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Clear Content, Fuzzy Context… Skewed Perspective?

publicado por Garrett O'Brien

Figura - Que valor nós damos a nossa carreira?Knowing the Content Does Not Equate to Knowing the Context

Knowing the full context of the content we use as well as discerning why decisions were made they way there were in that context is fast becoming a lost skill. And given the amount of information available to us doubles every 60 hours, what does that really say about us? Could it be the quality of the information being added is equivalent to junk and trash?? Or is it we are just settling for what feels and sounds good to the situation at hand as well as the current argument (meaning we have abandoned virtues, principles, and integrity)???…

And maybe, just maybe… many of us just don’t test our beliefs well enough to discern all this????
In a quick note sent to a friend on a social media platform, I provided some counterpoints to a post he had on his account. We both have similar as well as countering ideas and he does maintain a humorous disposition on top of keeping an open mind. Truthfully, I sometimes envy him as he can see humor in something I can’t (and then do, thanks to his sharing).

My friend’s post was of a political nature — which, being a social media platform, caught the attention of a 3rd party who shared his thoughts as well…. But did he share his opinion(s)? Or his thought(s)? That’s not the focus of this post – either way, it was obvious to someone who knew their history very well knew the points being brought up were valid but they were also way out of context… Making his comment basically worthless to any level of integrity…

Whether we are debating, conversing, sharing thought(s) or opinion(s), content as well as context matters. What we have read and/or heard usually falls into 1 of 3 categories…

  • A true belief — especially if it is a voice we listen to often, a counsel we pursue, or even a hero we admire…
  • A new belief — which usually occurs when we keep hearing something often enough to finally accept it (a trick sales and politics relies heavily upon), or
  • A false belief — as it goes against either of the above 2…

Now the true and false qualifies are also relative – so where does something become real and something become false? Because we said so? Hardly… Because many people say so and we have heard repeatedly that one thing is true and the other is false? Hardly…

Yes – hardly…

Or have we forgotten about Galileo? Hitler? Freud? Pol Pot? Mao Tsé-Tung? Or many other situations where the ‘truth’ was suddenly not the truth?…

Think this through – some of you are already palming your head into your hand wondering why you are reading this…

Notice context has nothing to do with where most of us will categorize what we hear (and for some, even say)… There are some that WILL question the context of what they are hearing or reading, however the majority will see how it all fits into their current belief system and then either junk it, judge it, and for the most part walk away from it…
Most everyone does — but what if that idea, content, keeps coming back and keeps building? Keep this in thought for a moment…

Social media platforms aren’t designed for context… Unless there is a serious debate being pursued, which usually is not the case – most of the time everyone is claiming they are right and anyone with an opposing thought is loopy…

All this is our own fault: what we permit, what we tolerate, we can’t change.. or even stop… We are slaves to a thought, idea, or opinion until we decide to make a change away or towards it… Question is: are we moving in the right direction?

The mistake many of us make — us meaning yours truly has done this as well — is we read part of something that someone else wrote about what someone else wrote about what a historical figure, event(s) or a bestselling book shared… And then at some or several levels, place it into 1 or more of the above categories… Until we are comfortable to where we have placed it

Have you noticed all this is not about intellect? Nor wisdom? And for the most part not about discernment? But all about feelings? Emotions?

Now here’s my questions:

In this day of knowledge is power
just how infrequently are we filtering, vetting, questioning, challenging our own beliefs
before we decide to categorize it to any of the three?

That power we are seeking is only as good as the integrity of the knowledge we gain and pursue
it is also part of the form as well as base to our beliefs…

That being so, shouldn’t we be testing all this?

How quickly in social media are we jumping on someone else
when our emotions, and/or convictions, get tickled the wrong way?

Or even ignoring them altogether?
(That’s not an open door for anyone to be rude!)

Qualifying this knowledge is one thing
testing it altogether something else…

So how does content, never mind context, get skewed? Many of us as children have played that game in school where we form a circle with the instructions that we are to whisper into the ear of the person to one side of us that which we heard from the person to our other side. The person to start the process was given a handwritten note of what to share, and so the process started.

We also discovered, if we had a patient and wise enough teacher, the larger the circle the more interesting the outcome.
We all know the outcome, even if we haven’t played the game: the final share of the message was nearly indecipherable to the original handwritten message, and many times humorously so.

This is a principle most professional editors as well as excellent investigative writers know all too well –

The more any information is exchanged
through reiteration, books, word of mouth, even the media
the more it deviates not only it’s original content,
but it’s original context as well.

If you’re a pilot, sailboat or similar sport enthusiast, this principle is also known as ‘the more the moving parts, the more likely something will breakdown’… And what about editors and writers that don’t know this principle? Well… you REALLY need to learn this principle…

What Social media has done is to only magnify all of this (remember the larger circle bringing more interesting results?) — not all of us will place what we hear into the beliefs categories right away, thus remaining in the question of what to do with It all… But how quickly many of us do…

How many of us test any of our beliefs when we feel slighted?

Better yet, how many of us have learned to listen to our convictions instead of our emotions during such times?
It would make sense that like-minded are least likely to challenge one another… But isn’t that like trying to sharpen a knife on a sponge?
With the rate at which new information comes at us, should we really be jumping on everything we haven’t tested — just because we can?

Back to context…

Journalism, reporting, and even research today is far from the professional endeavors of yesteryear; personally I believe it to be more of a polished tabloid than anything else. And it is all this that provoked me to give up TV 30+ years ago…

What was bothering me about it all?

The lack of tested context and the want of so many who deliver what they say as truth…

Today many will be quite elaborate about context when they are trying to sell you… And they usually will do that with content that only discloses or sells their interpretation of the context they want you to believe is the truth.

Meaning the ‘right’ content, depending on your definition of right, will provide the ‘right’ context, again depending on your definition of ‘right’…

So, many will believe what they see, hear, experience through such a manipulation. But not everyone…

So how does anyone get through all this? How does one discern from a manupulation to a fact? A truth? A reality?

Well, in a nutshell, we have to relearn an old principle:

Stop using the same thinking that created the problem to solve the problem…

Seriously…

And think about that for a moment.

That concept was shared with us by one of the greatest minds ever — Albert Einstein, the master of thinking things through differently. Do we all have to become Einstein’s? In a word, no… But if you’re that brainy, go for it!

Einstein discovered this principle worked not only in science but at every level in life…

Principles are like that, we just can’t shake them — just have to get to discover them and get to know them… and it seems lately rediscover them and get to know again…
Ever notice the most worthwhile things in life are and have been hard to get?

Discerning what is the real context and the delivered context takes time, study, research, effort and discussion — we’re not seeing much of any of that anywhere unless you’re searching for such.

Part of what I love about the internet is NOT all the new information coming through, though much of it is interesting… What I love is the access one has the original source content, as written by the thinker… Without the filters provided by multiple, or even hundreds, of writers over the years, decades, even centuries, who are wanting to put their own viewpoint on what the author was trying to say, or meant to say…

Remember that circle of whispering children? These writers would be the ones changing the content… As well as context…

Did these secondary writers have good intentions? Most do… Yet when has good intentions ever amounted to much of anything in the long run??

Aren’t we getting tired of ending up with an empty sack full of emotions???…

If you think about , this basically sums up most of the ‘conversations’ in social media…

Here’s another principle… And I’m going to shift from the 3rd person plural to personal nouns….

Changing the following 3 things in your life will change your perception of everything around you, 4 when you include Einstein’s principle as well…

  • Qualify the voices you listen to — just how well will their information stand up to being tested wisely? Are you listening because they make you feel good and you feel safe in their questions? What about the voices that make you think ? Even uncomfortably so… What are you doing with those voices?
  • Question yourself on why you have selected who you consider your hero(es) — and notice this changes as you change…
  • The person whom you seek for counsel — do they push back and challenge you with questions? Or simply tell you where you need to focus? Are you being pushed to determine your direction or are they telling you what direction you should be going ? Is their counsel for their own satisfaction? Or to make you think through your questions?

So why all this for an Information Technology blog?

Well, we can’t solve the problems we have with the same thinking we used to create them in Information Technology either…

A LOT of context is being ignored for the sake of content, meaning the principles, the wisdom, the discernment of what to do and not do is becoming lost and lost just as fast as we are changing ‘for the better’…

Lately I have been starting to question for the better for whom…

And this sounds like the right time to get a conversation about all this started…

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Autor

Garrett O'Brien é consultado por implementações SIRH pelas empresas e as empresas (Fortune 100, 500 e 1000) desde 1991. Seus clientes anteriores incluem Lubrizol, ADP, Case New Holland, a Cushman & Wakefield, MAHLE, Honeywell International, Sodexho, e muitos outros localizados em os EUA Garrett é • Editor e escritor de 4 blogs mundiais focada em SIRH e gerenciamento de projetos, que são lidos em 160+ países • Exec VP para EUA CGServices enfocando multi-fornecedor, o sistema de multi-linha para sistemas HRIS • membro do Conselho de Gerson Lehrman Group Conselho, o que ajuda a instituições dos líderes mundiais se reunirem, engajar e gerenciar os especialistas em uma ampla gama de setores e disciplinas. Garrett se concentra em SIRH global Garrett está trabalhando em alguns projetos em Brasil. Um deles é focando as melhorias necessárias na gestão de projetos, especialmente as fases mais iniciais. O outro projeto se concentra no uso de tecnologia dentro do sistema de ensino para melhorar a educação de tecnologia para estudantes e professores. Ambos os projetos serão locais no Brasil, mas será global em perspectiva. Atualmente, o Sr. O'Brien reside em o estado de São Paulo e funciona a partir de Home Office. Não hesite em contactar-lo diretamente no LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/garrettobrien/pt) ou por e-mail (gobrien@thehrisworld.com) twitter: @thehrisworld @hriscareerworld @thw_research @thwrn_news

Garrett O'Brien

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