Intentionally Finding Knowledge Gaps

Weird things happen when you go from thinking of your website as self expression to thinking about it as a model of your emerging thought — that memex-like collection of things you’ve read and thought and agreed with and disagreed with.

One of the things I do periodically is throw search terms at my Wikity site and see what comes back, to see if I’m thinking enough about issues I care about, or if I’m falling into just amplifying the things that pop up in my stream.


Today I popped in “colonialism” and was surprised to find I have nothing:


Looking at that, I know some of the reasons. While I am interested in colonialism and post-colonialism and how it intersects with issues I care about I (like 99% of the population) find the rhetoric and style of post-colonialist studies to be unbearable. (Don’t worry, I won’t argue that point here).

The real point is that not liking the style is not enough of a reason to not have cataloged important insights and ideas from that community. By periodically searching my cards I realize where I’m falling behind, where my learning gaps are, and I move to correct them. I can do that because this is my library of thought, not a newspaper expressing my latest opinion.


3 thoughts on “Intentionally Finding Knowledge Gaps

  1. Unbearable, huh? But obviously ur thinking about it so i look forward to finding out what ur thinking.

    I used to find the discourse of feminism unbearable (and I am a woman who has always been pretty feminist). I think discourses that stem from anger are often difficult to build affinity with… One of my postcolonial co-authors is always reminding me to write a little more nicely so as not to offend the “good” white guys. (not the time for this story)

    But just imagine how discourses in most fields (dominated by white men) feel to women and postcolonials? They feel very inhospitable. For non-native speakers of English? (not referring to myself ; i can’t read Arabic academic stuff)

    • To be clear, I’m not talking about your stuff. I can read a blog post, etc, by a person who makes an effort. But in more formal pieces, I think the thing I find really annoying is it feels like there’s often intentional effort in some writing to prevent portability of concepts from other disciplines into the space (or these ideas out of that space). But I guess writing that doesn’t attempt to connect ideas across commumities has always annoyed me 😉

      • I didn’t think u meant my stuff 🙂 I know you read it coz u often respond.

        I do get what you mean…was just saying that for a postcolonial person, writing in most traditional discourses would be alienating. So maybe that’s why it isn’t connected in ways you would expect?

        I thought your main issue would be the anger (it was mine).

        Hey maybe the cool thing in your Wikity work would be just that – making those connections you are looking for. Was just thinking how Homi Bhaba defines concepts like hybridity and third space differently than how we use em in ed tech. That could be a disambiguation on Wikity?

        (P.S. You know we discussed Wikity during DigPedCairo right?)

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