Thursday, December 29, 2011

Trans, Inter & Cross (Disciplinary/Gender)

I quit university because I couldn't create a narrative of constant cross-disciplinary motion. Interdisciplinary journeys were (and remain) one of my biggest sources of inspiration. It's the combination of two areas of life that I see as intricately connected, an improvement upon a time when they remained locked in separate spheres.

We do a lot of harm to the pursuit of knowledge by seeking to isolate it into categories. Physical education is distinct from architecture, which is distinct from film studies. What's worse is that we've passed down these rigid restrictions from one century to another, hardening the divisions, creating rivalries between disciplines where there should be mutual affinity and a culture of collaboration.

At the time I quit, I was the only person I knew who was interested in pursuing such a future. Then, in 2010 I followed a prominent innovation expert on Twitter, and we had an exchange that helped me remember that I was exactly where I wanted to be. I don't want to be part of the marketplace of ideas, at least not in any traditional way.

It seems like everyone I get close to always tells me to stop changing. Yes - not to change, but to stop changing. Perhaps more accurately, adopt a state of stasis, a bubble of contentment in which limitations as dictated by the status quo are important and ultimately have more currency than my well-developed genius. "Be happy with what you have," they plead. But no one changed the world because they were happily devoted to meeting the needs other people wanted them to. I want different things to be expected of me. I want different rights and responsibilities - and I want them now.

I believe we are headed into a decade or two which will bring about deep cultural change. Are you ready to break some new ground?



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