Posted: 2006-12-29 12:00:00
I'm a knowledge junkie, or maybe just and information junkie. Well, probably not just information. I hate sitting around watching the news, current events are usually too fleeting to really catch my attention for long.
But I love to learn new things. It's one of the reasons I'm in the profession I am. Sure, there's the aspect of the ever changing face of technology, but I also get to learn about other people's businesses and therefore whole new areas of knowledge I never knew existed.
In the last eight years running Conquent, I've had the challenge/opportunity to pitch to such enormous entities as Microsoft and the US Department of Transportation (really when you get the politics in it and I'm talking with senatorial staffers, it's kinda like pitching to the US Government in general). DOT got me to DC which was amazing, Microsoft got me to the Microsoft campus, which is also amazing, but in a very different, and more disturbing way.
I've worked with Allergan to track Botox insurance policies (not for the face, for the spasms and migraines, mind you). I've worked through a client to work with Herbalife as they changed hands from a family company to a ex-Disney executive team (THAT was a lesson in corporate management).
I've learned about the world of manufacturer's reps, electrical engineering, artistic rubber stamps, the production of fine wine, auto shops, franchising in general, customer service software, land use planning, clean room manufacturing, copier repair, railroad crossing materials, opera, multi level marketing, dentistry, surrogates and egg donors, tractors, naval swell predictions, and... the list keeps going.
Then there's my personal time online. I surf to the strangest places, finding things like a spoof of Pulp's "Common People", a popular description of the formation of black holes in the center of galaxies, pictures from the mars rovers, tech news, regular news, satellite photos... Because of watching Torchwood, I pulled up Cardiff on Google Maps and explored the city a little from 1,500 feet. It's funny when you start recognizing places you've never been.
What I do with this odd collection of business, personal and pop knowledge is beyond me. It does mean that I can hold my own in just about any conversational situation. I can talk about hair products or astrophysics, and I find either topic to be interesting, depending on the give and take of the conversationalist.
What I have learned for certain is that no one knows all the bits and pieces I know. But, as it turns out, no one knows all the bits and pieces you know either. We're all picking up random bits of knowledge as we go. Some people go broad, others go deep, some of us go deep and wide.
And it's that randomness that makes us what we are. As a culture we keep trying to define what people need to learn, and by omission, what they don't need to know. It's that omission that's so dangerous. It often seems that that odd, cross fertilization (pasta from China, the number zero from Arabia) is what ends up making life worth living or gives everyone a huge boost to new areas they never dreamed of.
No conclusions, just a random bit...