Cultural Metaphors for FWH

The idea of cultural metaphors is used by Esko Kilpi in Advanced Work to characterise the habitual mindsets that frame our thinking about work. Collecting the metaphors prevalent in FWH could help us to look at the different ways we think about the different ways in which we be and for some participants, not be, in this wiki over a 2 week period at the end of 2014. The metaphors we use may also reveal where we are coming from and where we are going.

1. Tumblr as metaphor

Jon Udell proposes borrowing metaphors from Tumblr for Wiki in working on code- and culture- building in FWH, since Tumblr has a rich history of social use for us to draw on.

2. Names as Metaphors

Mike Caulfield suggested the use of metaphorical names in another federated wiki, and Bill Seitzer pulled it over to FedWikiHappening.


Find an article you are interested in and mine it for ideas. Peg those ideas to Metaphorical Names, and write up a page or two. The metaphorical name doesn’t necessarily have to be yours — if you know of an interesting metaphorical name you find useful, write up an article on that. As an example, Sherman Dorn recently posted on the Borg Fallacy – the mistaken belief that certain types of socio-technological change are inevitable. You likely know other terms not in wide circulation that are “Good to think with”. Get them on the wiki.


3. Metaphor of Harnessing Tools

Another metaphor suggested by Mike Caulfield is that of harnessing tools. He suggests that if we can effectively harness new tools, we can increase our own effectiveness. This argument is similar to the one that has been put forward for learning algebra.

4. Metaphorical honey will not be shut up

Kate Bowles: The quote is from Bachelard's reflection on poetic space and it's part of his thinking about the relation between space and energy in the context of trees.

But as I was re-reading the quote, in the context of the discussions all around me about who is heard, who is listening, I suddenly realised that in English translation it becomes a more substantial play on words. The ideas are not contained, not finished, not silenced.

5. Metaphor of Technology being buried

For video games enthusiasts Atari Video Game Burial was a powerful and evocative metaphor. If we extend our concept of technology to include people and ideas, then we can examples of technology being buried here at FWH. Participants and/or their ideas may be buried when a concept forks away from their contribution accidentally, through software error, through deliberate change of direction, or from use of neighbourhoods that exclude people.

##6. Mix-tape Analogy Alyson Indrunas suggests the metaphor of a mix tape as a way to explain OERs to newbies link and this could also be extended to fedwiki

7. Index card analogy

Alan Levine wrote of SFW as a set of index cards, metaphor of SFW as research tool, which seems often to be implicit in comments made about fedwiki html .

8. Prayer Wheel Analogy

Tim Klapdor uses the Buddhist Prayer Wheel as analogy for the Happening process - dealing with participants around the globe and across timezones.

##9. Soup FWH as Thought Soup