Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Specializing in nothing particular

There are additional sites and concepts that support the structure I see behind a Global Mind. First there is, ironically enough, The Global Mind Project. The site seems to have been a venture in 1997 that was perhaps ahead of its time. I will be inquiring into the status of the project as my own begins to take shape.

The work of my new favorite programming author, Bruce Eckle is also a unique example of collaborative knowledge creation. His reasons for putting his books up on the web reflect an intriguing view of how to teach a concept. Instead of relying only on the opinions of a select few regarding the clarity of a concept, Bruce Eckle receives feedback from a growing number of participants. This powerful feedback process will not only improve the quality of the instruction, but also the diversity. Not everyone understands a concept through identical logics.

A good example is the differences between some of my friends. Two of my friends in particular are incredible visualists. They can see an assembly in their minds from a pile of parts that I struggle to understand as a finished assembly. Another friend has a way with words so that nearly everything he says sounds as if it came straight out of a book. And other friends can visualize problems in numbers or programming code that I would need to sit down and work out.

We all have our strengths in learning and surprisingly, most problems can be examined in more than one medium. For a beginning however, the medium should be simple and in plain language. Too often we each get lost in our own professional terminology and dogma. Even the concept of a Global Mind has its own share of new terms. Like Metaweb, RSS, RDF, and Microcontent and Macrocontent.

I’m not saying that there is no need for new terminology creation. In fact it is this very process that helps professionals in the field to distinguish new and different concepts from similar existing ones. Yet for crossover from different fields to exist there must be a simplified explanation.

I am coming to realize that I’m not really a specialist in any particular field, but rather marginally talented in many. As a result, I am hoping that it will be possible for me to become proficient in many areas and fluent in none, without being completely useless to the practical world. My usefulness might then be as a mediator between different professions, linking ideas and technology that can lead to the Global Mind. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

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