IN CYBERSPACE - Part II
by Robert Rickover
(originally published in 1997)
Woody Allen once remarked: Ninety percent of success is just showing up. If youre not familiar with whats going on with the Alexander Technique on the Internet, I urge you to show up at least once or twice. A lot of people are having their first contact with the Alexander Technique on the Internet. If you want to have a say in what they see and read, youve got to be there. If you presently do Email, at the very least join the alextech e-email discussion group at http/alexandertechnique.com/atonline If necessary, get someone to help you get set up. (And while theyre at it, get them to show you how to find an Internet web site.) After that absolutely no technical skill is required to take part in what is often an interesting and spirited discussion.
A new web site, John Dewey and the F.M. Alexander Technique, has been created by Marian Goldberg. It neatly pulls together all of John Deweys introductions to Alexanders books, his writing about Alexanders ideas and his Technique, writings by others on this topic, and a short description of the Technique. By bringing this material together in one place, easily available for anyone to read, Goldberg challenges those Dewey scholars who dismissed the possibility that an uneducated Australian could have influenced the philosophical development of the scholarly Professor Dewey.
Goldbergs site is also a very good example of how the Internet can be used to quickly and easily increase the potential audience for Alexanders ideas. Anyone looking for information about John Dewey, or about Pragmatism (the branch of philosophy he founded) will likely come across her site. Another excellent example is Sue Merrys Web Site, The Alexander Technique and Kids. This site is devoted to parents and teachers who want the Alexander Technique made available to school children.
The Internet is the ideal medium for making new connections between two or more fields. Individuals could easily create Web sites for topics like Aldous Huxley and the Alexander Technique, Yoga and the Alexander Technique, Repetitive Strain Injury and the Alexander Technique - the list of potential topics is endless. Each such site would have the potential for introducing the Technique to a new audience.
At the same time that the Internet is generating more outside interest in the Alexander Technique, it is also blurring lines of authority within the Alexander community. In his address to the 1997 NASTAT AGM, Don Krim said, It all comes back to legitimacy. This is, I think, what professional societies and credentialing attempt to provide... What happens then, when professional societies like NASTAT and STAT, which have grown used to taking their own legitimacy for granted, come up against a system where legitimacy has little or no meaning? When a structured organization meets a world where nobody is in charge?
I certainly dont know the answer to these questions. But I do know that if more of us become involved with the Internet, were more likely to be successful in creating a favorable impression of our work.
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