August 23rd, 2001


crunch time and a discussion of boulders

We leave for Burning Man on Saturday and are up to our necks in preparations and things that we really should do. (Entirely too many things, and probably more than we will do before we leave.)

In amongst all of this, I have sent out my third e-mail to the designer of the e-commerce site for the LiveJournal shirt, letting them know that they still haven't made the changes I asked for last Wednesday, and that they need to be done now, dammit, so that we can start selling shirts before I go. They have to change orange text to good old-fashioned black & white. How hard is that?!?

Oh... hey. Got an email right now.


Sorry for the delay...we'll wrap this today."

Yay. I think they took my email seriously... as in I seriously want to be selling T-shirts while off at Burning Man and I seriously don't want to wait any longer. Unfortunately, there is entirely too much back and forth to make things like this happen at times.

Nobody seems to understand the effort involved to get things started, and this applies doubly to LiveJournal. Getting things started is often like pushing a large boulder down a hill. Moving a large boulder by yourself is near impossible... you can't force it, you have to do it the smart way, taking advantage of the laws of nature. You need to remove any nearby barriers, reduce the friction, and then try your damnedest to get the immobile to move; use leverage... rock it back and forth until it becomes increasingly mobile. With any luck, the boulder finally starts tumbling downhill, gaining speed and momentum... but for most observers, it looks like an act of nature and not of intent. The truth is, it's every bit as intentional as a person shooting a gun.

What I do is often an issue of words, thoughts, and ideas... of building consensus, removing barriers, applying proper motivation and information, of planning and structuring, of architecting... and yet, I primarily deal with people who put those ideas into a final form. This scares me at times, because I answer to people who often see the form but not the intent.

Without intent, form is chaotic and prone to inactivity. Without form, intentions are pipedreams. You need both.