Archive for October, 2006

OnlineGroups.Net

October 10, 2006

In the last post I wrote about my Thousand Sketches project – and how it has its roots in many things I have done. One of those projects was “Psybernet” it predates my involvement with the Internet – it began on Fidonet. That project hit me with a bang just like the Thousand Sketches just has. It was the realisation that the online communication I was involved in (in CompuServe at that time) was intrinsically psychological. I was familiar with Psychodrama and knew – from experience – how groups could be an incubator for psychological transformation.

Cyberspace was full of groups! I wanted a group that was consciously exploring this online space in a psychological way and Psybernet was it. That original group began on the Psybernet BBS, then moved to L-soft mailing list, and then to eGroups which were bought out by Yahoo groups.

While my focus has been on the dramas that unfold in groups – I also found out a lot about the infrastructure of online groups. Some software was better than others, and there are many more mature forms now. Caucus is a web forum that is the best I have experienced for conversation online. There are plenty of good email lists, but some do not handle files or the web all that well. For the best of all worlds for online groups using the Web & email is OnlineGroups.Net. It is very good as a web based forum and excellent for email, groups can all be accessed either way, and they can cohere on a site to form a community.

All this is on my mind as I am thinking about Thousand Sketches because the first person I shared my Psybernet ideas with as they emerged in the early 1990s was Dan Randow the main developer of OnlineGroups.Net. He was in both IT and Psychodrama and he immediately saw the online group potential for very productive work. Dan went on to develop a career facilitating groups online for organisations, for a while I worked in the company he established, GroupSense.

The initial philosophy was to use available technology. eGroups were a mainstay for GroupSense, but that went sour when Yahoo! pruchased them. It became much harder to integrate the tech into a group’s life. People needed a Yahoo ID and the messages carried ads. Something new was needed.

That led to GroupServer an open source project which has well a developed implementation at OnlineGroups.Net

I have been using the sevice for may years and have felt at home there for professional & personal groups.

OnlineGroups.Net is now offering sites with groups to the public, this is a new development and I find it fascinating how those discussions over the years with Dan about creating forms to enhance group life has led to us making public our endeavours, though different, at the same time! In the case of Dan, excellent software for groups, and for me Thousand Sketches.

Of course I have an Announcement Group for Thousand Sketches at OnlineGroups.Net.

More than Experiential learning – psychological transformation

October 8, 2006

The main ways I have explored anything in my life is by doing it. Climbing mountains – living & breathing philosophy in my early20s, relationships, counterculture & politics, psychotherapy, Psychodrama and cyberspace!

This blog, since its to its origins in “Links Pages” is one of the vessels for my experiential learning, a fairy mild one. Psyber-L was another – a really intense mailing list, that for a while was public, until closed at the wishes of its members. The two DreamEvents were powerful spaces to learn in. Doing psychotherapy online professionally is another experience that has given me an understanding of the net.

All of these things I do, with an eye to meaning, purpose and their depth, I can’t help it. If there is a way to go deeper – I sink in! They are vessels for my psyche when it needs to rumble & explode.

My current experiential vessel Thousand Sketches began naively, but I have realised that is a zone for me just like a psychotherapy relationship, a Psychodrama group, or a love relationship. I have not understood till now that the power of the psyche is enabled in our creativity area. The project is the psyche wanting something with me. It sounds a bit grand – but it is probably a simple & every day thing, just that right now it is very alive for me & I need to make sense of it all. Occasionally I am afraid it will drive me nuts.

I am writing this as I am planning an “launch” in Christchurch on 3 November. That is part of this project, it is public. Being messed around by my psyche in public! Public in Christchurch, and in New Zealand as I take this to Trade Me

It feels “Trade Me” is very literally true. It seems very congruent that the project has an auction gallery. I have written here – and extensively about Hermes being the archetype of the Internet. He is also the God of trade. It all fits – he has got me!

Myth myth?

October 3, 2006

CG Jung Page – The Ghost at the Back Door

Dolores Brien reviews Sophia Heller’s new work The Absence of Myth. Good review and in its own right a useful discussion about what myth is useful for & what is miss-use. Dolores perspective is the one I am close to

The individual too has the same need. The telling of one’s story is the desire to “place ourselves within a larger story,” not for grandiose reasons, nor even to find Meaning in doing that, but rather, to understand just what was and is going on in this life I am living at this particular moment in history. Despite the radical disruption of postmodernism, there remains, and I venture to guess will always remain, a desire for continuity. To be in touch with one’s past is to be in touch with the fullness of one’s humanity.

However there is some coming together with her antagonist, Heller, as she knocks some miss-use of myth to inflate ego.

Heller’s project paradoxically references ghosts coming in the back door. She is already mythic, or was that introduced by Dolores? Either way myth presents itself, unbidden. I have not read the book, but I can hear the music of that old movie “Ghostbusters”! We live in myths, language is based on it. Far from leading to a lack of consciousness about the here & now, a particular use of myth raises consciousness.

Experience can’t be deconstructed, it is understood in living through it.