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Monday, December 29, 2008

keep going

How does one do something new in a contentious area?
How do you contribute when your words are being scrutinized for their relevance to long-going battles?
One option is to stay out of the fray. You simply don't follow the daily fights. You withdraw, and build up your own form. You design your own notation, and find as much as you can with that notation.
The danger of this approach is either irrelevance, or prolongation of the battle. There may well be much that is rich and interesting that has not been formalized, but is assumed by one side or another. It may well be that the outsider doesn't get far enough. On the other hand, if there is much that is assumed, but is wrong, if the whole edifice is mud and cotton, then a solid arrow may simply pierce through and head off in a new direction, leaving the participants simply more injured than before leading to more fighting and misery.
The other approach is to move very slowly. To take in a few contentious issues at a time, and one by one connect them to more solid ground. Develop a few new colorful pebbles, but make sure these pebbles lie on solid shores and sparkle brightly enough to capture the attention and content of battlers.

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