Tau vs. Pi, or, Making Something From Nothing

I wanted to call this post “The MOST IMPORTANT 14 minute video you will likely ever watch”, but that seemed a bit much. Instead, I wanted to focus on the core theme of the video, which is manufactured controversy.

One of the largest, if not the largest, issue community developers have to overcome these days is manufactured controversy (ok, well, ignorance is actually the largest issue…but that’s a topic for another day). Manufactured controversy (what some pundits would title ‘fake news’) creates fundamental rifts in society, making it difficult for community fields to develop. How you might ask?

Manufactured controversy ‘clumps’ social fields together into groupings of like perspectives. As these perspectives come together, they create boundaries which hinder – and often prevent – groups formed around these perspectives from engaging with each other. Add in a dash or two of hype and a constant bombardment by mega media outlets eager to bolster their advertising sales through perpetuating social exclusivity, and you arrive at where we are in 2018.

None of this can survive without you – and that’s where this video comes into its own. This isn’t left or right – both are equally guilty of manufacturing controversy. It’s about your role in perpetuating myths, stereotypes, and controversies where none really exist.

I encourage you to watch the video, think about how it fits into your life, and what you can do to help the perpetuation of manufactured controversy in your neighborhood. More importantly, share these ideas with your friends and neighbors – help break down the barriers keeping community fields from emerging.

[I also highly recommend checking out some of Vi Hart’s other videos, which take complex mathematical concepts and break them manageable (and entertaining) bits. I was introduced to her work via her hexaflexagon video, a wickedly cool 3D project that’s great for kids (and adults) to make and play with. Her 360-degree, 3D sound Peace for Triple Piano is a mind-blowing experience of space bending and perfect timing.]

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