Simplicity of The Uncarved Block

The basic principle discussed in The Tao of Pooh is the UncarvedBlock. The simplest form of anything. The pure essence of something or someone. Once you change the block you change the meaning and structure of the original form, transforming it into something else.

Visitors new to the wiki try to grasp what the wiki is, spending time trying to define it, chiseling it here and there and not really seeing the underlying purpose and beauty. Seeing takes time. And work.

When we get on our hands and knees and start getting dirty we come to understand our work and the wiki and start to use the wiki for what it was designed. This may take some time.




Other stuff to look at

WhatIsAWiki: A variety of conceptions of wiki offered as a way of thinking about ourselves.

from The Wiki Way, Leuf and Cunningham, where the authors point out the intimate connection between how we think about something and the value we bring to it and take from it:
There are people for whom, in the strictest of self-interest, WikiWiki is a learning place. For some it is a knowledge base. For others it is a forum for debate. All find something of value (323).

And Ward's definition: The simplest online database that could possibly work.

Also, look at Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Up until now, I would have put myself in the category of persons who view the wiki in the "romantic" way. After reading some very astute comments on WideOpenSpaces, however, I'm now beginning to approach wikis differently. MichaelHeilman described wikis as "a medium that is like a stream...A perpetual changing current where you can never capture the same water molecules with 2 pictures." This may sound corny, but just that one analogy helped me to understand that, no matter how much I may try, I'm never going to be able to come up with one, solid way of defining the concept of a wiki.

Wiki's are fluid, they're ever-changing, and no matter how hard you try to "grasp" them, they're always going to slip through your fingers.

I thank whoever started this page for helping me to understand that what I need to do now is to go with the flow of the wiki, and see where it takes me.

LoniSwensen



In all seriousness, you should read about Buhhdism from anyone of the Dalai Lama's books (How to Practice would be a good one). It really helped me to understand the perpetuality of everything and to just be, rather than to become. The stream analogy (metaphor?) is an ancient Buhhdist idea. When one first understands, by way of meditation and ritual practice, the main principles to becoming a Buhhdist, they say you've begun the process of 'Entering the Stream'. Very Matrixy (as in the movie) kind of thinking.

MichaelHeilman



I don't understand the human need to define something like a wiki. I realize that understanding why something works is a part of human nature. Sometimes, though, we need to accept things for what they are and not try to figure out what makes them work or why they work. We usually only do this when dealing with other people (and some of us don't do that) but I try and apply it to a lot of things in life including wikis. The truth is I really don't understand wiki's but I am making my best effort to utilize them. Sometimes letting go of our fears of something allows us to enjoy its simplicity. MichelleHawkins



To be perfectly honest, I haven't exactly fallen in love with the Wiki format. I say that pertaining to my own purposes only. I love the WikiPedia, and I think that there are other wikis and other people who use them well and to their advantage. I just don't see myself as one of them. It seems to me like a drawn out version of the chat or the instant message scroll, or the forum. Are forums actually Wiki's? I don't know. I'm just confusing myself trying to think Wiki. . .
JessicaTheroux


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