Tag Archives: Pagan Kennedy

Don’t Follow the Directions

Stephen Calhoun, artist

Jack’s New Scheme (2015)


Pagan Kennedy’s New York Times feature, How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity, is apparently drawn from her new book, due January 26, Inventology. Her article is a very good read.

inventology

In the article Kennedy mentions a researcher, Sanda Erdelez. A little digging brought her paper Information Encountering, A Conceptual Framework for Accidental Information Discovery to light. At the end of the paper her summary inspired me to reflect on the status of “pre-direction” in search routines.

From this it seems worthwhile to muse on a adirectional learning, and directionless directing.

Meanwhile, Kennedy wrote:

That’s why we need to develop a new, interdisciplinary field — call it serendipity studies — that can help us create a taxonomy of discoveries in the chemistry lab, the newsroom, the forest, the classroom, the particle accelerator and the hospital. By observing and documenting the many different “species” of super-encounterers, we might begin to understand their minds.

A number of pioneering scholars have already begun this work, but they seem to be doing so in their own silos and without much cross-talk.

What could these researchers discover if they came together for one big conversation?

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