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Learn Constantly. Become Future-Proof.

Fortnightly Links No.39

Mentors • Attention • Media Literacy • Silos • AI • Art

This issue is arriving a day late to respect Martin Luther King day (US). A varied bunch of articles so do scroll through the whole thing and notice the five additional links under further reading.

Forget about Finding a Wise Elder, Mentorship Is Ageless Now

Jocelyn K. Glei • 5 min read

People are too busy and work changes too fast for you to find the mythical older mentor with all the answers. Rather, mentorship is now distributed, real-time, proactive, networked and ageless.

Being a mentee is less about learning one big thing from a single person than learning many little things from multiple people. It’s about “observational learning,” the act of working and observing and learning in real-time, rather than waiting for someone to synthesize the lessons and present them back to you.

How I Got My Attention Back

Backchannel • 12 min read

There are many articles about disconnecting but I like this one by Craig Mod. It’s based on reclaiming his attention, not on some weakly thought through real/virtual dualism, he references some interesting ideas and his resulting rules are simple.

But the distance between you and the library is usually vast. The distance between you and your smartphone isn’t. Friction vs frictionless. An endless refresh, always with more, optimized just for your interests, right in your hand. And yet, it’s not Wikipedia that we binge on all day.

Did Media Literacy Backfire?

Points • 11 min read

danah boyd looks at how media literacy has actually been working and backfiring. People are questioning information but finding their own answers in less reliable sources, they tend to seek confirmation instead of “the truth,” experience is trusted over experts. Worse, well meaning “correctors” help the spread of fake news.

Media literacy asks people to raise questions and be wary of information that they’re receiving. People are. Unfortunately, that’s exactly why we’re talking past one another.

Fluid & Focused Learning

E-180 Mag • 5 min read

Jon Husband—well known for his theory of the wirearchy—writes about a discipline for a new era where we’re transitioning to a world of conversations “whilst time and space are being altered right in front of us.”

We are often hired for what we have already learned. However it is increasingly just as important to be able to demonstrate that we have learned how to learn. In an environment full of continuous information flows coming from a range of connected colleagues and stakeholders, more and more often we face a need to learn quickly.

Collaborating Better Across Silos

Harvard Business Review • 15 min read

An interview with Heidi K. Gardner on why collaboration matters, how it works, how it can/should bust silos. Team composition, finding more varied members, proper project launches and collateral learning benefits.

We need to be thoughtful about whether we’re tackling the problem in its entirety– are we developing a coherent joined-up solution that’s really going to address this problem? Or are we just slicing off parts of it that we’re comfortable solving which won’t actually make the problem go away.

Wired founder Kevin Kelly on letting go of AI anxiety

Slack • 4 min read

Kelly is often too utopian and positive about technological change but in this quick look at AI anxiety he brings some good points including this part we keep talking about here ourselves;

I’m suggesting we actually make this a very clear agenda — say that we are dependent on the technology that we’re making, and that it makes us better. This entails constant learning and relearning and unlearning. That skill will become pretty central to anybody, whatever kind of job or work or play that they’re doing.

You are going to be confronted with new things that you have to either decide it’s not for you or become familiar with it and make it integral to what you do. Then, be ready to leave it behind when the next thing comes.

Acts That Amplify: Ann Hamilton on Art, the Creative Value of Unproductive Time, and the Power of Not Knowing

Brain Pickings • 4 min read

Not knowing is a permissive and rigorous willingness to trust, leaving knowing in suspension, trusting in possibility without result, regarding as possible all manner of response. The responsibility of the artist … is the practice of recognizing.

Further Reading

Patrick Tanguay

Editor-in-Chief for E-180 Publications. Obsessively curious transdisciplinary thinker and learner. I help connect people and ideas.