Arrogance Checklist

(From Collin Brooke, via Barbara Ganley, via Technorati search for JP Rangaswami’s “Confused of Calcutta.“)

It’s a good post, tight enough that it’s hard to excerpt without turning it into chopped meat, but the following chunklets I found particularly appealing.

It’s easy to come off … as someone who’s already figured it all out — it’s a particularly academic attitude that’s all but hammered into us, that to “not know” is a sign of weakness….

… let’s break out the arrogance checklist for this, I was making the following assumptions:

  • An idea is only good the first time, that is, if you’re the one to “discover” it.
  • My ideas are so good that people will steal them.
  • It’s better to be first than to write well.
  • I should hoard my good ideas greedily and then spring them all at once, so that people will think my genius is pure, whole, and polished.
  • “My genius” (snort)

It’s so unbelievably hard to get out of the habit of policing the borders of “my” ideas

Collin broke through his concern about creating in public and bravely opened a new site called “Rhetworks: An Introduction to the Study of Discursive Networks (& itself an experiment in networked writing).”


To maintain a blog, I would argue, is to participate in a small-world network, one that involves both clustering and connecting. The combination of these forces (embodied in any number of different kinds of gestures) results in a different kind of writing altogether.

Posted in Networks, People, Web Publishing, Writing



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