Monkeys with typewriters

I’ve received mt copy of Monkeys with Typewriters by Jemima Gibbons. The book launch event has a good write-up here.

I’ve only read the first chapter so far but find the writing style really engaging – I could have stayed up and read a whole lot more …. What I particularly appreciated was the discussion of the drivers for web 2.0/ enterprise 2.0 adoption being based in notions of the learning organisation and particularly de Geusliving company book. I think this is the key potential for web2.0 as enabling those adaptive and autopietic organisations to become a realisable possibility. I also believe that the potential for autopeosis is far greater than realised – not just for small organisations/ teams, etc… but only for some. What often gets missed from many of these discussions is the requirement for more regulated, ‘boring’ and routinised work proactices and organisations to enable the more free-form organisational formats to operate. The cafes need to be open (and supplied), IT infrastructure support, snail mail needs to work blah, blah. So this 2.0 stuff is perhaps mainly applicable for those ‘higher value’ knowledge based occupations, etc. reinforcing occupational/ social divides and creating new ones. Will being an office working a sign of lower status compared to being able to say “I work anywhere”.

Anyway, this is an interesting book – inspiring in only its first chapter (motivated me to get blogging again).

8 thoughts on “Monkeys with typewriters”

  1. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for this blog post and I’m really glad you’re enjoying the book so far. (I enjoyed writing it so hopefully some of that enthusiasm comes across!)

    You’re right, there is such enormous scope for change and it seems we’re only at the beginnings of it. Like you, I’m really interested in what can happen if more regulated, traditionally less “creative” organisations actually take up these tools. It could go either way, of course…

    Best wishes,

    • Thanks for the comment and sorry for the delay in replying. I’ve finished your book and enjoyed it immensely and will post some more thoughts soon (ish)
      best wishes

  2. Hi Peter,

    Thanks – but don’t worry – no pressure! Christmas + snow seems to have set me back more than I could have imagined this year…

    Btw, do you know of any cultural/arts centres in Edinburgh that might be interested in a seminar/ workshop based on the book? I’m doing one in London next week and would be nice to spread the word!


  3. HI Jemima
    Its been a while since I’ve been involved in putting on events in Edinburgh but a few potential venues some to mind:

    The Hub – the base for the ‘official’ Edinburgh Festival – its not the most informal of settings – more @

    Out of the Blue is an interesting arts building/ community and might be a good venue (a bit less central maybe) –

    Gallery spaces include The Fruitmarket Gallery, a nice and light space but not sure how events work there –
    The City Arts Centre has a top floor for events/ workshops etc. including breakout rooms –

    Finally, there’s a social enterprise co-working space that might be of interest and has a good vibe –

    Hope these are useful. If you want some more info, let me know


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