Why “Smarter Than Before”?

Gregor PawlowskiGeneralLeave a Comment

Great, you made it! Welcome to “Smarter Than Before”. On this blog you will find my thoughts about new technologies and their impact on business and society. From time to time I will also discuss interesting books as well as thought-provoking ideas about what the future of technology, business, and society will likely look like.

You can expect to see a new publication about every two to four weeks. So, no need to worry about swaths of articles flooding your RSS reader or your Medium feed. Just go ahead and subscribe!

“But wait, aren’t there too many tech blogs already?”, you might ask. There is certainly some truth to that. However, I have a very specific reason for writing this blog. Kevin Kelly, one of the founding editors of Wired Magazine, once said in an interview that his main reason for writing is to figure out what he’s thinking. In the same vein, I put pen to paper (or rather fingers to keyboard) with the goal of rendering my own thoughts in more concrete terms.

When you are just thinking about a topic (instead of writing about it or explaining it to another person), it is very easy to fool yourself into believing that you have understood it. The problem is that in your own head, you’re not forced to give your reasoning a logical structure. The links between different steps of your thought process can remain mushy and abstract. When you’re writing something down, however, it’s much more difficult to take these kinds of logical shortcuts.

When the Nobel laureate and famous science popularizer Richard Feynman died in 1988, there was a note on his blackboard at the California Institute of Technology saying: “What I cannot create, I do not understand.” Feynman believed that to really grasp something, you had to be able to start from a blank page of paper and (re)create each step of the reasoning that led to it. If you couldn’t do this, you hadn’t really understood it.

This rule can basically be applied to everything you try to understand deeply: phenomena from the world of physics, historical questions, explanations for social change, new technologies, etc.

Understanding tech innovations – especially those at the frontier of technological progress – and their implications for companies and society at large is no trivial endeavor. By writing about these topics and explaining them to myself in written form, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of them and to uncover potential logical holes in my own reasoning.

All in all, the overarching goal of writing this blog is to make me smarter than before writing it. I hope reading it will have a similar effect on you.

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