While there is nothing inherently open or experimental about the classical trivium, McLuhan and Ulmer—the scholarly touchstones for this project—consistently perform scholarship as an experimental and participatory act. Because they are both interested in methods, heuristics, and heuretics, they both consistently call on readers to try out the Laws of Media, in McLuhan's case, or to test and experiment with genres like MyStory or heuretics like the PopCycle and CATT(t) in Ulmer's case. In suggesting that the trivium can be both heuristic and heuretic, we invite readers to not only try out the trivium, but to share those applications and experiments on this wiki.
The open hand of rhetoric takes many for(u)ms. The increasing importance of electrategenres and electracy stations like Kairos hail new forms of re-formulating taxonomies, recreating dialectic parlors, and re-staging performance. The wiki allows us to explore and push the boundaries of what "counts" in scholarly production and public intellectualism. Because wikis allow collective and folksonomic filtering of knowledge, as well as some rudimentary version tracking of this collection process, it seems the most effective way to not only throw the gates open wide to grammatical filtering, but also rhetorically rich participation, and the questioning give-and-take dialectical work of paying attention.
Y we need U.
Although we provide the initial wiki text, as well as the original organizational structure for this trivial project, we need you to populate the wiki with your ideas and try to bend, shape, erase, connect, and perform knowledge production. Although we anticipate this project spilling into other blogs, discussion boards, and listservs, we hope that others etch their own pathway through and onto the electronic palimpsest we have provided.
What U can expect from the process.
We will be throwing open the wiki to modification upon its announcement in Kairos. From the time of the announcement, the wiki will be open for revision until January 1, 2008. After that, the directors—Kevin Brooks and Andrew Mara—will close the wiki and provide one final edit before the original and modified wikessays are uploaded and archived on the Kairos servers. Like everything else, that text will be open to remediation and grammatical, rhetorical, and dialectical revision through the discourses it spawns and alters. This particular wikessay will be covered by the same Creative Commons license that covers other Kairos webtexts. We may publish further work on this particular project, and will cite any contributions to this wikessay using generally acceptable citation practices.
What U will get out of contributing.
Most importantly, your collective contributions to this project will be preserved and publicly accessible for others to learn from, modify, and extend. The initial publication of this text-periment wiki in Kairos is just the beginning of the study. You are formally invited to add, amend, or delete the text as you see fit. You will have to first register with Wikispaces in order to do so (which allows us to track contributions). We will acknowledge all contributors to the wiki on the "Credits" node when we close the wiki to changes six months after the wiki is announced. Like anything else, we cannot control how your own colleagues/supervisors/gatekeepers in RL will percieve or credit your contributions. We would be glad to write letters of support and documentation of effort on behalf of contributors should anyone seek to advance an argument to his or her department or advancement and promotion committee that efforts on this wiki should count as a publication or scholarly activity that works toward promotion and/or tenure.
What we will get in the end.
Most immediately, we will get feedback on our thoughts about how the classical trivium might survive and evolve in an electrate ecology. We will be observing and collecting not only your thoughts and contributions about a hybrid trivial process, but also noting the fidelity with which the medium preserves and distorts the process of invention that occurs in public electrate conversations. Finally, we will be pushing for a more expansive notion of what "counts" in scholarly production. Part of our desire to create this piece is to provoke the disciplines and stabilized professional practices that rhetoric, writing, composition, and English studies offer to a moment of crisis and reformulation. As university presses close down and new forms of professional and disciplinary knowledge creation emerge, we want to include an examination of new media as a way of evaluating what Cicero called "eloquence."