E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Manifesto by Dave Pollard

Gran Canaria - Barranco de / Charca de / Playa de Maspalomas (After the rain)You know, there are times in one’s life when you bump into one of those articles written by someone who you have followed, and admired, for a long while already that really gets you to no end, giving you shivers up your spine, provoking some of the most delightfully disturbing feelings inside you that you know are going to linger around for a long while, making you question, very profoundly, your work, your life, your very self in this world. To no end. Well, earlier on this week I bumped, once again, into one of such articles: Manifesto.

It’s actually a blog post put together by, like I just said above, someone who I have admired and followed for a long while now and who I consider one of the main guilty parties as to why I entered the world of Knowledge Management almost a decade ago. Indeed, he is one of those essential KM blogers who has been attempting to save the world for a while and who never ceases to amaze me how innovative he has been all along in such arduous task. Of course, I am talking about my good friend Dave Pollard.

Now, I am sure, as we are coming closer to the end of another rather long, and perhaps exhausting, week at work, that you folks would all have lots of great plans and activities piled up for this coming weekend we are just about to start. Well done for you, if that is the case; allow me to suggest though one other activity to go for this weekend: look up for a time where peace and quiet will reign in your household, go and grab a cup of coffee, or tea!, and start reading "Manifesto".

It’s one of those essential readings one has got to go through every so often to really remind us all what we are here for. There is very little that I could add to his wonderfully crafted blog post, yet, there’s just *so* much that I could talk about in relation to it that it would take me ages (And pages!) to put it all through a single blog entry! It’s, on its own, a Manifesto. A manifesto I never thought would be *that* accurate to describe how I have been feeling myself personally about things for a great deal of time (6 years to be more precise!!).

A manifesto that will surely not leave you indifferent. Quite the opposite. Rather disturbed, if you ask me, but in the right sense of the word. A manifesto that clearly describes who we are as human beings and perhaps what our true role should be in this world. Yes, that profound! I’m sure that plenty of people will have a good bunch of arguments against it, but I am also certain that it has hit the nail in its head with some of the major points Dave covered quite nicely. All of them reflected very well in this quote:

"[…] That’s who I am. Not a consumer, a user, a debtor, an employee, a resource, an owner, a leader, a believer, an -ist. So stop calling me these names. Understand who I am, and you may start to understand who you are as well. And then you will be free of all the names that imprison you, make you everybody-else, make you who you are not […]"

And that’s just a little taster! I know plenty of folks out there who may consider such Manifesto as a rather utopian, happy read and perhaps a waste of time altogether. That’s fine. I’m sure Dave would be fine with that as well. The interesting thing, and the most mind-boggling one, is that, if you read it carefully, he brings up so many good arguments on where we have gone wrong as a society that it will make you question and ponder about things twice big time. And for a long while, whether you like to admit it or not.

It surely has had that effect on me, even more, when most of his thinking permeating throughout the article matches very closely my very own perspective on things, specially in the last few years, after one has gotten through one of those lifetime changes of rebooting yourself, start again from scratch, making you question a thing or two about your own role in this world and move on with your life with a new purpose. "Where did we go wrong?" is the question that keeps lingering around in the back of my mind for a good number of things that he details, very extensively, in his article. We have been given a chance to enjoy life as what it should have been all along: an interconnected, responsible, sustainable, enjoyable one… Where did we go wrong?

I am pretty certain Dave is on a mission to provoke such conversations to take place. He is very much one of those trust agents who *will* change the world as we know it. With such readings as Manifesto he has already provoked that effect to some extent. I do think though the challenge is now on each and everyone of us and see whether we are up to take on the baton and eventually get to see him, as he states towards the end of the article. One thing for sure, I am not certain about you, is that I just can’t wait to see him (Read through the entire entry itself and you will see what I mean …).

And then, how about you?

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  1. Very interesting, but I do think it is flawed, not through idealism but through the same mistaken lens of seemingly dissimilar philosophies like existentialism and objectivism in assuming a materialist reality unfettered by abstract values and unbounded by external force. “I do what I choose, what I know is right to do. Do not tell me, or ask me, to do otherwise,” is simply incorrect: we do not get to do what we choose to do so often or what we know is right, in fact often we do what our biology and social pressures dictate – and that is also a beautiful thing, or, rather, can be. In fact, he acknowledges this in the commentary on being a complicit part of this world, this universe, and that complicity is where choice and will are bent towards the needs of species survival and social comity, and becomes an inherent contradiction. Not being a “believer” but then “acknowledging” this greater hole is another contradiction, and in point of fact we must “believe” for the mere act of going forward, as this manifesto represents, for a manifest is a belief.

    I would argue rather we are all by turns objects, employees, users, leaders, consumers, and so on, and all these things are a part of that complicity in the greater whole. They are the necessary gears by which it turns, from symbiosis to osmosis to the other biological use cases we can apply. By each day I may be whore, giver, judge, and victim – or rather, the whole may need me to be these and I may need to be.

    Still, very interesting, not taking away from that. I do feel it’s quite incomplete though. That said, I agree with a lot of what I think is the foundation of this, but the difficulty is that foundation is a bit implicit, we don’t have the philosophical basis, though I can surmise much of it.

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