Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Changing the way I think

I was not among the people that were asked "How is the Internet changing the way YOU think?" by Edge.  I just found out about this initiative as I was getting ready for a lecture on New Ways of Working.

Reading through the answers and reflecting on the question, I have to say that the internet has indeed changed the way I think.

First, I now relate differently to my sources. I rely less on names and official sources, on known bloggers or writters, and allow myself to search without precise direction for some time, relying on luck - in fact, believing in serindipity. Where I was used to reading I know have conversations with those sources, even though it takes me forever to finish a presentation or a post.

I spend much more time thiniking, in fact, than I used to, and thinking has become a structured activity, with different steps (deciding, looking for ideas, discussing the ideas, going back to the initial thought, formalizing, challenging, engaging in conversations). It's as if thinking today was not the same activity as it was some time ago.

Then, when I think, I now read, look and listen (to Ted, for instance), that is, I use more senses than I was used to.

And, more importantly, I am totally connected, with my reader, twitter, communities, all becoming available resources to help me deepen an issue. I prepare for non-connected periods, where I know I will do two things : some final deep thinking (but it rarely works well) or some easy, low value tasks (that I have to call thinking, because without them, I will not remember my own production).

So yes, definitily, the internet has changed the way I think. What I believe, though, is that my intellectual structure was already there, and probably because of that I am able today to manage these different sources, trends of thoughts, ideas, pieces of information, manage them and add my own little input.

After all, it's probably obvious the internet has changed the way we think. The important question is how the internet will change the way future generations think if it becomes the main element structuring their thoughts (as books ad teachers used to be for us). I am rather optimistic, not sharing what Maryssa Mayer thinks in the Edge piece, much more what Anderson writes. And in the end, being rather happy to participate in this new era that could deliver some collective wisdom.

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