Monday, November 11, 2019

The Garden in the Cloud

When I first started 'structing, I had in my mind's eye a picture of a garden: a vacant plot where structs were planted and nourished and allowed to grow. As time went by, they would intertwine and hold each other up.

When I first started 'structing, I remember the great flurry of activity as everyone got to work. Tending my own patch, I gave the hubbub only passing attention. It wasn't until later that I realised how the noise diminished as people dispersed into the surrounding undergrowth

Until one day, I looked up, and there was ... silence. The centre had not held: people had drifted too far apart.

The silence was broken by a nearby wail from ubik "I cannot see the forest for the trees" he cried. It was true: the garden of my mind's eye was like a great grove of trees, all standing apart.. and silent.

So, I set to work. I began to search for the forest in the trees. I drew on a vision of each struct with its attendant retinue of information: members raves, threat facings. As I worked, I was drawn to an ineffable clearing where others were seeking to reconstruct their thoughts amid the stillness. We finally acquired the tools to work the soil in which the structs could thrive.

I stood back to see what I had done. The structs stood, viewable as a whole (to those not blinded by the Oedipus plague). It was now clear that the prevailing silence was a product of diffusion rather than true death. There *was* still life: more structs appeared over time and, as yet more time elapsed, their canopies of raves and membership spread.

Yet still apart: no linkages. A sterile plantation rather than a fecund jungle. An understorey of tales and discussions was needed.

Antonio opined: "we need to name the trees to know the ones we are interested in". Yes, but too much information to show at once!

And still, that need for connectivity. Something to indicate a common purpose between structs. Something like... tags.

So, the forest in the trees was not the end of the journey. We needed to see the cloud surrounding the forest. I started work again...

As it happened, the cloud forest was easy to form. Yet even this was not the end. For now I finally saw my garden in the cloud: an interlocking mesh structs and tales, bedded in a cloud of tags.

If you go here now you will see the garden bed. The structs and tales of GEAS are yet to appear out of the cloud of words, but they will come.

There is still work to be done, by you as well as by me. This garden needs to be tended for its own sake as well as for the things growing in it.

What you can do is this: look at the cloud. Look for the words you have used to tag your own creations. See if words that other people have used match your purpose. If they do, use them. If there is a better word, replace what you have used. If there is a typographical error , change it.

The cloud will respond to your care. The garden within will enjoy a much richer connectedness.

Please join us.


Jane said...



NZLTA said...

Brilliant work, Tony!