Monday, July 26

The Art of the Question

What would you do if any question you could ask you would get an answer to?

Today we are closer that ever.

Any knowledge worker will admit how indispensable internet search is to their work. I have a suspicion that search is still under utilized.

As a programmer I have relied on search engines for a long time. In each project I work on their are new technologies, or API’s that I need to work with or neglected corners of old technologies that need to be used in different ways.

Lately the number of searches I do has risen dramatically. There is simply no excuse anymore to guess or remain ignorant about any information that is important to your decision making process.

Obviously it is still possible to spiral into analysis paralysis if you take this too far. However the length of time it takes to find an answer has shrunk so dramatically that it can not help change the rules of the game.

Asking the right question has long been recognized as important in the fields of critical thinking, skepticism and root cause analysis.

The last few years I have been relying increasing on e-books. Having your technical library on your USB thumbnail drive, Kindle or iPad makes a big difference to your workflow. Information becomes much more accessible. Our very relationship with information is changing.

This is what the information age and the internet has been promising and partially delivering for two decades. Back in the early days of the internet it seemed as if we had access to an enormous amount of information however when I compare what we could do with this information then with what we can do now, there is no comparison.