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Riffing Off Of Each Other On Sunday Morning Like Miles
I saw +Miles Davis once. He was older and everyone in his band was younger and they BLEW UP Scranton, PA. Miles did a few interesting things in how we led:

* Start musical conversations they followed and built upon.
* Contribute new depth and meaning to musical conversations that his quartet created.
* Hear and share a surprise and instantly move there challenging his band to hear and follow.
* Move over and let each member of his band lead supported fully by MILES DAVIS!

+David Amerland is like Miles and his Sunday Read explains the music we play as clear as a ringing bell calling us to church. My favorite sentence?

We live in a riffing culture where we truly spark off each other and now regard it as the norm.

CERTAINLY I appreciate David's mention of my Hero's Journey riffing from yesterday, but even more valuable is the ability to PLAY, riff, follow and contribute to the JAZZ we create.

Happy Father's Day Big Papa David Amerland and thanks for laying down so many amazing "musical conversations" :). Marty
Knowing What Is …

Growing up I read Dune. ( Just 11 at the time and in search of heroes in my mind the book transported me into a world of possibilities many of which became instrumental in the way I chose to later lead my life. One that has repeatedly played an increasing  part in what I do is awareness ( 

In the book, Frank Herbert, uses masterful brevity to sometimes shock the mind of the reader into a higher understanding of what he is trying to convey. More than that, in a maguffin ( his characters, ever aware of their own ability to influence each other, frequently use the technique to extend the mental sphere of understanding of their interlocutors in the story. 

As such, the way they do so is incidental. A word here, a throwaway phrase there. A question asked in apparent innocence. This is important because none of us is now alone. Like bit players in a cosmic play, we are all now upon a stage. Connected to each other. Visible to the world. Our words and phrases, firing upon our understanding, shocking each other to new levels of awareness. 

A casual hashtag of   #cloudwars   I used one day to tag my fascination of clouds and their shapes launched a series of posts the latest of which is +Sherrill Duce's  ( that impact not just on the way we look at the sky the moment we step out of the house, but also the reasons we have to communicate with each other. 

Pretext in communication is important. It becomes the catalyst. The common denominator that creates the framework through which deeper things can be communicated the moment the opportunity arises. In this new matrix of connectivity we are in, nothing is ever wasted. 

Take +Gina Fiedel's  four-minute long, first video ( where she steps outside her comfort zone and faces the camera (which she has repeatedly said makes her uncomfortable) and, in the process, manages to raise so many questions about self-awareness, conscious choices and the decisions we make that totally make the point on Herbert’s awareness-raising. To gauge its impact check out the comments in the thread where she shyly and yet so winningly, introduces it:

This new-found way of communicating at hyperthought level (my word for it) is seemingly so obvious now, easy to do. +Iblis Bane,  living up to his avatar, takes a couple of posts as triggers and comes out with a question that sparks a thread of endless insights ( We talk transparency, trust, authority, yet the subtext is influence, manipulation. +Owen Ellis  does not shirk from that when he posts about “Those Who Cast Stones …”

Where else could we tackle the incredibly complex issues (even if it does not appear to be that at first glance) of “The Male Gaze” in manga and games? as +Felicia Day (an actress, gamer and web filmmaker) draws attention to it. And the story of this continues as Ubisoft enters the fray with an announcement regarding “the difficulty of drawing female characters” ( that elicited its own Twitter storm of derision from anyone who can think, let alone draw.

The point is that now, within our ‘casual’ conversations, we supply the seeds through which each other’s mind grows. Nothing now can be taken purely at face value: as +Tesco's  announcement about “preventing smokers loitering” outside its stores comes under public scrutiny and, in the process, raises awareness on the issue of homelessness in London.

Sometimes the knowledge is targeted. +Lee Smallwood  posted a video on mobile advertising that was sparked off our #SMTPowerTalk   +Social Media Today  HOA that has generated so much discussion:

At other times it is broader as +Martin W. Smith posts on startup culture: citing a number of other posts as inspiration and showing the direction the online conversation journey is taking us. 

We live in a riffing culture where we truly spark off each other and now regard it as the norm. And the effect all this is having is that it helps not just raise our awareness of the importance of even the most mundane things but also, as a new academic paper suggests, form our attitudes.

The implied idea here is that now we are each involved in a grand experiment of constant Evaluative Conditioning ( of each other: Because we share many of the same desires, drives, needs and even wants, the connectivity we experience strips away our differences, touching upon the trigger points of our commonalities.

Regardless of what has really brought us “here” we all want to live in a world that’s fair, free, without manipulation, where honesty and trust are a given. Where relationships are formed without a loss-gain dynamic. A world where a connection is made in the truest sense possible. It is a pipedream. Whilst we engage in all this the unfairness persists (as the Ubisoft and the sexism in gaming story reveals), wars are still being fought, politics still seems to run along the saber-rattling days of gunboat diplomacy ( even if the symbols of power are different now:

Yet, while the world appears to be the same it is not. What we see is a two-speed world. One where our awareness of what is happening has changed and is changing (President Obama’s speech on just because the US military is “the best hammer, not every problem is a nail” - case in point) and the other that chugs on, as it always has, because nothing has yet replaced it. 

This latter world is the bulk of where we live. How we work. There are systems, within systems within systems that have take centuries to refine and put in place and they cannot be replaced overnight. From net neutrality ( -courtesy of +George H. Lutz ) to looking upon our systems of governance as an enterprise ( we are, by degrees, affecting change. Demanding change. Causing change to happen. Becoming agents of change. 

All because our awareness is changing. Our sense of who we are is changing. Our sense of  who others are and their impact upon us is changing. The change is small. Sometimes it is imperceptual. At other times it is way deeper. Stronger. But now, it is always there. In each of us. All of us. And together, it amounts to an irresistible force that simply is. It's present, just beneath the surface, and active, when we go about or daily concerns, seemingly blind to the pressures of the world. 

In the meantime real-world pressures mount: We live, in truly interesting times indeed. 

Like most of the Sunday Reads I post this one would not have happened were it not for each of you. Your postings, interactions and conversation. It would not have happened, also, had there not been a small waterfall of coffee for me to plunge into this morning. So, here’s to the connectivity, may it forever continue. And here’s to the precious black juice, may it copiously flow for you and don’t forget, it’s Sunday, so you also need donuts, croissants and, as +Oleg Moskalensky  has said ( cake. You have coffee. You need cake. ;)  
Have a great Sunday wherever you are.       
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