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via urban dictionary: word


adding this page because of my intrigue with responses to three words in particular: commons, detox, and grit.

here’s why..

on commons: in 2009 ish – when we were trying to come up with a name for the space we were working in – commons was a top pick for me. but too many suggested that was a bad choice. often referring to tragedy of the commons and lord of the flies. in my naivety, i succumbed. we went for tsd innovation lab (people liked the educated/stem-ed/sophisticated/civilized ish sound), morphing to the lab, and then a lab. still liking the experimental aspect.

for a global systemic change.. commons seems fitting. what system

a system open enough

on detox (detox as detox): same timeframe.. when we settled on a template for helping get people back to a natural state of learning/curiosity.. detox was fitting. many people didn’t like the reference to mainframe detox, ie: from drugs. but to those of us working on this, as we listened to the oppressions/depressions/suicides this compulsed state of supposed to’s perpetuated.. detox was fit.

a mechanism simple enough

on grit: more like 2011-12.. when we felt we had experimented enough (with live people) to get at this re-generating/self-perpetuating/ongoing/unsatiated energy.. the world craves.. grit seemed fitting. soon after.. duckworth ness et al.. made people cringe at the word. (and in using it in that way, i cringe as well)

a problem deep enough

zinn quote on people energy


the point/issue/wondering is about the defining of things/words/people. so often seems once we define something.. such as a word.. then we stop really needing to listen. we assume. we assume we know.

yet. most of the world doesn’t know that meaning/language/word. so it becomes very exclusionary.

so might we define/label less? use words yes… but never assume the meaning/definition you hold is a given. that assumption keeps us from knowing each other. we assume we know.. so we quit trying to know.

communication quote by shaw




defining is like claiming ownership/rulership.. like everyone has to play by these/my rules. which isn’t good. but worse.. perhaps.. is that it in a way.. kills us..kills connection. the more defined the more dead. because i no longer need to keep asking. and/or.. i no longer need to keep being open to the other stories.. that could be.

the thing about this human adventure/phenomenon.. perhaps.. is that it can’t be defined.

so – in a sense.. (what i’m trying to use words to say is) what if we spent less time quibbling over word definition, over people definition, and perpetuated rather, ongoing curiosity/intrigue/unknowing/aliveness.


jaron on words



no words



other words (that maybe we miss the positive of – because we focus on a negative meaning): luxuryanarch\ism, ..


[original stream from grit page]

this is part why we started a glossary of sorts (slidedeck at bottom of grokking page).. which led to this site and why we love hypertext. it’s why George says what he says about communication. and why Chimamanda says what she says about a single story (definition.)

like the words detox and commons – which many suggested we not use – some suggest we not use grit.

well then.. we could be like Saxon, who’s known for writing math word problems that made no practical sense, made up of made-up words.. to help you filter out the words.. it was the algorithm only.

and/or we could code/redefine and/or make-up our own words.. which we do.. but that would never end.

and/or maybe.. we just be like George and Chimamanda.. and listen/seek/see more by asking..

ie: what do you mean by that..

[assuming good has the potential for saving time/energy as well.. no?]


on words ness from #rhizo15:

am i content with content or am i too contained

becoming coarse (rough) through course (move w/o obstruction) – and civilization ness

getting schooled by school..

perhaps words as mere suggestion.. to *dive/lurk into another person/community/idea/….

*on dive/lurk ness.. how to know which we’re doing and/or which is real/deep/alive..


listen & clap

toki pona



ie: on idiosyncratic jargon ness – interpretation ness.. and graeber model/revolution law ness….what is legible ness.. who decides..via comment on kevin‘s techno utopianism p 5:

All well and good, but I must say if you wish to assist in the growth of humanity please write in *more simple terms. (isomorphism? **Wtf)
Can you point me towards an explanation of your ideas that ***a 12 year old can understand? Try to keep it ****short. Point to *****real examples. I feel like an idiot when I read this. I fear that many important concepts will be disregarded due to way( insert arcane intellectual verbiage) you communicate. Ok, I believe you are one of the smartest guys in the room; as evidenced by my inability to grasp most of the above, but if you can’t reach people does it really matter?
Accept my apologies I know you are doing your best. ******I want to be part of the conversation without having to learn a new language

*more simple – or perhaps.. we let tech help us communicate w/o having to translate/prove/interpret everything

**wtf – ok so acronyms are short.. simple.. but leave many people out of communication loop no..

***a 12 yr old – which 12 yr old..? ie: one that speak english? one that can hear?

****short – modeling is shortest way – no?

*****real examples – how to have real examples when creating/modeling a nother way… means no one has done it before.. [is this a real example of how we don’t grok there are no real – perhaps partial but not real/full – examples if you’re proposing something new]

******w/o learning new language –  back to idiosyncratic jargon


school of life on –  how words help us to feel things: