Thursday, January 25, 2007

We are smarter than me - revisited

I blogged about the "We are Smarter than Me" Project and my contribution to the book on November 28th. (See original post) I wrote the opening paragraph for Chapter 1 of the book and I was curious to see the transformation that would take place over time as others edited the book.

Below, is my original post to the book on November 28th followed by it's current state as of January 25, 2007.

My original paragraph to the "We are Smarter than Me" book:
"Life is community. From our first breath as a newborn babe and in the hands of a stranger, we experience the physical necessity of community. By the hands of a mother and father, we are nourished to health. By the hands of a family we first experience our deep desire to love and be loved. It is in community that our world makes sense and it is where we live. Take a minute from your reading and think of a favorite memory. Hold that thought... Does it involve another person or a group of people? Most likely it does because as we look at the design of life and our own wiring, it is easy to see that we are to experience it together. Not only is life linked to community, but in community is where knowledge and understanding are born. There has never been an original idea. Everything has first been passed down to us from our parents or guardians, family and friends, teachers and coaches, etc. However, once an idea is passed down to us, we can analyze, design, develop, and re-invent the idea in new and innovative ways. The more people we can share ideas with, the greater potential for new innovation and the greater potential for a better world. This is, in effect, the essence of this book."


The current state of my paragraph after being edited by the masses:

"Life is community. From our first breath as a newborn babe and in the hands of a stranger, we experience the physical necessity of community. By the hands of a mother/father or guardians, we are nourished to health. By the hands of a family we first experience our deep desire to love and be loved. It is in community that our world makes sense and it is where we live. Take a minute from your reading and think of a favorite memory. Hold that thought... Does it involve another person or a group of people? Most likely it does because as we look at the design of life and our own wiring, it is easy to see that we are to experience it together. Not only is life linked to community, but in community is where knowledge and understanding are born. It is important to consider the origin of ideas. We use words like "original, unique, and innovative" to describe ideas that have come to a new level in our individual or collective consciousness. Ideas are a synthesis of what we have learned from our parents or guardians, family and friends, teachers and coaches, and our experiences with them. We can analyze, design, develop, and re-invent these ideas in new and innovative ways. From there, we pass ideas on to others. The more people we can share ideas with, the greater potential for new innovation and a changing, evolving, improving world. This is, in effect, the essence of this book."

4 comments:

Heather said...

I am familiar with the project, and read your original post as well. I am curious as to what you think of the process, the changes that were made, etc. I really like your opening paragraph. I think it is well-written and compelling. Will you contribute anything else to the book?

Terence Armentano, M.Ed. said...

Hi Heather,
Thank you for your comments and your kind words about my opening paragraph to the "We are Smarter than Me" book project. Your comments have challenged me to think more deeply about the wiki process and the motivation for contributing. I was eager to contribute to this project because I really see the benefits of harnessing the collective intelligence of a group of people. In addition I was excited to see MIT, Wharton, and Pearson backing it. Since my specialty is in online education and emerging technologies, it was natural for me to want to write about the topic. However, I probably will not spend substantial amounts of time on the project since the book is primarily a business book. I may add a few more paragraphs about the community aspect of the project, but I can't say for sure. Motivation is an interesting thing and definitely worth discussing further. What are your thoughts?

HJeans said...

My motivation is transparent. I work for one of the We Are Smarter sponsoring companies, though I’m not working on this project. What I struggle with most in my job is explaining communities to customers and potential customers. They see it as web 2.0 tools and don’t understand the potential for significant shift in the way they could do business. What really struck me about your paragraph is, not only do you understand community, you did a great job explaining it.

I think a lot about motivation when it comes to communities. What will make people come to a community, what makes them contribute ideas and solutions (to We Are Smarter or any community), and what keeps them coming back? The challenge is that not only is each situation unique, each person’s motivation is unique. You posted as an experiment, but because it’s a “business” book you are less motivated to post more because, either you don’t think it’s directly related to you, or you don’t think you are an expert on the topic – this is conjecture on my part since you said it’s a business book.

Have you read the book The Wisdom of Crowds, by James Surowiecki? I highly recommend it. The subject of the book, collective wisdom, is so logical yet we, as a society, get caught up in less effective group-think instead.

Heather said...

Hmm, apparently I have 2 accounts... hjeans = heather (the comment above is the continuation of the original comment) -- Heather