Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Making Ideas your own - Synthesizing

Blog readership continues to be high as a result of the Globe article. The viral power of the internet seems to be what really drives the traffic. The article or parts of it were picked up by many other blogs. So the pressure is on to "be pithy" as one of my friends said.

I seem to be getting a lot of press lately. One of my articles was picked up by DeAnna Spencer.

Last night I went to the Leafs game (They beat Atlanta, although I am not sure people check my blog for sports updates) courtesy of HP. Then I stopped by the warehouse for a short while. Things were running smoothly as expected.

Much if not all of what I do, blog about, my philosophies etc. are synthesis of different information I have taken in (books, audiobooks, seminars, listening to people etc.). I am a big believer in filtering information. Just because it is in print or said by a famous person, I find many people take it as the truth. The key is good synthsis. Take the ideas, filter them, apply them to your situation to end up with a lightly new or your own view.

One challenge I have is not rejecting an authors whole view just because I disagree with part of what they say. For example, I recently read “Fooled by Randomness – The Hidden Role of Chance in the Markets and in Life” by Nassim Taleb. He speaks poorly about one of my other favourite books – “The Millionaire Next Door”. The challenge is for me to still learn from him on his other points.

In the preface of his book he talks about his rules of writing including “Avoid discussing (a) anything that I did not either personally witness on the topic or develop independently, and (b) anything that I have not distilled well enough to be able to write on the subject with the slightest effort.”. Interesting view. I, personally, believe in sharing all even if I did not originate it (ideally with attribution). At the same time, I like the idea of distilling ideas so perhaps I am in sync with Nassim.

Nassim wrote:

"Purge the text from passages that seemed to come from a visit to the library.

I detest the practice of random use of borrowed wisdom."

To which I say:

You have come to the wrong blog. Most of what you find here will be my interpretation of the information I have taken in.

One problem with our education system is it trains people not to copy when in reality it is often smart to copy and ask for help. I am not proposing that people steal intellectual property rather use the “free” information that is available.


At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Laura said...

Hey Dad!
If that link is supposed to be to the Globe article, it's not working.

Also, we are studying blogs as a form of publication in my authors and their institutions class, so it's very neat. In my Shakespeare class I mentioned being blog-current and that was a new word for that prof.


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