Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Grasping the Stream

Recently a friend and I were discussing how our culture reinforces passive observation, ever increasing the barriers for real participation. Not only do we have every form of mindless entertainment dulling our senses, but we are distracted with an overwhelming stream of information that is ravenously devouring our most precious comodity -- time.

Some have attempted escape, hiding in their Luddite enclaves. Others are swept away by the mindless rush, occasionally surfacing to realize they've lost precious years. Hope still remains. A growing number of people are resisting and even leveraging the phenomenon that we live in.

Here's an example of the discipline I've begun to exercise. It's a simple plan to engage the information that floods my mind each day. It looks like this: take a few minutes to to capture your thoughts for each book, significant article, movie or media experience you engage in. To support this activity, I use a flexible and powerful information manager, TiddlyWiki, to rapidly add and find information on books and articles I've read and visual media I've watched. It allows me to readily catagorize information on topics, authors, and related on-line material.

Over the past several months this slight exertion has helped me:
  • Build a pattern of related concepts and ideas
  • Focus my media interaction choices
  • Easily and quickly share idea insights with others
A plan to write more about personal information management, particularly TiddlyWiki in the future. In the meantime my challenge to you is: go beyond being an observer; participate!

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