Saturday, January 5, 2013

The traveler sees what he sees; the tourist sees what he has come to see.

The Green Elephant is headed to the New Media Expo (NMX 2013). We have been attending this event since its “Blog World Expo” days. Last year, we decided not to go because we felt the event had gone from a grassroots, authentic, gathering of writers and techies to an over-hyped industry show full of gimmicks and get rich quick schemes; but this year, we felt we needed to give it another chance. 

I have my reservations about going. I fear we will see the same “how to build one million visits in one month” ploys and the “how to write a post to go viral” sermons. None of these offer any real incentives for people to come together and build real progress—all of it is just about taking advantage of the idiosyncrasies of a mass hysteria that self-perpetuates a narcissistic need. Well, maybe there is a bit of narcissism in us that keeps us writing, but I like to believe we write because we want to perpetuate something greater—something far more useful in the long run for the people we reach. We want to help shape the way you think about sustainability, about forward compatibility of a Human Ecology with our planet; we want to shift the paradigm. And there are no quick schemes or tricks that will shift the paradigm; the shift occurs when least expected, upon a crisis, and we, the observers, are removed from our own perceptions.

That is why we decided to give it another chance—to see things not as how we are, but as how they are. We decided to explore the contours of a culture changing in a changing world, to see the technologies come together to give us buoyancy, to know there is at least something to be understood.

So we travel not to be somewhere, we do not intend to have plans nor do we hope to arrive at some quintessential inkling of where this blog is going. We travel to the expo following the sound advice of those who came before us:     

“And even when the apparatus exists, novelty ordinarily emerges only for the man who, knowing with precision what he should expect, is able to recognize that something has gone wrong.”

― Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

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