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CULT: About the Survey and AIS

From: HIPSource@aol.com


I'd like to address some ideas that have emerged, albeit obliquely, as we 
have carried on our little survey.

I'd consider it unfortunate if the tabulated answers to the question posed 
here were used as a stick to beat AIS with, regardless of the nobility of the 
goal or the recalcitrance of the beast. Our survey was not an AIS activity 
and I don't think it should be confused with one. There was no agenda, no 
presumptions, and no point to be made.

The powers that be at AIS are welcome to listen to what we have learned, and 
I encourage them to do so for it has been interesting, but this dialogue 
which friends have shared has been loose, free and plastic and essentially 
nonpolitical in spirit, or so I hope, and that last has been the beauty of 
the thing. Furthermore, Donald and I became immediately and acutely aware of 
how reducing the responses to a form for ready reference saps vitality out of 
it and confers a fictive order upon the data that does not convey the essence 
of this experience as we have shared it.   

We are accustomed to thinking in certain hierarchical patterns, but I don't 
think that the 'results' of the list dialogue should be interpreted as a 
'popularity poll' in which something emerges as a winner and other things 
just don't. That is to oversimplify and distort what we have discovered. 
There can be no 'winner,' for every single iris which has been mentioned is 
definitionally a winner. We asked for the names of the winners, including 
unsung winners, and we got winners of all kinds and descriptions, and a lot 
of them, and that is very fine to say. 

Our dialogue, has been about inclusion and abundance. It arose because folks 
responded to an invitation to share what they knew in a spirit of 
thanksgiving for good irises and good friends. It has been rich and fluid, 
spreading out broadly and, one might say, horizontally, involving geography, 
climate, anecdote, and personality. It has been an abundantly affirmative 
sort of thing, and I hope we will bear this in mind.

Anner Whitehead

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