We all know about the abundance of information no more than a mouse click away. And the revolution that brought that change has solved many of the problems with answering simple factual queries.
For mining more deeply into the mountain of facts, we have given ourselves over to the massive power of big data and search. First with yahoo, then with alta vista, and now with google. The powerful algorithms these companies employ has allowed us to find out needles in a haystack as often and as quickly as we’d like. But they are imperfect machines. Thrilled as I am about the vast power of google to find even the most distant and dark corner of the Internet, it is fundamentally missing the ability to use human cognition. As I’ve written about before, humans are both gifted and cursed with powerful pattern recognition abilities. It makes us prone to Apophenia, but it allows us to see and recognize connections between what might appear at first to be disparate and disconnected data.
It is because of this ability that I look to other humans when it comes to the deep and profound searching. Yes, when I need to know the population of Norway I get to google. But when I need to see the connection and meaning behind the prevalence of ADD as it relates to geographic location in the US and hr implications to the educational system, google isn’t going to help. Sir Ken Richards is.
I subscribe to a large number of people online- their blogs, tumblrs, twitter feeds and RSS. I follow them on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr. I curate this list often, and I focus on people who seem to represent nodal points. I don’t let this list get too big. I try to follow a one-in-one-out policy, but I’m not overly rigid in this. These people are not the re-tweeters or re-posters. This list is based on the finding of new and interesting ideas and connections. The people are the beginning of the line for new ideas. They find the new, interpret the new, and share the new. They function as my personal, crafted deep connection specific google.
I’m not sharing this list. I’m not sorry I’m not sharing this list. The act of making and curating your own list is vital to the list being important and relevant for you. My list, frankly, won’t do you much good. You’ll have to put in the hard work to both build and maintain your list. It’s a lot of work- and it will continue to be a lot of work. But the rich, detailed, and human wealth of information should make it worth your time.