In my left hand, a Kindle, in the right, an iPhone.
All times, in all places, I have access to experts and the world’s body of knowledge, but it is still not enough.
If you look back two years, “ubiquitous computing” (via the iPhone, for me) has definitely impacted life. Wondering when that movie will start? Ask the phone. Who’s still serving food? Ask the phone. How do I get to the playhouse, and what are the underlying themes for this play? Ask the phone.
Don’t wonder, search. Don’t think, know.
The iPhone has ruthlessly terminated an entire class of conversations between friends, generally the ones that begin with “I wonder who/when/where”, or “do you know”.
Despite this, I don’t feel any smarter.
Many startups are focused on information filtering. The assumption is that I’m not smarter because I’m burdened by abundance.
Nope, that’s not the problem. At this point, I’m well equipped for many tasks because my Google-fu has exceeded the level of black-belt. Pruning oceans of info to find the right datum doesn’t phase me.
The problem is one of synthesis. Being supremely knowledgeable doesn’t get you very far, save on trivia shows. So how do I translate my newly-found immensely-distributed knowledge-base into something that makes me more effective?
I’ll handily dismiss any answer that suggests “computers can synthesize for you!”. No they can’t, not really, or at least, not yet.
What could the internet to do catalogue and distribute effective habits, approaches, and processes? What might that be like?
Imagine that every conceivable habit/approach/process could be searched, selected, integrated into daily life, measured for effectivity, and the results fed back into the original pool. Wouldn’t that help us rapidly evolve smarter living?
My thoughts continue to evolve on this, but it’s clear to me that knowing isn’t the same as doing, and doing isn’t the same as doing-right.