Container Words

It was interesting to read the comments on this post about naming and word choices for "stuff". What are the things we write on fedwiki? Notes? Ideas? Articles? Posts?

It reignited the issue I've had with Container Words - their importance in todays language, our reliance on them and the way they frame and template our conceptual models and understanding.

Container Words are those that we use to describe large phenomena: like content, traffic, art, sex or weather. Useful at the scale but increasingly less useful the more you zoom in. In fact not only are they less useful, they are disruptive and obstructive. They get in the way of discussions or obscure the necessary details to properly define and identify.

So perhaps each fedwiki "page" is simply a container. It provides a structure and bounding framework but only in order to allow it logistical affordances - to be packaged, transported and delivered. In this way it operates as a space for for ideas, for posts, notes, text and videos. If we start at that point does it change our perception? Do we view its purpose as something else?

But here's a thing: in focus on the naming of parts, we often fail to notice that the spaces between are of equal weight and value. So the image below appears to be of containers, but it's also an image of the spaces between containers and their densely packed relation to one another -- the order of their stacking, the way each colour changes in intensity because of the colour next to it.

We are so used to looking at things, and so bad at looking and what lies between them. And the reality is - it's the spaces in between where most of the interesting stuff actually happens. It's the spaces in between that allows Musical collaboration and Fusion. Its the spaces in between where creativity thrives, feeds and gorges itself.


Image Credit: Izabela Reimers Container (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Related: Wayfaring