The Daily: Distillation of Ideas

The Elusive Big Idea –

In the past, we collected information not simply to know things. That was only the beginning. We also collected information to convert it into something larger than facts and ultimately more useful — into ideas that made sense of the information. We sought not just to apprehend the world but to truly comprehend it, which is the primary function of ideas. Great ideas explain the world and one another to us.

I have always made lists of small ideas, thoughts, things to do. I have on- and offline lists that I am constantly trying to merge into a master list. I do this for writing – to remember story ideas – and for other facets of my life. The longer-run outcome of keeping these lists is that they evolve, as I learn to understand them and distill their content into some larger more meaningful (or at least more useful) thing that I can implement or use to create.

Do you keep lists? If so, are they on- or offline? The people want to know!

Beloit College’s Mindset List

Beloit College’s Mindset List:

The Mindset List is a set of constants that each graduating class grows up with – significant people who’ve always been dead, the emergence of trends, etc.

The list is very retrospective, and may appeal more to those who came before the birth of the graduating class because the emphasis seems to be on change. In order to appreciate change, you have to recognize it.

I was born in 1981 and graduated from college in 2004. Most children born in 1981 graduated in 2003, so I went with my birth year instead of my year of graduation.

Beloit has been doing this since the class of 2002.