Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More




Internet Presence II

Deer Park, Angwin, California, USA

August 8, 2018



This essay, Internet Presence II, is the companion piece to Optimized For Mobile.

It is also the sequel to Essays - Three Years Later: Internet Presence.



Werner Erhard proposed a (quote unquote) "internet presence"  as the context for the body of work on this website. It wasn't I who created it. That's the truth. To be sure, it was I who started the website from an epiphany I had one day, riding my Cannondale  bicycle through Napa Valley's vineyards, then posted its first content on Sunday August 17, 2003. But it wasn't until a fortuitous one-on-one meeting with Werner later, in which he proposed this context, that things really took wing.

In that meeting, as the first order of business, he suggested I consider changing the website's title from my erstwhile "The Werner Erhard Essays" to "Conversations For Transformation" ("Conversations For Transformation", its current title, was its original byline). My idea in titling it "The Werner Erhard Essays" was to imply its body of work was inspired by him. He countered, that titling it "The Werner Erhard Essays" may in fact imply its body of work was written  by him. I got his point. After we moved its words and phrases around, trying them out, putting them back, re-arranging them, then trying them out some more, we re-cast the title from my original



The Werner Erhard Essays

Conversations For Transformation

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

By Laurence Platt



to its current


Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More



which is a co-creation by both of us - except for the "And More" at the end, which is only Werner's (I consider it to be a meisterstück:  because of it, it all opens up).

But it was what he said next, which altered the entire direction in which I was going to go with this website, and would ongoingly determine what I posted to it. He suggested it provide a (quote unquote) "internet presence". Of what? I wondered ... and so I asked him. A half an hour of animated conversation ensued over drinks (water, at room temperature) from which I got the new direction, which continues to shape and guide the expression this website is, even now, fifteen years later.

Before I tease out the distinction "internet presence" for you (which I'll do in a moment), let's look at the fundamental paradox inherent in any body of written work such as this one. And listen: it's such an extreme paradox that it borders on conflict. It's that the authentic domain of transformation is live, face-to-face conversations between human beings physically present together in the same physical space. A finer take on that is that the authentic domain of transformation is live, face-to-face conversations between human beings physically present together in the same physical space with Werner. Here's the thing: with of all that defined, I'm sorry but the internet doesn't make the cut as a domain of transformation. And paradoxically the written word, even when it's about  transformation, doesn't make the cut either.

Let's be clear here: transformation on the internet and in the written word (and in any other form of the recorded  word as well) is but an approximation  of the real deal: close, yes ... but no cigar. At best, they're but pointers. And that's  what the body of work on this website provides ie that's its context: it's an internet presence of pointers  to Werner's work. People will inevitably blur this a bit and only get near (but not all the way into) the ballpark, by loosely saying it's an internet presence of Werner's work. But this work is rigorous. It's about rigorous distinctions, and it's about being rigorous. And saying it that way, is simply not being rigorous enough.



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