I’ve written about “The Tribe” before, or as I tend to call it, “The Parrot Nation.”
Thomas Friedman wrote about it in his book, The World is Flat, essentially making the point that the world is evolving into a level playing field in terms of communication, ideas and commerce.
I essentially pointed out in my essay that the same thing is happening in the world of birds and aviculture. The free-flow of ideas and exchange of information is disrupting the former “Top-Down” flow of information and knowledge to more horizontal exchange.
No longer are published books the only way of getting information, ideas, and techniques. Bird clubs and seminars are not the only way for people to get together and socialize. Facebook, bird forums, blogs and other outlets of social media are making this horizontal flow of information easier. and more convenient.
It’s pretty simple: if you have a computer, you have access to scientific papers, discussions, blogs, chat groups, photos and a ton of other outlets from which to glean information. In other words, there is simply no excuse any more to state the words, “I didn’t know…”
But with that comes something else: Responsibility.
A quote for you:
“Our relations with one another are like a stone arch, which would collapse if the stones did not mutually support each other.”
—Seneca the Younger, “On the Usefulness of Basic Principles,” in Moral Letters to Lucilius, 63–65 A.D.
In other words, while it is very important to not only find and use information, good information, it’s just as crucial to share this information. It is our responsibility to spread the facts and the knowledge that we have discovered and ensure that others have access to it.
Face it, some of us are better researchers, better students, better teachers, better leaders. And others have managed to become better communicators and are more able and willing to spread the good ideas and the good solid techniques that help us take better care of out birds. Every time I write an article, a blog post or a paper, I sometimes have to research the living hell out of the subject. I have to dive into the subject at hand and do the work to not only learn more about it than I already know, but then I have to try and figure out the easiest and cleanest way of getting the information across.
One piece I did for The Bird Channel, on taxonomy, “Taxonomy Explained,” had me sweating. There were a lot of things about it I didn’t know. But I did the work, researched the subject and figured out how to best explain what I had learned. I then ran the article past Jason Crean, who is a Biology instructor, Aviculturist and Zoo Consultant to make sure it was spot on. He made some adjustments, suggested better ways of explaining a couple of things and the article was then submitted.
Sometimes, information you find in one place can be applied to another area when you least expect it. When I was working at the Cincinnati Zoo, I learned about browse. (You can see the video on that here: Just Browsing)
When I went out to Kanab, Utah to write about Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, I explained the concept to Jacque Johnson who manages the Parrot Garden. She immediately put the concept to use and they still use it today. So it was a great crossover concept.
My point is this: We are all in this together. We are all a part of this Avicultural Tribe, this community, this Parrot Nation if you will. What we write about, discover, learn, and share can and will shape what is to come in the future of aviculture. Together, we can make it better not only for all of us, but for those who come after us.
A final quote:
“The whole thing goes: The future’s not set. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves.”
– John Conner
Terminator 2: Judgement Day