Dave Winer says the brain is hierarchic, while others disagree. I tend to think it’s completely individual. Some people work well with outlines and the way Dave describes it, some don’t. Let’s use his example of finding things in your house. Where are the Q-tips in my house? Right now there in our bathroom, but that’s mostly because we both need to use them, so we need a common place to find them and know where they are. The hierarchy is good for that. When I lived alone, however, the Qtips were likely to be in the last place I used them, not in their assigned “place”. In fact, if you wanted to find most anything in that house you had to know where I used it last. (The dishes stayed in the kitchen because that’s where they got washed, not because of some “norm” that expected them to be there.) That seems to be much more stream-of-conscious thinking than heirarchal thinking, and because there was no “community” that demanded heirarchy, I was free to live that way. Now that I’m married and I’m sharing my living space, it’s better to have a heirarchy of where things go, but in the case of something that is mine, like my cell phone, or my laptop, it’s most likely to be wherever I used it last. (Or wherever I dropped it upon entering the house.)
On the other hand, I’ve certainly known people who, even when living by themselves, have all of their things in the assigned places and can even get quite grumpy when they aren’t in the right place. Those people probably write using outlines too, and I don’t even begin to understand them..*L*
By the way, Dave and Doc are also talking about a Mitch Ratcliffe post about bloggers being paid to show up at a Microsoft event and not disclosing that when they wrote about it. I think they’re taking this a little too seriously. Is Microsoft hoping they will write good things about their new toys? Of course they are, that’s the whole reason you have press junkets and shows like this, to get people to write about your products. Is the fact that MS paid for me to come to the show going to change the way I write about something? I doubt it, if a product really does suck, and I write glowing things about it, my integrity is going to be shot the first time someone buys it on my word and discovers for themselves that it actually sucks. There’s nothing to be gained by doing it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t disclose the fact that MS paid for you to be there, but it’s simply not that big a deal.
For the record, the only people paying me are the people I work for, who remain relatively nameless and faceless on this blog. I don’t, however, write about the industry I work in, State-level political lobbying, so there are no conflicts of interest on this blog, except for the one Doc talked about. I write nicer things about people I know and like, than people I don’t know, or don’t like. 🙂
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