Who am I?

Good question. I am still not sure after all these years and perhaps this blog is just the latest manifestation of my efforts to find out! I am just someone mulling and reflecting on life. Using writing to try and open up the thoughts in my head and pondering stuff. More often than not this will be related to education and technology, to digitalization and datafication, but not always.

It may well include the social, political and cultural as well. Basically any crap that I feel like writing about, because it is my blog, my domain and I own it. It is not on Blogger or on WordPress or some other third party platform, this is my space in the virtual world and the views here are my own.

Why Rhizopunk?

Influenced by the ideas of French philosophers Deleuze and Guattari (D&G) the “Rhizo” part of the title is derived from the philosophical concept of the rhizome, which D&G based on a botanical metaphor.  They used the terms rhizome and rhizomatic to describe ideas, theory and research that has multiple entry and exit points rather than a defined beginning and ending. The rhizome is the opposite of the hierarchical tree, which they termed arborescent, and has vertical and horizontal hierarchical connections.   The rhizome resists this structured, organisational “root/tree” system of causality. The rhizome is always in the middle, ceaselessly connecting, working around, resisting and challenging historical narratives.

To me this feels like the reality of life, culture, history and learning.  It is messy, – things, ideas, divide out in different directions and connect and reconnect.  

The “Punk” part of the name is derived from a genre of “loud, fast moving and aggressive” music that arose in the 1970’s and led to the development of a punk sub-culture and further sub-cultures within sub-cultures within punk itself.  The word can also be used to denote a low life or good for nothing person.  The term has a long history that dates back to the late 1500’s, when it was used to mean a prostitute.  By the 20th century it was used to mean a hoodlum or petty criminal.  In the early 1970’s it was used by a music journalist to describe the new music that had arisen from the likes of the MC5 and The Stooges (now often labelled as proto-punk) that was full of energy and anger and tended towards an anti-establishment worldview.  The problem, in examining the etymology of punk, is in the rejection of labels by the genre itself. Similar to many existential philosophers who did not label themselves as existentialists, so many punks rejected the label of punk, and amoung those who do try to appropriate the term, they, often by definition, are not punk at all! So, the more you try to be punk, the less you probably are genuinely punk. I love that irony. If you say you are punk, then you are probably not and if you say you are not punk, there remains the possible that you are!

At some point there will no doubt be further posts in the blog about both rhizomes and punk.  The DIY, anti-corporate garage band culture that does not require permission to make its art and the complex philosophical ideas wrapped up in the writing of D&G.  Together these make an interesting assemblage!   I hope that the blog will inspire “lines of flight” to emerge and connections to be made.

Why write?

The objective is to try and understand the world and my own place in it a bit better by the process of writing.  To untangle thoughts and ideas from inside my head and get them down, on paper so to speak, so that I can unpick them, unravel them and critique my own thoughts and beliefs.  In other words, I am writing for me, rather than for an audience of readers or to make a living, or to express an opinion.  Though that is not to say that I might not rant an opinion from time to time, it has been known!