About a month ago, Susie Sharp posted something from the Cool Twitter Conference: 'Change happens at intersections. On Twitter, don't just follow the same people all your other friends follow.' It's a tidy nugget of wisdom.
That same day I had posted a video on Facebook that someone on The WELL dug up. It was an instrumental Japanese math rock band called Nisennenmondai. Things I learn on The WELL are part of the value I bring to my other friends. The converse happens too - like my journeyman's attempts to drive traffic to the WELL discussion of Scott Rosenberg's book.
A lot of people don't understand my marriage - how can we spend so much time apart? But if we experienced everything together, we wouldn't have anything to talk about. If you start reading books about how to improve your marriage, one of the first pieces of advice you'll hear is this: don't try to be the whole world to each other. You'll fail, and you'll lose yourself in the process. Bring something fresh to it. Don't be afraid to have passions that are only your own.
Nobody learns anything in an echo chamber. When it came time to throw a birthday party, I made a point of inviting four or five different groups of friends, many of whom hadn't met each other. I was tilling the fields for a fertile cross-pollination.
There's a more abstract point I'm trying to make, and I'm not doing a very good job. Something to the effect that we need challenge and variety. Duh, right? Maybe if I throw enough examples at you, the plural of "anecdote" will become "data". I have to try.