingo – the following chart materialized for me. This is truly Thinking Out Loud and I invite both feedback and additions to the chart.

Speech poetry networked implicit explorations
Writing prose linear guidelines
Math non-fiction balanced explicit rules
Scientific method non-fiction controlled explicit rules
Computing prose flexible guidelines
Internet Lingo poetry networked implicit explorations

I don’t think it is an accident that, as we have been trying to grapple with the rhizomatic Internet Lingo associated with Dave Cormier’s hosting of #Rhizo14, several people have gravitated to the figurative arts and craft tent and used poetry and sound to paint our understanding.

Are you game for a dip into the land of Internet Lingo? The following links will mark a few possible start points to view Internet Lingo at work. What you will find is “written by far more than two people and consists of multi-media mash-ups of tweets, Storifies, blogs, and links too complex, convoluted and dynamic for any one reader to ever fully absorb. [It] is constantly evolving, thus forcing the reader to become a participant in a linguistic sense-making journey” (Crawford & Jones, 2013. unpublished). The dogtrax cross, the scent is lost, picked up and relocated, re-established across continents. . . and timezones.

In no particular order here is a list of links that constitute some portion of the poempathy that has been bubbling up. It is important to read the comments as well as the blogs!

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http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/16/rhizo14-steal-this-poem/#.Ut1rJz13uso.twitter

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http://explorationsinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/rhizo14-stole-that-poem/

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http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2014/01/26/a-stolen-poem-finds-its-way-home/

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http://tachesdesens.blogspot.ca/2014/02/steel-my-poemdogtrax-rhizo14.html

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https://maureencrawford.com/2014/01/28/cheating-as-learning/

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tB1gAhSQNvY&feature=youtu.be

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Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 10.52.36 AMhttp://explorationsinlearning.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/agreedisagree-a-poem-and-its-inspirations/

The comments are an important part of this post!

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http://vocaroo.com/i/s1naDA6U5Xi0

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0EZuey6SmqW

http://vocaroo.com/i/s1n3hIbrml9t

https://soundcloud.com/dogtrax/rhizmatic-rounds-with-tanya

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0XKPyXBNlU2

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http://rhondajessen.com/?p=4662

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTofnU2jYK8&feature=youtu.be

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Screen shot 2014-02-26 at 11.10.23 AMhttp://vocaroo.com/i/s1naDA6U5Xi0

https://soundcloud.com/dogtrax/monday-poem

https://p2pu.org/en/courses/882/content/2987/

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https://soundcloud.com/dogtrax/wednesday

11poems with Ronald and Dogtrax: The poem form ’11’ has: 1 word, then 2, 3, 4 and then again 1. It’s called ‘elfje’, little eleven in Dutch. In total 11. Doing 1 for each day of the week. 
twitter.com/ronald_2008/status/438059005215535104

https://soundcloud.com/tanyalau/wednesday-humpday

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About Maureen Crawford

I work as a researcher and educational consultant. My undergraduate degree is in industrial design so design thinking has long been part of my process - emergent connectivist learning resonates strongly with me.
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9 Responses to Internet Poempathy

  1. dogtrax says:

    First of all, thanks for the collecting all of the activity. Very handy!
    Second, you have me pondering your chart of lingo and how literacy fits across different platforms and mediums, and I need to ponder it some more.
    Kevin

    • Thanks, Kevin. I will look forward to hearing what you come up with. I am still liking the chart although I think that it provides harder, crisper edges than reality would ever provide. It works for me as a provisional filter that helps me understand things better but is not absolute.

  2. Sean Jones says:

    Fantastic! I think, like poetry, there are always many ways of interpreting the lingo, dependent on each reader’s experience and understanding of the context of the writing. Also, like poetry, what is written does not necessarily have to fit into one interpretive stance. As I’ve been learning for the past year, the ability to understand what is going on does not necessarily stem from academic or even experiential learning, unless that is the lens through which you choose to interpret it. This has always been my frustration with traditions that say “this is how you must understand something to be true.” I am much more willing to accept someone telling me “this is how you can understand something to be true.” By doing this, each layer of understanding allows you to create a frame of reference. You can use one, multiple, or none of these frames of reference to draw your conclusions.

    • Sean,
      I agree with you although I think that it gets tricky if everything is relative and nothing is absolute – hard to have enough of a reference point from which to base our communication! I would say that the different layers/filters/perspectives add immeasurably to the richness of the experience. Being exposed to a variety of perspectives is certainly one of the joys of grad school for me!

      • Sean Jones says:

        I completely agree. Our human ability to filter out the noise and our need for a rational and relate-able experience means that we will always be more inclined toward understandable production. However, that’s not to say that we shouldn’t allow and try to interpret the new languages being developed that we have no reference to and, as yet, no code to decipher.

  3. tanyalau says:

    Hi Maureen – love this -you describe my rhizo14 experience – and broadly, my internet experience perfectly and so poetically:
    “Inevitably there are numerous layers (and leaps) that become more accessible after multiple readings. Sometimes there is no going back, only pushing or dancing forward with the traces of what you were able to connect with….There is a sense of play, of allusion, an infinite number possible connections and sequences.”
    and:
    “What you will find is “written by far more than two people and consists of multi-media mash-ups of tweets, Storifies, blogs, and links too complex, convoluted and dynamic for any one reader to ever fully absorb. [It] is constantly evolving, thus forcing the reader to become a participant in a linguistic sense-making journey” (Crawford & Jones, 2013. unpublished). The dogtrax cross, the scent is lost, picked up and relocated, re-established across continents. . . and timezones.”

    Such an interesting line of thinking – this concept of an ‘internet lingo’ that is congruent with speech and poetry. I have also been thinking about some of these things recently – perhaps from a slightly different perspective – but possibly to similar kinds of conclusions. Really, it just consists of threads of thought so far, but probably good to get them down somewhere so I can start trying to make sense of it (..and what better place than here?)

    I’ve been thinking along the lines about conversation – face to face vs online, and the role of play, poetry, narrative/storytelling, emotional connection, vulnerability, openness, community – how you foster ‘community’ and invite participation….here are some threads:

    – I guess I’m starting with a question like – how do you foster community, invite and encourage participation? (both online and in person)
    – narrative and storytelling as a means to develop emotional connection online, where direct social cues don’t exist. Blogs as vehicles for narrative and storytelling- they’re personal spaces that are used to tell personal stories – and also have the capacity to support comment, discussion, collaboration..and dare I say – ‘conversation’….
    – personal storytelling – through writing, poetry, voice, video – is an act requiring you to display vulnerability and openness – which helps build trust with others >> emotional connection – been thinking on these points via Andee Weinfur’s post http://aweinfur.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/the-evolving-narrative/
    – poetry, voice, video as a vehicle for communicating emotion (> facilitating emotional connection), exploration, play and creativity
    – play can contribute to lowering barriers – had this thought that social banter is a form of play, which we use a lot in face to face communication, and sometimes online now (you might see it more on a platform like twitter, than say, linkedin)
    – we invite and encourage others to participate (to play?) through personal connection
    – play as a way of lowering barriers – helping to invite / encourage participation. Unfortunately though as adults, more often than not, the spirit of play has been drummed out of us through a lifetime of institutionalised experiences (school, university, work) which actively discourage creativity, play & exploration over rational thinking and focused activity. So play may actually be intimidating to others; there are no norms for play as adults (whereas children just do it naturally – come together in the playground, make friends, invent a game, then go their separate ways again)

    >> I suspect play, emotional and personal connection, narrative & storytelling may be an integral part of ‘speaking’ the internet lingo you describe.

    It’s still all very embryonic for me – but I think there are definitely layers of overlap in what we’re thinking about, just approaching it from different angles – it’s 3D

  4. Tanya,
    I always love getting your feedback!
    I am digesting your comment – ” I suspect play, emotional and personal connection, narrative & storytelling may be an integral part of ‘speaking’ the internet lingo you describe.” as holding it up to Logan’s theory. I think that what you are talking about fits into his points regarding alignment and integration as well as community.

  5. Pingback: Emergent collaboration in the rhizome | Explorations in learning

  6. Pingback: 5 Things Worth Sharing, March 15 – 22, 2015 | Thinking Out Loud

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