Community and collaboration

Is it, I wonder, possible to have one without the other? if they were venn diagrammed would the circles entirely overlap or are there aspects of each independent of the other? at the moment of collaboration does a community spark into being, however short-lived? is it possible to have community, of any sort, entirely without collaboration?

This past weekend I benefited from the area enclosed by the arcs where the venn circles quite definitely overlap in two different ways simultaneously.

Firstly there was the computer. The old (2002) 17″ flat panel iMac which, having served me well was moved to the rather less tender care of the boys when I got my laptop. When we got back from our holiday it died. Wouldn’t boot up at all. The boys were, understandably, upset at the thought of losing access to… whatever it is they access. All we could get was a white screen with a grey apple in the middle and, while elegant and understated, it was rather unvarying and inflexible.


After hours of effort including hair-pulling, zapping things, unscrewing base plates, swearing and suchlike I’d advanced to being able to open the CD drive and hearing the startup sound. And had discovered that, search as I might, I could find every other installation disc for every other programme for every other computer in the history of the world except, of course, the one I needed.

Enter the geeks. One reassures me that it’s a software not hardware problem and the other sends out a tweet-o-s asking if anyone in her network (community?) had a copy of the appropriate disc they could lend a complete stranger. Less than 20 minutes later and offers have flowed in from across the globe.

You might be thinking that fine tweets butter no parsnips, but you’d be wrong. As instantly as is possible within the confines of the UK postal system I actually have a copy of the said disc in the letterbox, in the CD drive and soon after in my (ok, the boys’) computer.

magic happening

thankyouthankyouthankyou! to the wonderful person who came to the aid of someone they’d never met on the other side of the country. Look! It works! It works!


And by a happy deliberance (what’s the opposite of a coincidence if it isn’t a deliberance?) the picture displayed in the browser on the computer is of the other, parallel, example of collaborative communitarian gorgeousness, namely my hap blanket.

As knitters will readily grasp this project had, because of the frequent changes from one yarn colour to another, quite a lot of ends to darn in. As my nearest and dearest will testify I loath and detest darning in (in particular, and sewing in general) with such a passion that it can mean I knit all the bits of a project and then fail to do the last bits that turn it from heaps of crumpled fabric into a functional finished thing.

Not so this blanket. Because, being aware of my sore affliction, the aforementioned pixeldiva and the also-present Erzebel plonked themselves on either side of the reluctant darner on the sofa, got out their needles and sewed in those ends. Such are the dimensions of the thing (more than three feet square) we could all stitch at the same time. And pix probably twittered about the computer disc simultaneously too. It adds a further layer of speciality to a project already dripping with wonderful associations (and Scottish rain).

Awesomeness abounds, unbounded.

4 Replies to “Community and collaboration”

  1. How wonderful — in all ways — to know that all these loose ends have fallen into the comfort of patterns again, thanks to the work of many.

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