Week 120

Refining our learning project and focusing on technology’s impact on how people teach themselves, and helpful articles from Aaron Swartz’s blog.

Refining our project on learning

We’re still at work on building a repository of information and discussions on the impact technology is currently having on learning, or rather autodidactic learning as we decided recently. Guiding question: How is today’s technology changing the way people teach themselves things? While this topic encompasses quite a lot of what we were previously trying to tackle, it focuses on an area that currently abounds with particularly heated discussion. If you would like to talk to us on this topic, please get in touch – we appreciate as much perspective as we can get.

A thought on narrowing scope

Embracing fuzziness is something we like to do here – but it’s important to acknowledge when the fuzziness is simply too fuzzy to handle. In trying to do justice to the immensity of our learning topic, we initially thought that we would simply take samples from a broad range of fields. After a bit of discussion, though, it seemed a better idea to rein in the scope just a little bit, so that we have just one major lens to look through. This unified perspective then makes it easier to know where to start with each subtopic. The volume of possibilities becomes a more countable (or at least less uncountable) infinity, if you will, which is particularly helpful for the detail-oriented amongst us.

More reads from Aaron Swartz

I wasn’t familiar with any of Aaron Swartz’s writing until last week. I came across his series of blogposts called Raw Nerve, subtitled “a series on getting better at life” – and it really struck a chord with me.

In his introductory post, he touches on a problem that is so universally experienced that it can become almost invisible.

If someone was annoying me, I’d choose to avoid them. If something was bugging me, I’d choose to stop thinking about it. I mostly kept my eyes on what was in front of me.

His observations in this series hold just as well for individuals as they do for companies, and he goes into a great amount of detail as to why we behave like this, and what we can do to avoid this mentality. I encourage anyone, whether in search of advice for improving their business, their own work or themselves, to have a look at these pieces.