Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Speaking whatever to power

Concepts belong to nobody; everyone gets to have a say, everyone gets to contribute to define what that concept means. So, get involved in a concept. The more the merrier - meaning, the more useful. Don't be seen off (although, obviously, self-protection is the priority).

What is potentially problematic is getting involved in organisations. Organisations, the bastardised end-points of concepts, because humanity apparently can't deal if there isn't admin.

(See also organised religion)

The problem comes with people having a narrow view of the concept and assuming that their way is the only way, and that their narrow way defines the concept to the exclusion of other ways.

"Nobody likes women's football"

Erm. < nervously raises hand >

The default set approach to concepts has been discussed here before; football is set apart from women's football, African football, youth football, non-league football...

The default set is the most powerful, is the subset of the concept that needs no adjective. Well done, default set. You win. In organisational terms. In financial terms. In structural terms. But not actually in conceptual terms. Those other footballs? They exist. You can't erase them, only sideline them - and that, well, you're very good at that. But then huffing and puffing about your subset of the concept, seeking to dismiss the other elements of it, just makes you look foolish. You may think the concept belongs to your organisation, but it doesn't. It may be assumed to do so, by you (your organisation), by the media (another organisation), but... it doesn't. You can only own an organisation - and you do - but not the concept.

And the fact that your subset is the most powerful, organisationally, structurally, financially... doesn't actually mean you're the biggest. In pure numbers. Just something to remember.

For football, read feminism.

Concepts have more in common than you might initially think. And default sets and marginalised interests, likewise. And bigness.