Preemptive FAQ

Q: What is the point of this project?
A: This virtual space is a requirement for my graduate school seminar called "Entrepreneurial Journalism." Beyond that, it's inspired by the idea that humans have the capacity to completely re-imagine things.

At the moment, thoughtful people are re-imagining all kinds of things. For example, synthetic biologists are re-imagining energy production, while creative young journalists are busy re-imagining the news media.

"All I'm saying is, free your mind," said my professor Adam Penenberg (an entrepreneurial journalist himself) in class last week, "You can create a new art form."

So I guess the point is I'd like to try and do that.

Q: WTF does "meta-morph" mean?
A: Meta-morph is a made-up verb, built out of two conceptual bricks: metamorphosis and metacognition.

Brick 1, Metamorphosis: Today's technology allows individuals to mine vast amounts of discreet, meaningful packets of information, and instantly distribute them throughout multiple extensive social networks. It's too early to tell what it all means exactly, but one thing is for sure: as the way we research, communicate, and collaborate transforms, our brains and minds are changing in response. Our individual and collective thought processes are undergoing some sort of metamorphosis. What will climb out of the cocoon?

Brick 2, Metacognition: In this February 2009 article from Seed, science writer Jonah Lehrer explains how the human tendency to think about how you think has "immense practical value." In fact, some researchers believe if we examine our tendencies, we may be able to figure out how to avoid certain types of seemingly unavoidable mistakes. As Lehrer puts it, "Although the mind is full of flaws, we can learn to outsmart them."

So how do the bricks come together? In a theory: to be keenly aware of the strengths, weaknesses, and idiosyncrasies of the mind (individual or collective), is to be better equipped to re-imagine -- and then to meta-morph -- the way it makes decisions, especially given the vast information stores and transformative communications technology that can be applied toward this goal.

This project is a multimedia-based attempt to apply this theory practically, and to show how it manifests itself in the real world four-way intersection of science, business, politics, and journalism. I guess we'll have to see what happens.

If this post strikes you as mere psychobabble, don't be discouraged. From here on out it's about the content. This was just the concept car.

Meta-morph it.

(Photo Credit: chekabuje, Flickr)

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