I hope Carolyn will do an appetizer for us at the Cafe. Maybe a longer study will emerge out of that. We have just started doing The Axial Age and I have noticed that a small group of sponsors, rather than one person making a pitch, may create more of a consistent performance. If a core group is established and has feet upon the ground, we can gaze up at the stars, and have an interesting experience. The longer term effort of the reading group are not easy to maintain without a committed core group. It is better not to start a big project rather than start a big project and fizzle. We need safe to fail experiments. I already have too many unfinished reading projects, I don’t need anymore of them. A group should motivate us to actually finish a difficult book and help us complete some distinctions. This is happening but it is not magic. It is actually hard work!
I have a concern that is just coming up. Please, let us not become an information dump. We have all the information we will ever need. Completing distinctions is become a pressing need as more and more research is making less and less sense. This is difficult to monitor as experts are in such a muddle. More people popping in to rally around a pet project is fine as long as we have enough stability. I am mindful of when we start to wobble, as we try to lift something heavy when there are few persons really concentrating. You are only as effective as the other person’s attention. Most people, as Tim Morton says, are getting ready to change the channel. Let’s do something different.
I hope we continue to make a solid effort to stabilize attention spans. Changing the time of the events may open up opportunities, while shutting down others. It is a mixed blessing, this asynchronous world. There is no freedom without constraints. Are there some patternings detectable in this meta- message? I’m not sure.
Let’s keep Book Culture alive! Thanks for everyone’s valiant efforts.