online: 24 august 2019
modified: 22 august 2019

22 august 2019 collective action

my first thought is that collective action is seldom achieved . . . it is more likely that two people who think they are collaborating are in fact failing to do so . . . perhaps because of the difficulty of who and what one is . . . this being a prerequisite of acting together . . . unless there is some external medium which brings a continuity of its own . . . what do i mean by this? (it could be nonsense or it could be good sense)

command and obedience being one such self deception . . . (and i am sure there are others) . . . what i am thinking of here is music and rhythm . . . and such formal characteristics that enable two or more people to collaborate without something imposed from outside . . . for instance choirs, teams, dances, wars, competitions and probably many othe external ways of supporting collaboration . . .

i like to think that my work could enable others to collaborate when this has been impossible . . . and here i am reminded of some words of Edwin Schlossberg:

The skill in writing is to provide a context in which other people can think.*

*Edwin Schlossberg, "For My Father," in About Bateson: essays on Gregory Bateson, ed. John Brockman (New York: Dutton, 1977), 157.


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