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meta-hub metaphors

January 18, 2015
  • Hub / Sun
  • Inner circle 1 / Mercury, Venus
  • Inner circle 2 / Earth, Mars
  • Outer circle 1 / Jupiter, Saturn
  • Outer circle 2 / Uranus, Neptune
  • Outer circle 3 / Pluto
  • Fringes / Kuiper Belt


Meta-hubs, meta-nodes, meta-nexuses, etc. don’t wield Power in any recognizable-to-Hubs way. That is, they aren’t “leading”. They don’t try to make specific things happen — they definitely don’t attempt to personally benefit, from kickbacks and the like.

Meta-hubs’ Power {it’s not the right word, but it’s what I’ve got} is diffusing / dispersing information; it’s cross-pollinating.

{No wonder I like Barbara McClintock so much! Not just because she was friends with her corn plants, but because she literally cross-pollinated plants, and metaphorically cross-pollinated with the people she knew.}

Meta-hubs are much more likely to be found at the fringes, or outer circles, of various solar systems/networks, than closer to the Sun/Hub. Hubs tend to be very possessive of the power they have available to wield, and jealous of anyone who approaches, in case they want to steal it, or inherit it. In my personal experience, they cannot be made to understand that I, in this case, have zero interest in your Power. I don’t want it, I wouldn’t be able to use it, it’s a distraction. Locating myself close to you is partly because I genuinely like you, and partly because you’re the center of a network . . . across which I could diffuse / disperse, which is my own Power. Our partnership, should you choose to accept it, stands to greatly benefit both of us, which was my intention in approaching you in the first place.

Non-negotiable terms: you must respect me as your peer. (Since your worldview often has trouble with this concept, think of me as a “rival”, but geographically distant, and therefore, no threat.) And you must treat everyone in your own network with a minimum standard of respect. Not your minimum standard (which is often, everyone who doesn’t wield Power, might as well be garbage, so I’ll treat them with contempt, just because I can), but my minimum standard, which is so-called “humane”/ ”human rights” / “dignity”.

Our 2 types of Power are not at all interchangeable, and very definitely, neither are the skills needed to wield them.

{I’m pretty sure there are people who are both Meta-Hubs and regular Hubs. I think this might fit Neil Gaiman, and the Dalai Lama, as examples. I think it would be really easy to get all twisted up morally, in a dual-position like this.}

  • Capillaries
  • Veins
  • Arteries

I think there’s also something equivalent to ephemeral capillaries.

Ashley Ford is a capillary, even though I really really like her. But, she will not respond to me, no matter what I say, or how I say it. But I still like her, and am always interested in what’s going on in her world. She’s joyful, she’s interesting, and she’s Doing Stuff. She engages with the world with enthusiasm. We seem so similar in those particular ways. But, little-to-no-engagement-with-me => capillary.

Veins, in this model, denote engagement-with-me. Information passes through us, in both directions. We’re peers, and maybe friends. The 5 women I met at AROHO in 2013 were, I thought, “instant” veins (which had never happened in such a short time before). But within a few months, I realized 2 of them were capillaries, and the other 3 were . . . not part of my functional network at all. (We’re “connected” on LinkedIn, but . . . that’s a platform for regular Hubs. I don’t find it particularly useful, except for keeping in nominal contact with people whom I don’t know very well, and probably never will.)

Just as much capillaries as the 2 AROHO women I thought I’d befriended are AROHO women I never talked to in NM, but are part of my Twitter network. I even semi-regularly engage with some of them, but . . . I don’t know that information passes back and forth.

Arteries are dear friends, my most-trusted associates. I never have very many human beings in this role. Spouse, of course. When they were alive, Gramma and Cali and Rosemary Sheil were arteries. Books-as-a-category are an artery. Out-walking-in-the-world is an artery. Art is an artery. (Art might be an aorta.)


Last night, in the dark, I wondered if I could even draw a mindmap of all the circles I’m in, on Twitter. If I wanted to show degrees of relatedness between people I’m still connected to and people I dropped (but occasionally check in on), but who know each other . . . well, I don’t know enough to do it justice. It would be really cool to see!

Here’s circles or other nodes I do know I’m connected to (some of which overlap):

  1. SFF writers, fiction & poetry
  2. Poets in academia (overlaps, somewhat w other group), many of whom have, or are working on, MFAs, or PhDs; some of whom edit poetry journals
  3. World literature, including translations
  4. Librarians
  5. Educators
  6. Unschoolers
  7. Writers, nonfiction & not poets (CNF) – Ashley Ford; Havi Brooks; Captain Awkward
  8. Dictionaries, including foreign dictionaries – “word of the day” in English; Greek; Irish
  9. Social justice activists: against racism, sexism, religious bigotry, homophobia, transphobia, ableism; for equal rights for First Nations people, immigrants, people of underrepresented genders, etc.
  10. Visual artists
  11. GIS / Remote sensing / Geographers
  12. Psychogeographers
  13. Gardeners, who are often photographers as well
  14. Nature photographers: mountains; spiders; capybaras; fungi; really old trees
  15. Environmental conservation groups: Mid-Atlantic US; Ireland; Great Britain
  16. Protectors of specific organisms: milkweeds; bees, butterflies & other pollinators; amphibians; badgers (UK)
  17. Biologists & ecologists
  18. Waterkeepers: Mobile-Tensaw Delta (AL); Shenandoah (VA); Potomac (VA, MD)
  19. US Southwest: Water rights, Latin@ interests
  20. New Mexico: Ghost Ranch; AROHO; Santa Fe art scene; Albuquerque journalists
  21. Australia – ordinary people; politics; scientists; Taronga Zoo (Sydney)
  22. New Zealand – ordinary people; national newspaper; politics; environmental conservation; Maori TV
  23. Iceland – tourism & photography
  24. Ireland – ordinary people; national newspaper; botanists
  25. Iran and the Middle East: ex-pats; cultural, including literature

I feel like I’m forgetting all sorts of people . . . alas, my limited working memory capacity!


If I wanted to “make things happen”, I wouldn’t even know where to start. That’s not a good use of my talents and skills, and honestly, I don’t see how it would be fun. When I do what I’m actually doing, I’m inviting Serendipity and Synchronicity and Surprise to work their magic! As much as anyone else, I don’t know what will happen! That’s good!

I help people and things find each other — what they do afterwards is up to them.


I also generate so-called original content. Which I diffuse / disperse too, of course. I don’t need to write a book — I have this blog, and werdivory. I have Twitter.

I send physical copies of my poems to individual people, as that seems necessary, and that’s a meta-book, in a way. The readers themselves become part of the poetry-collection-diffusion-book-thing, which is its own network. Maybe meta-network, cf. to how I’m a meta-hub.

By “writing” one particular poem (a cento, hence “writing”), and then diffusing it into the world, I connected a woman born in East Texas, a mother, who died young c. 1945 and her daughter never really knew her; to Spouse’s great-grandmother, born in 1888, who never left Kentucky; to my grandmother, born in 1913, who travelled all over the world, but never met the other two women (nor did I); to the original poet, born c. 1940 (the daughter of the woman who died young).

I learned about centos from 1 of my NM capillaries, and now the above poet, in NC, has learned centos are forms that modern poets use with modern works (not just ancient classical poems). And she knows she has a fan of her work in MD. And perhaps a fan, although maybe indirectly, in KY (Spouse’s father, who doesn’t read poetry).

Doing this, being this, is the coolest thing I can imagine being part of.

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