Pen spinning

When I was in fourth grade, I thought I was pretty darn good at the Standing Broad Jump. I would practice with a yardstick, and after every jump I would look back and admire the great distance I had flown. I had to practice because I was representing Mrs. Murphy’s class on Field Day, the day in spring when all the kids would empty onto the playing fields for competitions and popcorn eating.

I sucked at Standing Broad Jump, and it took Field Day for me to learn that.

When you don’t see what your peers are up to, you can delude yourself about how good you are. Contrariwise, when you are in constant contact with your peers, competing and trading tips, your community can improve with startling speed. Tightly linked communities of practice are achieving astonishing results. Throw in a few web sites, some Facebook, some YouTube, some Yahoo Groups, and bang! you’ve got the giantest giant pumpkins you ever saw. These turbocharged web communities are among the great wonders of our age.

And, by the way, can you spin a pen on your thumb? Think you’re pretty good at it? Watch this video and you’ll see you suck as bad as Standing Broad Jump Fourth Grade Ned.

Wow. This may be some kind of high point of our civilization.

Spotted on

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