ThoughtStorms Wiki

Context : DigitalGardens

Interesting Twitter discussion I'm having with @deepfates who initially pointed out that


To which I replied :

@deepfates Isn't that what social media like FB, Twitter etc. were all created to do?

Part of the appeal of a "personal" or "individual" knowledge management / digital garden etc. is that it seems to promise a quiet space to retreat to, AWAY from the noise of social media.

Tools for "sharing knowledge" have turned out to be too close to tools for disseminating disinformation.

And curating a personal space feels like it's a chance to collect what seems true, and cultivate the authentic.

@deepfates then responded

yeah but for the most part you're still collecting knowledge that other people have shared. Like very few people are doing cutting edge research and development, a lot of people are trying to do collective sense making

Hence my longer reply :

@deepfates Of course. But in your garden, you are spending more time curating / organizing / contemplating that knowledge you've collected you feel is true. As opposed to the frantic attempt to make sense of the firehose that social media brings. \1

I'm not trying to deny that knowledge is ultimately, "social". Of course it always is.

But the emphasis on "individual" in this PKM movement isn't only a kind of accidental selfish egoism.

I think there's a positive reason for it.


And @deepfates returns :

I'm not into the firehose either. but I can't help but notice the parallels between "organizing knowledge that you think is true in your private garden" and "conspiracy theorist becoming increasingly deranged at bulletin board"...

To which I respond ...


@deepfates Yes, of course. That's the downside. (As I noted on HypertextSickness / ConspiracyThinkingAsWikiSickness )

This is a massive problem.

BUT ...

I think this problem is way bigger than this particular movement or these tools.

ALL ''knowledge management'', even old school libraries etc. is about filtering knowledge and constructing a ''truth'' which might or might not actually be true...

We never noticed before because we were always in a bubble defined by someone : the cognitive establishment of schools and universities and public libraries and governments etc ...

But for the first time, the internet gives us a glimpse of a epistemic anarchy with no authorities or gatekeepers, and now we realize we don't know how to handle it.

Whatever think is true, someone will come along tomorrow and tell us that it isn't ...

With more plausible arguments and graphs of data and other justifications than we can personally, as individuals, cope with trying to double-check on or corroborate ...

We are forced to confront the fact that most of what we think we know is based on faith in those who tell it to us ...

So we partly just end up accepting that we must trust our filter bubble completely.

Or we try to find tools that we think will help us do ''sensemaking'' by allowing us to organize the information we receive into a form that we hope we'll be able to judge it better ...

That second is what I think that the PKM, digital gardening movement / tools are all about.

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