Thoughts on my new job (from CUF site)

I started working for Transforming Notts Together a month ago, so, four weeks in, what are my thoughts?

Well, I have enjoyed getting to know parts of Nottinghamshire I’ve never visited before. I like meeting new people and looking at how people or circumstances might connect with each other, so I can hardly believe that I am being paid to do that.

My highlights so far have been meeting with Carol from Bassetlaw Foodbank and agreeing to pool our knowledge on the agencies they are linked with and also meeting with Simon Cash the Area Dean for Bassetlaw and Bawtry. I have discovered networking events I can link up with as well as discovering more about both church and community activists.

I’ve spent time reflecting on the possible impact of living on the edge of another county (whether South Yorks, Derbyshire or Lincolnshire), so that you perhaps can access towns in the neighbouring county more easily than you can your own, and how this affects access to services, identity and relationship to the wider area.

I’ve also found out that many of the Pilgrim Fathers came from Bassetlaw and that plans are afoot to make more of this.

In the next month I hope to meet more church workers and leaders, increase my knowledge of local need and provision and, through a couple of training events, learn how other church-based development workers approach issues of poverty.

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Is the medium the message?

This is my first blog, propelled by suggestions that I should, the need to express my thoughts in public in ways other than phoning in to local radio and the fact that I just wrote my first blog for work.

Perhaps it’s beginning to get overplayed, but I have been considering a) what analogue (as opposed to digital) is and b) what implications that may have. So my conclusions are twofold: Analogue seems to represent what it conveys more closely (as does an analogy) and thus is extremely varied in its form. Digital representation is essentially a mere copy of what it conveys and reduced to simple binary code.

Does this matter? I think it may, on two levels. By being more distanced from the subject being expressed, we may understand less about it as we lose the context. Satnavs are the prime example as they offer no sense of wider geography. Likewise with an analogue clock, we can observe time advancing around the hours in a way that we cannot with digital. When my car had a would not start recently I discovered that cars are now simply hooked up to computers to diagnose their faults. When the fault in mine proved too obscure, the mechanic did get under the car to mess about with wires, but it took a week in the garage to arrive at that point.

I also think we lose something to do with texture and contact by having things on a screen. I love the feel of a book and seeing them on shelves. I’m not a big one for home decor and I guess that to me, books themselves often decorate a room, giving it a sense of history and character. Lately I’ve heard that people are starting to buy records again, but often not to actually play them, simply to own them and surely to touch and hold them.

The irony of writing this is an online blog is not lost on me but as I observed at the  Simon Starling Exhibition and in the 3D pots made by my cousin Jonathan Keep, sometimes digital and analogue approaches can inform each other in such a way that something truly creative is produced.