When things change rapidly, people who are the current “in crowd” are the last to realize what happened – largely due to lack of fair assessment of what the changes mean.
I say this because I’ve noticed a change in how I determine the type of people I like to dialogue with and learn from. Previously, power/position was an important determinant of the worth of a person. If they were very knowledgeable, intelligent, well-known, etc, I appraised their opinion as being somewhat more important. That was before the Internet…and the information overload. That was a time where “what you knew” is what made you valuable. How things have changed!
Now, it’s about working and thinking together. No one can know everything about anything…the new model is about connected specialization. The pipe (connections we make) is more important than what’s in the pipe (what we know now). The previous “in crowd” doesn’t get this yet. When knowledge is scarce and controllable, the gate keepers are the most critical. When knowledge is abundant, the ones who share the most are the most important.
All of this self-indulgent rambling is really to make two points about how I now attach personal importance to people I meet: 1. Their willingness to listen to new ideas, 2. Their willingness to engage in dialogue. I hope educators catch this concept soon…I’m afraid it’s not yet making a significant impact in most traditional institutions.
Working alone, toiling away in isolation, and expecting to be applauded for your sacrifices when you emerge doesn’t work. Do it with me…or I may not be interested when you’re done.