What I really appreciate about HASTAC is that as a community we run the gamut of pursuits, interests, and expressions. We are writers and researchers, artists and scientists, performers and documenters. We all have a particular part of the the HASTAC ethos that we identify with most. This is fantastic and amazing and liberating in so many ways. I will admit, though, that from time to time I find myself pursuing posts that fit too neatly into what I already know and love. There are so many things we talk about but too often I silo myself into the realm of what I do and know and understand already. My particular interests and areas of expression are easy for me. The same be true for many of us from time to time. Still, the thing that keeps me coming back as an explorer (not just as an employee) is the fact that the antidote to that occasional instinct of mine can be found at HASTAC as well.
Tangential exposure and branching connections to things outside my normal sphere can occur just by virtue of being here. I cherish that. This exposure plants seeds of association and interest in ways I have not experienced with any other community sites. I believe this is largely due to the thoughtful work put in by our content creators (all of you) in combination with the fact that we, as a community, allow and encourage a commingling of widely varying content, topics, and expressions. We do this with little attention paid to the upfront separation or filtering of these things. We leave that to the readers almost entirely. On purpose. So, yes, we may work in our silos and forget to look up and times, but when we do… There's so much rich and thoughtful stuff to see - you can't avoid it - and that's an amazing thing.
So what's all this about? It's about my delight in seeing a video (shared below) which might have elicited nothing more than an "oh cool" from me a year ago. When I saw it today, though, the first thing I thought of the fascinating data visualization work that I have discussed with Marco Bastos, the library maker culture we've discussed recently on HASTAC and how it's cropping up in places designed to allow for open access, and the demonstrations of acoustical physics I saw in a class at Oberlin some 18 or 20 years ago. These visual and physical expressions of music in particular are experiences I had not thought of since.
Frankly, I'm not sure all those things would have strung together like beads on the same strand - the way they did today - were I not part of HASTAC. And as if that isn't enough, I have the uniquely privileged position of getting to se it all, every day, all day long, as my job. That, I must say, is pretty cool and it has made me think of things I see, hear, and read very differently already. And I haven't even been here a year. Thanks to all of you. Thanks HASTAC.
And, since it's Friday, let's look at some fire (fire describing acoustical data and demonstrating some pretty cool physics, that is).