I feel as if my work is done of creating a semblance of the Thinknet project on Google Wave. This is a migration of some of the more popular DialogNet lists to waves. And the creation of some whimsical waves like the place for Analytic and Continental Philosophy approaches to fight it out once and for all. I was very frustrated by the destruction of the DialogNet elists by spam which I could not control and Yahoo did not seem to want to control on their elists. I started to move to Google and then I saw that the problem would probably be about the same there. So I found some Forum Software and set it up but by then everyone was off to blogging and the opportunity for restarting the dialog was past. I saw in Google Wave the opportunity to try the experiment again. It will be interested in now that it built whether anyone comes. Philosophy is such an esoteric subject. However, when the flood gates open and Google Wave goes mainstream then there will be ready-made containers for discussion should any one care to take advantage of them. I usually searched to make sure that there was not already a wave before creating new ones. But on the other hand I wanted to offer a good representative selection of philosophers and subjects. For instance, there is an early modern wave, and so I skipped all the early modern period. There was a Phenomenology wave so I avoided Husserl, and then the person who had the Phenomenology wave created a Husserl wave.
Besides creating all these esoteric philosophical intersecting and interfering wavelets I have participated in several interesting discussions that were already ongoing. Of course, the kind of posts I make rarely get answered, I suppose they are intimidating in some sense because they are not chat, but normally make a strong point that would require substantive response if one were to respond. However, in doing this I realized that the problem I have had with blogging over the years may have been solved by Google Wave. I just don’t like writing out in thin air to myself (like I am now). However, in recent blog posts I have reacted to waves and then posted my reaction, along with a link back to the Public wave. I think this might work out very well. I am not sure why I cannot really do the same thing with Blogs. The mechanism is in place to refer to a post and then connect back your reaction to the blog post itself. However the sense of engagement is missing. Also I am interested in the actual behavior of people in their conversations more than any particular thing they might have to say individually. I guess that comes from my sociological bent. At any rate this idea of reacting to waves, and then posting those reactions as blog posts I find entertaining and may try that mode of operation out for a while to see where it leads. I guess it is my rants that lend themselves to that sort of cross posting. It also gives people who are not on Wave yet access to the material.
But it is far from clear what the use of Waves might be. They seem to be better for collaboration and personal exchange. It is a kind of static chat container that can form a link between oneself and someone else. It sort of shows the superficiality of Facebook where you claim to be “friends” but then little actual exchange occurs. Rather waves seem to be containers for ongoing interchange, that stand there independently as an active channel. That channel will then characterize the relationship between the partners in the dialog across that channel. Seems like public waves are merely a diversion from this more basic model, they give us something to do while we wait for everyone to get onto Google Wave. Also, it will be interesting to see how it evolves especially since it is open-source, and others may come up with better implementations and interfaces to waves. Also when Federation gets going that may change the landscape considerably.