Yesterday I got really focused on preparing for that virtual presentation coming up next month. Devoting my time to that effort every day will have to be a part of my routine for a while. Generally speaking I should always be working on preparing and refining whatever speech is at the forefront of my mind. That activity needs to be ongoing and continuously refined. Last night I walked through the talk and really gave it some deep thought about how to make it insightful for a general audience interested in machine learning and artificial intelligence. People with those interests are probably the ones who would be attending my talk. I’m going to assume they are the general audience who will be listening. That is where things ended up yesterday and how my time got spent at the end of the night.
Instead of listening to an audiobook at the end of the night I listened to that new Folklore album Taylor Swift (2020). The album was released this week. Stylistically the album was closer to the type of music I generally listen to than any of the artists previous work. I gave the album a listen as part of the shared experience people were having this week. It seemed like a way to understand a little bit of public discourse that is going on right now related to that album. Some music has been released during the pandemic. Given that touring musicians have been generally wherever they were located when the quarantine started we should probably expect to see more music arriving. Traveling musicians would have seen major changes to routines and lifestyles when the pandemic started to create quarantine situations. Art is art. Hopefully, some of that creative force helps move the things left unsaid into a more public forum for discussion. Advancing the general discourse is an inherent value that art brings to society.
That string of thought got me generally thinking about how community standards might be changing right now. I’m not going to spend a bunch of time writing about the Miller vs. California (1973) court case and the nature of community standards. Instead of focusing on that Miller test of obscenity I’m more focused on quality and value to society. While I could spend the rest of the day thinking about the metaphysics of quality. I’m going to save that inquiry for another day. Maybe that will be part of creating a longer chautauqua at some point. Yesterday, we pulled into a parking lot on the trail ridge road in Rocky Mountain National Park. Parked next to us was an adventurer with a motorcycle loaded up for a journey. It was a rather zen moment of personal reflection to think about how peaceful that journey would be as an exploration of quality on a motorcycle camping along the way and enjoying being close to nature. All of that being said my focus right now is on what brings value to the community. The quentasitional description of civic duty usually includes some explanation of engagement. That description will probably closely be followed by explaining the inherent value in the act of voting. Value exists in the process of how a community functions. People inherently have to work together for a community to function. A community of interest exists around that album that Taylor Swift released this week. That community happens to have a lot of engagement both internally and externally related to that specific interest.
We have to figure out how to understand the growing community of interest being built around the things that are not generally being said. My focus on value within the community has started to really center around the things that are left unsaid and just how much that dynamic influences communities of place, circumstance, and interest. Inquiring into the nature of community value surrounding that dynamic of disconnected communication and situation is more than just the discourse occurring in the public square. I’m going to try to circle back to this argument later. Right now I’m not able to put the right words together to close out the narrative that was building up related to community value and civic engagement.