Thank Goodness It’s Monday. Now that’s something we freelancers appreciate 🙂 As part of the wonder of Monday, I am starting a series of posts, similar to Friday’s Finds, but posted on the best day of the week: Monday. I have no intention of making this a regular feature but from time to time on Monday, I will share something I think may be useful. This week I am sharing some of my social bookmarks that relate to personal knowledge mastery. Just look below the cartoon …
“In its most customary form, ‘commonplacing,’ as it was called, involved transcribing interesting or inspirational passages from one’s reading, assembling a personalized encyclopedia of quotations … The rise in popularity of the commonplace book occurred during a point in the sixteenth century when the mass distribution of information catapulted an entire generation into a tizzy.”
We are in a similar situation today, with exploding amounts of information online and social media accelerating the spread of it, not always for the good of society. If you don’t have a sense-making system in place, isn’t it about time you did?
“This book outlines a step-by-step process for making sense of messes made of information (and people). The steps are in order but most projects are not, so feel free to skip around or jump to a specific term from the lexicon … If we’re going to be successful in this new world, we need to see information as a workable material and learn to architect it in a way that gets us to our goals.”
There is lots of practical information here and it’s easy to hop around and read the many short segments.
“Her [Dr. Erdevez] qualitative data — from surveys and interviews — showed that the subjects fell into three distinct groups. Some she called ‘non-encounterers’; they saw through a tight focus, a kind of chink hole, and they tended to stick to their to-do lists when searching for information rather than wandering off into the margins. Other people were ‘occasional encounterers,’ who stumbled into moments of serendipity now and then. Most interesting were the ‘super-encounterers,’ who reported that happy surprises popped up wherever they looked. The super-encounterers loved to spend an afternoon hunting through, say, a Victorian journal on cattle breeding, in part, because they counted on finding treasures in the oddest places. In fact, they were so addicted to prospecting that they would find information for friends and colleagues.”
As author Stephen B. Johnson says, “Chances favors the connected mind.”
“Instead of giving your attention to the Spectacle; instead of seeking guidance from Authority; instead of being afraid of liminal space, allow. Allow liminal space to remain open. Allow it to remain sacred. Reconnect with meaning and purpose. Anchor yourself in it. And then listen from that center.
Listen to people. Real people. People you know and people you trust because you know they are trust-worthy. Don’t just listen. Engage. And expand your web of trust. Find out who the people you trust, trust and engage with them.
This is our most hopeful future. One where the entire Spectacle is “turned off” and we are connected to each-other in a network based on real relationships. The kinds of relationships that are nearly impossible to fake and are really hard to game. And the kind of trust that is strong because it will not be betrayed.”
We need to build communities of practice and connect in professional social networks to make sense of the network era. It’s more about people than information.
“”While some smart people will profit from all the information now just a click away, many will be misled into a false sense of expertise. My worry is not that we are losing the ability to make up our own minds, but that it’s becoming too easy to do so. We should consult with others much more than we imagine. Other people may be imperfect as well, but often their opinions go a long way toward correcting our own imperfections, as our own imperfect expertise helps to correct their errors,” warns Dunning.”
And always remember not to get too comfortable with your own knowledge.