Sideways Cliches #4: A (human scale) dark and stormy night

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” Ellen Parr

Sideways Cliches #4

A (human scale) dark and stormy night
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I tell stories.

Continued from “Sideways Cliches #3: An All-consuming problem”

When I dreamed about my department head, and his plan to investigate a problem that he hardly understood, I dreamed it on a significant night.

The night I dreamed was a night soon after Todd Hannula and I talked about daCunha and the aspect that I was in charge of. The part I was in charge of was, at the time, called Sobremesa. Sobremesa, as a part of daCunha, was, and still is, an easily explained and hardly grasped idea. Essentially, it was going to be a talking place. A place for conversation. Which makes perfect sense when said, because we all talk, and we all go places to talk with people. If you try to do it on the internet — a place already full to brimming with talking — then it becomes less clear how to do it.

Todd and I both twigged onto the importance of it, even if we haven’t yet quite figured out how to do it. Still working on that.

The importance of it is elemental, we think, because its purpose is to address something at the core of daCunha, something that’s built into it to deal with a certain issue we’ve identified.

After a series of evolutions, my job morphed and Sobremesa’s function was absorbed into the daCunha blog. And the issue it needed to address still pervades what we do.

That issue is as follows…

There is some shortcoming in how we’re encouraged to interact as a species.

Which is easy to say, ironically. But what does it mean? Encouraged by whom? And how is it fixed? Or perhaps a more important question is does it need to be fixed, or is it imaginary? And do people need to be convinced of it, or is it obvious enough?

In essence, how do we create something on a human scale?

Those questions permeated the conversation that Todd and I had about Sobremesa, and subsequently about the Blog. We never actually asked them in those words. But those were the questions I started asking myself after our conversations.

Then I set out to answer them. And I gave myself a headache. And I went to bed.

Then I had a dream about the department head at my day job, explaining that he had been given a problem to solve that he understood neither where or what it was.

It came like a flash of thunder. And thunder is noise, not light, so it was even more surprising.

I woke up and realized that I don’t understand this problem. It’s as clear to me an electric shock that there’s some kind of shortcoming in how we’re encouraged by culprits unnamed to interact as a species.

I don’t know what that means, no matter how much I bang my head against the walls over it.

Which is maybe the first lesson on the road to addressing whatever it is: If it’s a problem in interpersonal interaction, then perhaps it ought to be impossible for one person to figure out by themselves. Human scale is perfect. It’s a great term. It’s a useful mission. But how do you do it?

Whatever this shortcoming is, and however it ought to be addressed, I should not try to fix it. I shouldn’t even try to suggest solutions. Not by myself.

Instead, I ought to turn it over to you. Because if anyone’s going to figure it out, it will be, you know, EVERYONE, not just me.

If there is, indeed, a problem in how we talk to each other, then my dream pointed out to me that I don’t know all the details of the problem. It also pointed out to me that I don’t need to know.

I turn it over to us.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to examine the communication of the human race and report back here with your findings.

Our first aim: To determine if there is a shortcoming in how we are encouraged to interact.

After that, we’ll decide if we can fix it.

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