January 21, 2009

Is this anything?

When Julka and I had our "let's start elmtwig collective" conversation one of the first things we did was feel around for a topic that we both found interesting. We were looking for something that provoked our curiosity and that we felt like diving into to see if there was a there there. We decided on money.

Money was certainly in the news. An economic crisis and tales of doom greeted us on every newspaper. (Apparently a lot of America's money was imaginary and we all stopped believing in it at the same time.) We'd both been doing our own bit of belt tightening which necessitated some self-reflection. So we wondered in the most broad terms, what could studying people and money tell us about the human condition? We certainly weren't the first people to ask this question, but the point wasn't to be original. It was mostly just to be curious.

When I undertake research like this, my first step is simply to turn on my radar. While I'm reading or talking to people or watching movies or television or doing crosswords or whatever, I try to be hyperaware of the moments that spark a connection with the topic and put them away somewhere. Often I simply put them into my brain which is not a great idea because their recall becomes dependent of other factors so now I try to put them down on paper. And then put them in a pile. Or sometimes on the wall. It is not a sophisticated system and it could definitely use some evolution, but it works. Most of the time.

In the name of evolution, I'm going to try using the elmtwig blog as my wall. Posting some of the things I see or read or hear about that make me think of money or finance or economics. And then after awhile, we'll look back and ask "is this anything?"

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