We are involved in a "Welding Process," a type of Wikipedia:Manufacturing process.
Welding is joining things together.
- Groups of people meet and weld themselves to one another. A group that is "CommunityOverContent" is still a group with a "product" of sorts: Their welded selves. They desire this fusion for some reason, whether it's something put into words, something not put into words, or something that can't be put into words. But there is a fusion, and it's useful to think of the people as a group. (HiveMind.)
- Quilts weld. Among many social quilters, the analogy isn't lost on them. They think about the people that they love as they quilt, and they think about how the days of our lives combine to make something whole.
- Software efforts are welding efforts of sorts. We take pieces of various technologies that can do something, and combine them into another piece of software. Many times, the resulting software becomes material for further welding.
- The software produced by a software effort is only the product of the welding of ideas. Ideas are welded together to make the core that turns into the software product. Even if no code is shared between projects, the core ideas in the code frequently do. (Software developers are presently trying to figure out how to make code correspond to ideas. The SemanticWeb is doing a similar thing with data structures.)
- Theories themselves are welding effort, combining information and turning it into knowledge which, if it's welded into our lives, becomes living wisdom inside of us, and evident by our actions. Knowledge divorced from action doesn't do anything; It just sits there. When it turns into action, it becomes wisdom.
- LinkLanguage welds. We see pages defined in terms of other pages.
- Nano-technology would like to weld, according to the Nanotech foresight group, or whatever they call themselves.
- This list welds the concept of welding as it is found in many different places.
There are other things beyond the WeldingProcess worth talking about. For example, there's discrimination- choosing one thing over another thing. We aren't talking about welding right now, in order to say that it's the only thing around. Rather, we're talking about it so that we can isolate this as a thing that generally happens.
Another name for this welding, this joining, is integration.
How to Weld
The basic pattern behind the process of welding is the same.
- Make a space.
- Collect materials.
- Push away.
- goto 2
You must have some sort of space to weld. A room for gathering. A chair for quilting. A source code repository. A wiki. Paper. A soup of chemicals. A UserInterface. A disk drive. Whatever.
Next you must collect your materials. You must put the materials you most commonly will use close to you, and you must push the things least used far from you.
In wiki, we can weld a HyperText better than bloggers (if I may be so bold), in part because our LinkLanguage is so close to us.
In a space, people gather. In writing, you bring your notebook close to you, as well as referenced books. In the UserInterface, you pull together the files you are interested in.
Finally, you join. You perform whatever manipulation it is that you want to get done. You sew the pieces of cloth together. You talk with the person next to you. You write some source code. You talk.
At the end of the day, you push it all away, for future access. If you are going to stay up into the wee hours of the night, you push away, only to receive some more materials as part of a feed.
If your process is recursive or continual, you are back at collecting materials.