16 January 2010

Take time for a QUiCK THiNK each day

What is knowledge?
Wow, what a question. What an important question. And yet such a hard one to answer.

I have heard David Snowden say that we have struggled as a civilisation for thousands of years to try and define "knowledge" and failed, so I along with David are highly sceptical when some management consultant spouts out a definitive explanation. Until Cognitive Neuroscience moves down to the detail of tracking individual neurons, nerves, synapses and hormonal systems I don't think we are even capable of guessing at the answer, and even then....

But despite this I do run across people every day who make simple mistakes, in business, in hockey, in relationships, in life, because they haven't sat down and thought about what it is to know and to think.

I constantly need to remind myself to reassess assumptions, to question social norms, to overcome mental shortcuts and stupid thinking. So I thought I might at least help my readers move a little way toward understanding knowledge through a daily reminder to quickly think about a question.

Ask yourself a question
We are all capable of so much more than we actually achieve. My hope is that if everyone just takes 60-90 seconds of their day to think about something to do with how they think, both individually and as a group, then I have made a difference in the world.

So keep an eye out on my Twitter stream @DeltaKnowledge for the QUiCK THiNK tweets each day. I hope they get you thinking!

4 comments :

Peter J. Coburn said...

Good thought Stu. I agree that we should spend more time thinking. 60-90 seconds spent well... you are making a difference!

Stuart French said...

Thanks Peter, I appreciate the encouragement. I have 4 months of the questions lined up so far all scheduled to fire off in the middle of the day.

I look forward to joining in the ensuing discussions.

kdelarue said...

... so @KateKendall's citation of Voltaire on Twitter just now is somewhat synchronicitous: "Judge a person by their questions, rather than their answers."

Stuart French said...

Well if I have to be judged, then I guess thats a good way to go :-) Actually Keith I didn't envision giving, or even discussing the answers, I was more interested in how people's understanding of knowledge would change simply by thinking about these questions, whether they came to a conclusion or not.

Hopefully the new Facebook group here http://bit.ly/54javG will help people share and experience a broader range of thought on each question if they have more then 90 seconds.

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