“…a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” – Herbert A. Simon
Some thoughts inspired by The New Curators: Who Decides What’s Culturally Important?
1/ We live in an age of information abundance and instant connectivity. Vast amounts of data and information are produced, shared and consumed every day, far more than can ever be handled by one person.
2/ We lionise creativity in society and the Internet is the perfect tool for people to unleash their creativity onto the world. Blogs, vlogs, podcasts, webinars, tweets, self-published books, the list is almost endless – ever more information and content vying for our attention, day after day after day.
3/ Just producing more becomes counter productive. We need to find the things that are significant – what is most salient is not always most important.
4/ If we know what we want, we Google it. But what if we don’t know what we want, or more importantly, what we might need? Who tells us what is most meaningful or significant, guiding us through our selections?
6/ Traditionally, curators (from Latin: cura, meaning “to take care”) would unpack ideas, uncover new possibilities and highlight critical meaning. They would find what is new and exciting, then display, arrange and exhibit it (traditionally in a museum or art gallery). They were preservers of heritage and custodians of legacies, acting as gatekeepers of knowledge for new generations.
7/ To some extent, we are all curators now – sifting, selecting and arranging information for others. The retweets, the Pinterest boards, the infographics, the playlists on Spotify, the ‘Top 10 best ever books in the world, EVER!’ lists on a blog or website. Are we most bothered about validity and critical meaning though, or how many ‘likes’ we might get?
8/ Who are the curators in coaching and education that you most trust? How do you decide to value their judgement? What qualifies them to do so? Might they be part of your filter bubble, feeding your confirmation bias?
9/ Is the curator now more important than the creator?
N.B. I’m well aware I’ve shared these views through a blog, on the Internet, adding more information to the pile for some poor soul(s) to sift through!