Consolidation – A personal response

‘How to organise a children’s party, based on the nature of systems’

I must confess to have a little chuckle to myself through this one as he was describing the various scenarios for each of the system ‘parties’.  Funny how the serious, dead pan delivery of the truth can induce that response.  I can see the teaching and learning implications, especially in relation to technology and NGL, that come from David Snowden’s video and its connection to the ‘Goldilock’s Priniciple‘.  An interesting side note to this week’s course work – more to think and ponder!

‘It’s not information overload.  It’s filter failure’

Thrilled to unexpectedly be able to check another item off David’s ‘To Do List’, having read Brendan’s ‘takeaways’ from Clay Shirky’s video I agree with much of his summary, and what is more he achieved it using far less words than I would – kudos to you, Brendan!

Information overload and ‘filter failure’ also resonated with me.  The reason for this might also lie in a book I have just finished reading called ‘Future Minds‘. The author, Richard Watson considers, ‘[h]ow the digital age is changing our minds, why this matters and what we can do about it.’  It is important to note from the outset that Richard Watson isn’t anti-technology and while I found the book to be a little indulgent, even ‘preaching from the soap box’ at times, so to speak, he makes some valid points about the dangers of filter failure, particular regarding how it can impact upon creativity, resilience and cognition, or as he likes to refer to it through out the book, ‘deep thinking’.

Addressing my own ‘connectivity addiction’ (p.16) and ‘reclaiming the time and space to think’ (p.163) both seem like a good place to start in developing my own way of dealing with this overload.  As too the notion of they to escaping ‘t]he business of busyness’ (p. 122) in which Watson writes that ‘being busy has become a subtle social sign that we are important and successful.  Hence we rush from one task or problem to the next without really stopping think where we are going.’  This also highlights the importance he places on taking time out to think deeply.  To let your brain process (filter) what it has absorbed and give it the time and space needed for ‘mental fireworks’ (p.77) to appear.  Those ideas that ‘illuminate our thinking’ (p.77) that usually occur when we are doing something mundane, even repetitive or in the wee-small hours of the morning!  Lots to consider, but perhaps it is summed up best in a quote from  Mahatma Gandhi, as cited in Watson’s book (p.88);

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.’

I have also included a copy of the free download map that Watson offers via his website if for no other reason that it provides an interesting summary of his book.



Watson, R. (2010). Future Minds: how the digital age is changing our minds, why this matters and what we can do about it. London, UK: Nicholas Brealey Publishing


One response to “Consolidation – A personal response

  1. Hi Anne

    Thanks for the reference to Watson’s book – I’ve just added it to the top of my “Must Read” list. I completely agree with you/him about the need to take time out to think, process and reflect – and must confess I am hoping he will have included some usable strategies for achieving that.




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