Friday, 21 November 2014

The Power of Blurting

I was in a very lively and enjoyable #pkmchat this week on Twitter and a new sort of theory formed itself (at least momentarily) in my grey matter - or rather it took shape from what I was discussing with others and took a more distinguished shape.  There were two distinctive lines of thought around blogging and the sharing of thoughts, ideas and information.  One was along the lines that if you want your shared information to be useful it needs to be well thought out, accurate and well-written - which you have to say sounds very reasonable and professional.  It’s just that it leaves me kind of cold.  I’m all for factual information when you need it - things like legal settings and black and white rules and regs are often only approachable in this way, but even when the subject matter is highly factual our thought process doesn’t need to be constrained that way.  I’ve approached my blogs in a different way as those of you who actually read them will undoubtedly know.  I don’t go out of my way to write stuff that is incorrect either in knowledge base or grammar (although of the latter I’m surely at fault on a regular occasion), but I don’t focus on it as the single most important thing either.  For me writing and sharing isn’t about Nigel knows best (nor do I usually write about myself in the third person so apologies there too!), but moreover ‘hey, this is what I think’ or maybe ‘what about this?’.  It’s about the challenge, the thought itself, the idea of challenging what ‘knowledge’ alone will get you.  It’s about blurting.

I don’t proof read what I write which is probably self-evident with the typos and spelling mistakes that are sure to litter my posts.  I don’t care if I read someone else’s posts and they have minor errors that don’t detract from the message they’re trying to put out there.  I don’t care because to me it’s not important.  This leads me to my main point I guess, that the old ideal that ‘Knowledge is Power' is… well… it’s wrong.  I know that there are some people who focus life-long learning on the pursuit of knowledge, but I can’t help thinking this is misdirected.  If learning was just about amassing knowledge then science, technology and progress would be stuck with what we have.  The best learners don’t really seek to know everything or understand everything, the seek to make sense of things - yes, this can come from knowledge but only if you remember that knowledge itself isn’t a permanent thing - and that’s a good thing not a bad thing.  Also remember if we take the majority of learning theories that knowledge is actually the lowest form of learning.  Being able to simply recall information does not equate to high-level learning - let alone power.  The old theory of holding on to that knowledge and not sharing it so that you have something others don’t have is predicated on the amazing value of knowledge alone.  Once we dispel that myth we can then start to share without fear - that’s when we actually start to empower both ourselves and others and knowledge put into action starts to gain some strength.

My theory of Evolve I’ve shared recently is that we are not designed to be knowledge storing machines we’re designed to evolve.  It’s in our nature to seek improvements and adjustments that will improve things and that’s where we can tap into to amplify learning.  If we put too much value on the purity of knowledge we have to make sure what we’re sharing is correct - in the purest of science that may seem right but our very theories are evolving - that’s how science moves on.  Same with language.  Some words we scoff at today will be common place tomorrow, language is evolving and so should we with it.  It’s also the most natural thing to do.

So the power of blurting you could call the power of sharing.  Or maybe the power of sharing your ideas with others.  My take is that by sharing what you think more than what you know you’re actually sharing something far more useful to the growth of those around you.  By sharing and seeing responses we also evolve our own theories (I’ve definitely been known to change my mind even on theories I started!).

My last point is that evolution doesn’t have to involve the creator.  No, not touching on religion here, but if you were the one who came up with a concept and others take it in different directions… that’s okay.  No, it’s better than okay it’s great.  The chances are that if you continue to contribute past a point you’re anchoring your own views and not letting the theories go where they go. 

So next time you want to blog on something I say blog.  If you don’t know much about it that’s okay too - if you have an idea share it and see what happens.  Share. Blurt. Learn (but don't bother over checking) :)