Rob Paterson Goes Home

My friend Rob Paterson has written a manifesto, Going Home, that’s part of a collection of manifestos called Change This.

Going Home Cover

I’m happy to report that, unlike many “this blogging thing is going to change everything” treatises, Rob has crafted a well-worded piece of speculative fiction, the meat of which follows this set-up:

Let’s find out. Let’s jump forward in time to the near future. Let’s pick 2009 and drop in on how some of the pioneers in 2005 have done. Let’s go to where I live, Prince Edward Island, my adopted home. Let’s have a look at what might happen to many aspects of our society as the freedom of blogging works its way though our institutions and our current habits.

Rob spins a good tale, doubly so for me as I made the mistake of reading the piece from back to front, so I didn’t actually realize that his “scenario planning” exercise wasn’t actually a description of real events (I wondered, of course, why I’d been out of the loop on so many interesting projects — surely if “Robert Scoble is the Visiting Guru this year and will be on PEI this summer offering workshops in voice and culture,” I would have heard of it?).

I must admit to an innate bias against some of Rob’s more florid statements — “Once again we begin to experience the ecstasy of communion with our spiritual brothers and sisters.” is a good example. But then I recall Johnnie Moore’s comment earlier in the year:

Getting into unknown territory, fumbling for the right words, stumbling out phrases that seem naive or gauche or — god forbid — spiritual or touchy-feely… that’s probably the price we need to pay for getting out of the standard model of meeting our fellow man.

And so I’m willing to storm through my discomfort with the “newageiness” of it all, and glean some truly useful insight. I encourage you to do the same.