Re: anti is ok (getting to 'why' and 'how')

Eric Crump (wleric@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Sun, 28 Jul 1996 17:57:47 -0500


...suppose we want to explore invention/composition processes in an
expansive way & with a wide angle lens (yeah, wide-angle lenses distort,
but so do lenses of any angle!) and create a different venue for
collecting the material that becomes our Story of Invention (constructed
by the community rather than by researchers scrutinizing writers--that
is, community as researchers *and* writers simultaneously,
participant-observers with the roles blurred and merged), how do we *do*

I don't know fer sure.

But I have a proto-type set of web pages about half-built. Near as I can
tell, the only way to proceed is to take a stab at it and invite you all to
suggest revisions. Or alternatives of your own design. *We* build the tool
*we* will use to collect our stories and, for those so inclined, analyze the
patterns that develop.


It's set up as frames right now (I haven't got the <noframes> part added
yet but will try to get that done tonight), and it doesn't work quite as
I'd envisioned it, which means I've once again found the limits of my
script-kludging abilities, so I'll tell you what I had in mind:

There are 3 frames:

| | |
| A | B |
| |
| C |

'A' is a form for adding tales of invention to the collection.
'B' is an index of tales already collected.
'C' is an introduction to the project and is the frame where submissions
are displayed.

The way it's *supposed* to work is when you hit the Send button on the
form, frame B should automatically refresh, showing your submission in
the index. As it happens, the index file is revised, but it displays in
frame A instead of B. I'm kinda stumped about how to fix that. If
anybody has any ideas...

The next thing I'd like to make is a means for creating a collaboratively
constructed annotated bibliography of relevant research on the subject.

Then, maybe we need to figger out a way for the stew and the research to
easily and productively interact. Haven't got that far yet.

Maybe we could borrow Rorty's distinction between 'edifying' and
'systematic' philosophers:

"Great systematic philosophers are constructive and offer arguments.
Great edifying philosophers are reacive and offer satires, parodies,
aphorisms. They know their work loses its point when the period they
were reacting to is over. They are *intentionally* peripheral. Great
systematic philosophers, like great scientists, build for eternity.
Great edifying philosphers destroy for the sake of their own
generation. Systematic philosophers want to put their subject on
the secure path of a science. Edifying philosophers want to keep
space open for the sense of wonder which poets can sometimes cause--
wonder that there is something new under the sun, something which is
*not* an accurate representation of what was already there, something
which (at least for the moment) cannot be explained and can barely
be described." (_Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature_ 369-370)

I figure, why not be both? Are systematic and edifying sensibilities
mutually exclusive? Maybe they can be made to productively work together.

What d'y'all think?