collecting broken images

Do you remember that piece of research that informed your thesis 18 years ago? I do, it’s called the SPATIAL model and is no longer online, except on this blog (part of it).

I was asked by a friend if I could recommend some online resources for students to help with research and studying. It took me one click: my social bookmarks on Student Resources.

Could you write a 10,000 word paper, with citations, on a subject you know fairly well: in the next 24 hours? I can and I have done it for clients. I can do it on Leadership, Social Learning, Innovation, and several other topics. I have thousands of half-baked ideas that can be transformed into a coherent narrative, given a serious editing effort with a clear objective.

Could you quickly recommend the core people who are influential in one of your professional areas? I can, with my Twitter list of people who talk about the New World of Work.

These examples show how personal knowledge mastery is a discipline that makes my professional life easier and my work more effective. As Stephen B. Johnson says, “chance favors the connected mind”. We all have the tools available to create our outboard brains and offload some of the cognitive load of the network era, or as Dion Hinchcliffe recommends, “let the network do the work”.

“A storm of new information passes over the mind – a flurry of activity can bring chaos, excitement, energy, and create the conditions for new ideas – new life – to come into being.” —Dave Gray

Image: Dave Gray (used with permission)

Image: Dave Gray (used with permission)

Finally, I would like to share this poem to show that PKM is much more than a neat and tidy filing system. PKM is a work in progress: a discipline of the mind.

In Broken Images

He is quick, thinking in clear images;
I am slow, thinking in broken images.

He becomes dull, trusting to his clear images;
I become sharp, mistrusting my broken images,

Trusting his images, he assumes their relevance;
Mistrusting my images, I question their relevance.

Assuming their relevance, he assumes the fact,
Questioning their relevance, I question the fact.

When the fact fails him, he questions his senses;
When the fact fails me, I approve my senses.

He continues quick and dull in his clear images;
I continue slow and sharp in my broken images.

He in a new confusion of his understanding;
I in a new understanding of my confusion.

Robert Graves


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