The Opposite of Rigidity

Six weeks into ‘Softness’ and I’m still pretty stumped when trying to define it. Although I can’t put my finger on what ‘it’ is, I have a clearer notion of what ‘it’ isn’t. We started the class with an assignment to make an object representative of what we wanted to explore through the class. I believe said assignment was left so open because it didn’t quite matter what anyone selected. The truth of the matter is that despite personal choice/perspective anything we create is connected to everything else. There is no innovation insulated from world in which it exists. Our world is one of interdependence and co-existence. What are we, if not modules within a greater network connected by our human endeavors? We have all entered into a social contract and cannot exist without the other nodes in our network. The Internet is the most obvious example of this concept, and was born from this logic. It has enabled open communication and collaboration which was previously limited in our physical world. Through communication our global society has become increasingly aware of its combined impact. This communal thought process has sparked new patterns of innovation and fields of study, and eventually will render the solitary patterns of our past obsolete. The age of primitive invention is over, and the author is indeed dead. Yet, it is not the reader/individual who assumes power in the void left behind by the disintegration of unitary innovation. In fact, it is the network which absorbs this power. As individuals we will become dependent on the network to innovate in order to achieve results of any measurable quality. In closing, my best guess to what ‘Softness’ is:

Advice to not fight the prevailing wind, but to bend with it. Collaboration is flexibility, and our survival depends on our ability to internalize this rapidly approaching form of innovation and exchange.


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