I learned something tonight at Sylvia Paull's CyberSalon, covered elsewhere by Scott Rosenberg. What I didn't learn is anything useful about the endless debate about blogojournalism. Finding myself on a panel about this ancient and intensely simple "argument" is something I would only do for Sylvia, whose committment to reviving the ancient (20th Century) art of bringing thought to our Sopranos existence is both laudable and expertly served by her salting of the "audience" with remarkable minds in the process of finding their voice in the new network.
But my misgivings aside, I found myself stunned by the comments--and more, the body language, of several women, including Lisa Stone and particularly someone whose name I did not retain who will have to let us know more about her when she publishes an external blog. She spoke the KM-speak of a corporate tactician, and Lisa the data side of a partnership with Jory Desjardins' color commentary. The something I learned was that however I can accomplish it, I need to factor this energy in to the moment we are experiencing in the birth of the network.
I've intuitively and insistently rebelled against this damn deadend of a discussion for years; at dinner I told Dave Winer in half jest that I wished everybody had some heart trouble early in life so we could avoid wasting some much precious time on this chattering of the minds. But sitting next to Lisa and watching the way the words about motherhood and daughters resonated in her throat and expression, somewhat like an athlete who has learned how to leverage focus to reach the appropriate velocity at the moment it's needed, I saw something akin to a new car pool lane on 101.
Finally it's arrived; the work is now underway and the frustration with the endless pingpong of the explanation of what has happened giving way to simple time management. Sylvia cut the filibustering of one panelist added at the last minute as his apparent request, expertly stage-managed a transition to women's issues when the inevitable stalemate of the original elitist-no elitist setup turned rancid, and made no apologies for favoring female over male gasbags, myself included.
I enjoyed meeting the moderator, Andrew Keen several weeks ago before he strapped on his Bill O'Reilly pose, and amused myself watching John Markoff struggle through what he called afterwords "a trip to the dentist," and found the The Panelist Who Came to Dither a good mind terribly wasted. But thanks to Lisa and friends I found the event not strange as Scott reported but a telling signal that maybe just maybe the next time we have this conversation we can pick up where this one ended, in the streets at the intersection of What used to be and What might be.