Time to hang it up?

After much frustration and thought, I just posted this overlong rant at Walt at Random.

Since it's possible that one of my two readers here isn't also a W.a.r. reader, I thought I'd note it here because, well, I'm dead serious about this.

Right at the moment, despite the sun actually emerging for a while today, and maybe because I have a nagging headache, I'm discouraged. Maybe even fed up. And wondering whether it's worth it if what I do is so easily misinterpreted (or is it being misinterpreted?).

So: Here's another place you can tell me that Jenny Levine is right, that C&I is just self-promotion, and all that. It's always hard to judge your own work, so I'm inclined to believe what thoughtful people tell me about mine. Even if what you tell me is "Hang it up."


But you are an impt. eminence grise. Everything old is young again. The techie meme reminded me that over 50 years ago in Philip Selznick's TVA and the Grass Roots (1949), the friction between technical and management people was well laid out. So it is an ongoing conflict resolved with new tools and structures but always of interest.
Alvin W. Gouldner's "Cosmopolitans and Locals: Toward and Analysis of Latent Social Roles,"Administrative Science Quarterly, 1967 looks at mover and shaker types (AKA cosmos) and drudges (AKA locals). I bring these up because they need to be seen as foundational to memes and shakers..and because this sort of intellectual history must be known or we repeat.

The easy one: Is it really possible that Jenny Levine believes that I’m sincerely labeling everyone but the official Movers and Shakers as drudges, including myself?

Walt, you need to develop a thicker skin. All indications are to me that you suffer from the thin skin of the creative artist.

Keep in mind that you are not responsible for the short-sightedness of other people, only your own. It is in no wise a reflection on you that someone else chooses to be deliberately obtuse and to interpret your words in the worse possible light solely so they can pick a fight with you and try to bully you around. Which is what this looks like to me from the little I've seen.

The tougher one: Am I wrong in believing that Movers & Shakers get a little too much attention in the field, and that they may just possibly have less to complain about than the people who make sure the job gets carried out properly (who probably aren’t devoid of ideas either)?

Movers & Shakers like Bill Gates? Gates is not MS in and of himself. He's just the founder and owner and basically lucked into a few gigabucks of personal worth. Oh, he has a part to play in ensuring the economic health of the company, but he doesn't do the coding. It's the drudges in the cubicals who have to put with the pointy-haired bosses who do that. But when's the last time anybody said: Oh, yeah, those MS drudges finally corrrected that security flaw. Whenever anybody bitches about Windoze, they always blame Bill Gates. The biggest yucks are when Gates boots up his computer at a big presentation and it locks up or crashes. So he probably doesn't actually have less to complain about, he just has different issues on the burner.

Unfortunately for the drudges, Movers & Shakers are high profile, and overshadow those others who are creative and sometimes come up with the new paradigm.

Do most of you regard Cites & Insights as self-promotion, as Jenny Levine labels it?

No. I don't read it regularly because it does not hold my interest (which is a statement about me, not about C&I), but the few times I have read it I have found it to be largely cogent and outward viewing. Expressing your personal views is not necessarily self-promotion. I engage in self-promotion by using the URL to my site in message signatures and as a link at message boards, but the site itself isn't about me. I don't announce that I'm available for functions and post full contact information.

"In the field" referred to the library field, where Bill Gates certainly has a role but a quite different one.

No reason anyone should read C&I! Within the library field, it's clear that I'm a minority and acquired taste, one that most librarians see no reason to acquire; that's presumably why (after readership studies) my American Libraries column went away. The readership outside the library field must find it particularly bewildering...

Well, Bill was just a "for instance" given that he's such a big target.

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