A collection of better approaches to learning and knowledge building beyond the current dominant paradigms.
In [nature's] paradigm, there is no failure. Everything we attempt, everything we do, is either growing up as its roots go deeper, or it's decomposing, leaving its lessons in the soil for the next attempt.
The electronic musician wanted to work with the filmmakers after they sent him a mood board that featured images from "completely unrelated stuff, like a picture of SpongeBob and then weird heist imagery." To Lopatin, the connectivity of the images wasn’t the key—it was the energy those images gave off.
“In order to speak of something as a system, we must be able to state clearly:
(1) the holistic behavior which we are focusing on;
(2) the parts within the thing, and the interactions among these parts, which cause the holistic behavior we have defined;
(3) the way in which this interaction, among these parts, causes the holistic behavior defined.”
"We must not use the word system, then, to refer to an object. A system is an abstraction. It is not a special kind of thing, but a special way of looking at a thing. It is a way of focusing attention on some particular holistic behavior in a thing, which can only be understood as a product of interaction among the parts. "
"Furthermore, even though we call a thing a system when we try to view it as a whole, this does not mean that we ever really view the thing in its entirety."
“The systems point of view is not neutral. It will change your whole view of the world. It will lead you to realize that the most important characteristics of human individuals are products of their interactions with other people.”
“The system viewpoint is a modern, disciplined, version of the sense of wonder. It is that view of things which man takes when he becomes aware of oneness and wholeness in the world.”
“To make objects with complex holistic properties, it is necessary to invent generating systems which will generate objects with the required holistic properties. The designer becomes a designer of generating systems — each capable of generating many objects — rather than a designer of individual objects.”
To make a collection is to find, acquire, organize and store items, whether in a room, a house, a library, a museum or a warehouse. It is also, inevitably, a way of thinking about the world – the connections and principles that produce a collection contain assumptions, juxtapositions, findings, experimental possibilities and associations. Collection-making, you could say, is a method of producing knowledge.
During the Renaissance, private citizens collected items of note in their own homes, often in a specially designated room known as a Wunderkammer, or cabinet of wonders. Aristocrats, monks, scholars, academicians, natural scientists and wealthy private citizens: the slightly motley group who made up the early modern public sphere were the initial protagonists. The compulsive interest of such people in collecting expressed itself as a drive to collate and understand significant objects: the fossils, minerals, specimens, tools and artisanal products that provided evidence for our knowledge of and theories about the world. And without modern national institutions – there was no British Library or Natural History Museum in London, or Library of Congress in Washington – it fell to interested parties to take up this job themselves.
Though the aim of amassing evidence may sound like a rather scientific way to think about collecting, it is necessary to remember that the hard distinction between science and art which marks more recent centuries was not evident as late as the sixteenth century. The separation of art and the humanities on the one hand, and science on the other, is a fundamental feature of modern life, but it also constitutes a loss.
At this point, we’ve gotten really great at “writing it down” We’ve been trained to take notes, snag photos, and add things to our bookmarks so we don’t forget about them. The more important question that nobody has bothered to ask is what to do with it all. Components are ultimately the building blocks of a story, project, or idea, but accumulation means nothing without connection. What are the footprints of your life adding up to?
Thoreau always had two notebooks—one for facts, and the other for poetry. But he had a hard time keeping them apart, as he often found facts more poetic than his poems. They are, he said, translated from the language of the earth into that of the sky. Thoreau knew that the imagination uses facts to fabricate images and even delicate architectures. One summer night, looking up into the sky at a particularly beautiful, scintillating star, he thought perhaps another traveler somewhere else along the coast was, like him, looking up at that same star and said, ‘Of what unsuspected triangles are stars the apex?’
When I call myself a gatherer, I mean that, even without my hands in dirt, I aggregate, together with collaborators, disparate pieces from an ecosystem, and develop the appropriate container for each collection.
⚘ Mindy Seu, On Gathering: Collecting, sharing, and creating the Cyberfeminism Index
"For the first time in human history, scenius is moving beyond physical geography. It’s happening on the Internet now. And it’s alive in obscure Discord forums, private group chats, and online schools." - David Perell