Wednesday, April 19, 2006

crooked timber / crooked timbers project: i'm confused

via CRTNET, i learned about the crooked timbers project, "a group of communication educators, researchers and practitioners committed to fostering a 'social constructionist' understanding of communication as the primary process for creating and sustaining better social worlds."

great. i'm all for projects! and i'm all for scholars and practitioners coming together to share knowledge! and i'm all for creating and sustaining better social worlds!

but why the name?

for the last few years, crooked timber has been one of the most visited academic blogs around. what gives?


At 4/19/2006 9:34 AM, Anonymous Jeremy Hunsinger said...

The Crooked Timber of Humanity by Isaiah Berlin is the common reference point. It concerns issues of liberalism as pluralism and how there might be more than one right way to do things, to live a life, to learn material, or to run a country.

At 4/19/2006 10:33 AM, Blogger david silver said...

well, yeah, ok.

but why would a new academic project use a name that an already existing academic project uses?

either: a) they don't know about the crooked timber blog (which is, well, weird) or b) they don't see the confusion that such similar names would generate (which is, well, weird).

my take: interesting project, but bad, bad name.

At 4/19/2006 1:21 PM, Anonymous Chuck said...

Yeah, that doesn't seem very wise, especially if they're trying to "brand" the project for a networked academic audience.

At 4/19/2006 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the notion of crooked timber came originally from kant, "of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing can ever be made." this doesn't address the branding issue, but does provide insight into the contemporary usage.

and it's kinda cool :)


At 4/19/2006 7:54 PM, Blogger George said...

Both sites feature the quote from Kant on their homepage.

Very strange.

By the way, I'm going to be starting a political blog about technical policy issues. I'm going to call it "Wonkette" (get it?). It's going to be awesome!

Wait... what?

At 8/08/2006 8:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi folks! I'm a member of the "Crooked Timbers Project" and can answer the question. Although I spend most of my working day in cyberspace, at least I didn't know about the "other" crooked timber blog/site until AFTER we had picked the name for our group. Perhaps that's as much a comment about the richness of the cyberspace as it is of my/our ignorance.
Anyway, our Crooked Timbers group and the National Communication Association co-sponsored a four-day meeting in which we explored ways of nourishing a communication approach to social construction in the academic discipline of communication. Look in SPECTRA (the newsletter of the NCA) for a report (in the October issue, I think) or, in a few days (we are JUST back from the conference) on our "Crooked Timber Project" website.
There will be a lot of activities coming out of this group and we will NOT be "branding" it "crooked timbers.


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