Last September at FormContent a bunch of us realized we all really like diagrams. We decided to celebrate this by getting together again to talk about nothing but diagrams. That getting together happened a couple of weeks ago at FormContent:

Over the coming week or two I’m going to write up what I presented, and after that I’d like to add something about Patrick’s contribution Holding This Objecty / Making This Objecty, and something about the text Julia wrote about eyeballs and pearls.

A line I traced during the discussion:

You can take a thing and make a diagram of it and then, like extensions to a metaphor, you can elaborate and expand and restructure the diagram in diverse ways. Once you’ve done that, chances are the diagram no longer represents the thing you’ve started with, and you’ve got with a choice. You can either press the diagram back down onto the original thing and see what kinds of changes it asks of the thing; or you can let the diagram stop being a diagram of the original thing, and let it start being a thing of its own.

It strikes me that whichever choice you make, you end up returning to a thing not a diagram, even if it’s a thing that once was a diagram. What if you ended at the diagram: if you let it not be real by return to the thing it began with, nor by development into a thing of its own? A pale thing. Itself would be nothing of itself. Someone who was there on the day (I didn’t catch his name) used the word metaholic.

We’re loosely planning to put together a follow-up event, not called “The Diagram” this time but “A Diagram”.