Recognition by whom?

(Warning. Long post BUT WORTH IT. If you skim, skip quoted bits.)

After my long rants previously about Attention, Recognition and context you would’ve thought I’d exhausted my thought supply for a while. But it’s still been percolating around in the background. There must’ve been a bit left undone or missing. It occured to me in a half-sleep state last night what that something was.

Recognition inherently involves another person.
(save the thought ‘connectedness’ for further down)

I returned to definitions:


# Attention or favorable notice: She received recognition for her many achievements.

n 1: the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged; “the partners were delighted with the recognition of their work”; “she seems to avoid much in the way of recognition or acknowledgement of feminist work prior to her own” [syn: acknowledgment, acknowledgement]

3: approval; “give her recognition for trying”; “he was given credit for his work”; “give her credit for trying”; “the credits were given at the end of the film” [syn: credit]

I explored the synonyms – Credit, Acknowledgement.


# An acknowledgment of work done, as in the production of a motion picture or publication. Often used in the plural: At the end of the film we stayed to watch the credits.
# 1. Official certification or recognition that a student has successfully completed a course of study: He received full credit for his studies at a previous school.


1. The act of admitting or owning to something.
2. Recognition of another’s existence, validity, authority, or right.
3. An answer or response in return for something done.
4. An expression of thanks or a token of appreciation.
5. A formal declaration made to authoritative witnesses to ensure legal validity.

Okay. So the point in all these definitions and their synonyms is that for something to be recognised someone has to recognise it. They all beg the question “recognised by WHOM?

(I figure this may have been part of the confusion behind what I was trying to get at with my “mouse vs bluetooth headset” example on blobcast #2).

Some questions:

  • Who do I really want recognition from?
  • Who’s recognition would matter to me?
  • Is recognition by peers more important than recognition by others?
  • When I was a teenager who would I want to have acknowledgement from?
  • Is there an aspect of self-recognition where I can give myself credit for something I’ve done?

These are the questions of the ‘WHO‘ is recognition coming from.

Answers to that question in this age of new media, digital, neo-community, postmodern relativism are not likely to come from, or if they are, necessarily be accepted, if coming from us oldies coming out of a seemingly comparitive pre-historic age.

This is the who.

Back in my first post about recognition, I was struck and perplexed by the biological definition. It at first seemed out of place, but it was I who was out of place, and I think it is this definition which holds a key (which is probably why it perplexed me). Back then I said “Interestingly there is the concept of recognition in biology which it seems has a lot to do with having similar characteristics … which reminds me of communities.

Here’s the definition again:

# Biology. The ability of one molecule to attach itself to another molecule having a complementary shape, as in enzyme-substrate and antibody-antigen interactions.

I think that it tells us WHO the recognition comes from. We might all like recognition to varying degrees and from a general populace. But we most like recognition from another who has a complementary shape – similar ideals, similar interests, in the same paddock. This means people we respect, our peers, those we identify with, those we somehow feel we are or would like to be connected to … those in our ‘life-community’.

Does more recognition = more connectedness = more hope = more resilient?

Nature can teach us a lot.

How to Move your Identity

I started this post a few days ago, on the 24th (a whole 2 days ago…geez internet time flies). Note to skimmers…..if you can’t be bothered reading it all, skip and read the end….that’s where the point is.


Cam has started a discussion all by asking if he should move his blog.

Some respondents chime in from a technical perspective – like how you can move your blog yet still retain readership and get machines like google to follow you.

Others are dead against it saying that he has carved out a digital identity where he is (I’m assuming that means on typepad)

This begs the question. How can we move what we do on the net yet retain our digital identity integrity?

On one side you have the issue of moving ‘what’ you have produced. While this part is largely a technical issue it’s not just that. I liken it to moving house. You pack your stuff you’ve accumulated and shift it to another address. You need to inform everyone that this has been done. (well everyone you want to keep in touch with you). You can get the post office to forward all your letters from the old house address to your new one. You can do likewise with your telephone calls. We already have a system for that on the net for domains, the DNS. We have a system on the web in the HTTP protocol for moved sites and pages. These things work towards the technical moving of digital data we have accumulated from one ‘house’ to another.

But does this activity change your identity? Change how you tell others who you are.

At the bank, I tell my identity by showing cards. These are normally all in one place, my wallet. If I lose that I don’t lose my identity but I do lose the ability to prove my Identity…and boy what a hassle it is to reinstate this proof. My point is that in the physical world my everyday proof of identity is mostly in a single place. On the net I have a Distributed Identity. If you want a big picture of me, what I do (not that what I do is who I am), you’ll need to look at a few places.

Maybe we need an Indentity Whois or Identity DNS or Identity Agregation System – IAS. A multi-homed, distributed Indentity management system. Something that pulled the proofs of who we are together from all over the place.


Well it seems my tangental thoughts about our identities are well in hand by the Indentity 2.0 guys who have put out a paper on “The Laws of Identity…

And Cam has posted again telling us a bit more of why he asked the question in the first place, commenting that he doesn’t really want “cameron” to be a brand.

Well then really, why the hell bother to ask anyone in the first place. If I take my observation about moving house to its full outworking, just shift and let those you want to know that youv’e moved. If I wasn’t a business and thereby interested in maintaining a brand I sure wouldn’t ask the people on the web if I wanted to move where I live. But I would ask my friends.

Then maybe that’s just his point, he views us as friends!

Australia = Beetroot

Over at “The Helmut Post” blog, there’s a list titled “You know you’ve been in Australia too long when… … …

There’s some good points about what makes Australia what it is ……. but this is the best observation:

You expect all hamburgers must contain beetroot.

I was going to pick out a few really great ones but I couldn’t – they’re all great! If you need a good laugh shoot over there and have a read.

Here’s a selection of the ones involving food.

Whether it?s the opening of Parliament, or the launch of a new art gallery, there is no event which cannot be improved by the addition of a sausage sizzle or a barbecue.
You understand there isn’t a single food which cannot be improved by the application of tomato sauce.
You think the Alpha male in any group is he who takes the barbeque tongs from the hands of the host, and blithely begins turning the snags.
You like the beer served so cold it makes your ears hurt.
You think that smearing toast with a spread that?s black and salty, and which has the appearance of axle-grease, is a good way to start the day.
If invited to a party, you take cheap red wine, but then spend all night drinking the host?s beer. Don?t worry, he will have catered for it.
You don’t know what’s in a meat pie, and you don’t care.
You call soccer soccer, not football.You’ve ever sucked your coffee through a Tim Tam (for those who don’t know, a variety of chocolate biscuit, one allegedly “better than sex”).
You pledge allegiance to Vegemite over Promite.

And being immursed in citizen media I couldn’t but help thinking of Cam when I read this one:

If the bloke next to you is swearing like a wharfie, he’s probably a media billionaire. Or possibly a wharfie.

Beetroot is a safety hazard!

Had to warn everybody….. I’ve got the ‘inside goss’ as to why Beetroot and pineapple disappeared from Subway’s menus … it’s a SAFETY issue!

Over at my Bring Beetroot Back guestbook, Sarah says:

look i work at subway, beetroot left because it was a safety hazard it not only spreads germs but is easily slipped over if its dropped on the floor.

Geez. I didn’t realise it was so dire. Quick, everyone go to your fridge and pantry and toss out the beetroot and pineapple!

The story deepens:

see during peak hours we can adverage at some stores in the sydney area between the 5 people that are on 257 subs. we dont have time to be playing with the juice from the pineapple or beetroot, we swap our gloves every 3 subs because other wise we dont have time and god knows what u could be eating but the juice from these two can spread.

Ahhh….safety AND time. Saftey takes time you know and time = money!

It continues:

i personally love pineapple and cant believe it went but theres new and improved things coming out. trust me youll get over it have a nice day smile EAT FRESH

Trust me, I won’t.

Blob and Lifekludger in Temple U roundup

Temple Uni does a good Disability Blogs Roundup and this blog and Lifekludger get a wrap in roundup #4

Disability Blogs Roundup, #4

I’ll start the roundup this month with a welcome to some new disability-related blogs. Australian David N. Wallace has put up TWO: blob is his personal blog, and LifeKludger is specifically for posts about strategies and technologies for barrier-busting. Samples: the former has a nice post on the concept of disintermediation as it relates to the history of disability rights; the latter has a recent post about the kinds of specialized robot arms Wallace would like to see developed.

Thanks Prof.

I’m hung up on the concept of context

Further to my previous post titled Attention, Recognition & Context, I read Scoble talking about what term to call someone who generates content, Scoble muses thus:

The problem is we don’t have good language. When I’m on Flickr I’m a photographer or a commenter. When I’m here I’m a writer or a blogger. When I’m on Craig’s List I’m a job seeker or a buyer or a seller. When I’m on MSN Search or Google I’m a searcher. When I’m on Memeorandum I’m a reader.

These different modes we operate in. This is our context and this is what is getting me hung up about attention. Attention only measures what we look at not why we are. I’m thinking this is where FOAF and XFN come in, to try and make sense of the attention by giving it context.

Perhaps I’ve just lost my own context certainly feels that way sometimes!