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The Library is Serendipity
One of the first books I remember being drawn into in the Library was Words Have a Past. This is a fairly academic book that analyzes the school newspapers of Residential Schools in Canada to look for how First Nations really felt about the schools. It looks at the settler language being forced on First Nation youths, while also noting where they deviated from it in an act of defiance.
I doubt I would have found this book if not for having time to simply stroll around the library and grab books on the shelf. Some librarian decided to face that cover out where I would notice it and pick it up then take it home and read it.
Yes, having a personal library is a good thing. I think that owning physical books is a good thing, but I also realize that the books I have at home are a curated list of things I found interesting in the moment. No one else is going to place a book I’ve never heard of in my library.
The library is serendipity waiting to happen and you should support your library.
This was inspired by Scott’s writing on the Death of the Library.
Writing is Thinking
I’ve contributed to the hype around notes in the last few years with my videos on Obsidian, and how to take notes in general. I‘ve created the videos because I find something interesting and figure others will find it interesting to. But when I check my stats I see an interesting trend that I don’t think is good.
People are far more attracted to a video reviewing some new note-taking tool than a video that tells them to sit down, stop looking for new stuff, and just think and write. In 99% of my coaching calls, that’s really what the advice is. I don’t show people some new tool or technique, I remind them that they want to create something and ask them where is their time set aside for creation.
Creation is important because writing is thinking. Writing is history. I can go back over almost 15 years of content on my site and see how my ideas have been developing. I can see that I’ve written about this preference for new tools many many times before.
But more importantly, writing down your ideas is a forcing function. It forces you to think more about them. You’re forced to check that book again and make sure that you understand the point the author was trying to make. To find that website you vaguely remember and make sure that it says what you think it says.
Writing puts a lens on your ideas and forces you to evaluate them to see if they can stand up to scrutiny. Once you publish your writing, it’s out there for others to dig into it and decide if you know what you’re talking about.
If you want to do better thinking, do more writing. Maybe your writing turns into a video. Maybe it’s published on your internal company Slack as a report for a problem you’re encountering at work. Just get your writing out there because sharing your ideas helps refine them.
This was an interesting video about the internet dying. Particularly that at some point Facebook will have more accounts for dead people than people that are alive. I know when I dig through my archives there are a bunch of links that are dead.
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