He can be an acquired taste. He has his obsessions that take him into weird little intellectual corners sometimes. But as he lays out in his fantastic post, The Power of Explaining to Others, it all ties together into something important and compelling if you just give Mike enough time and patience to let him lay out his case.
His basic argument is that we learn best when we are explaining things. That certainly rings true to me personally. I often don’t fully know what I think on a topic until I write a blog post about it or answer a panel discussion question on it at a conference. It sharpens my thinking, which was my original motivation for starting a blog and which also has animated all aspects and phases of my career, whether I was a teacher, a consultant, an analyst or blogger, a product designer, or some combination of the above. I love learning and I learn best when I have to explain what I am learning to somebody else.
Mike’s intellectual canvas is enormous, so his posts related to this topic in one way or another range from micro-interventions in the design of a distributed wiki enormous societal problems and trends like how to confront the rise of fake news and political tribalism. I never blow off his pieces even when he seems to be off on a weird jag that I dont’ understand at first blush. There’s always something interesting going on underneath. If I’m willing to work for it, Mike’s pieces generally reward my investment. And his latest post is something of a Rosetta Stone to his blog.
- Mike, you really need to add an email subscription option to your site. You’ll be shocked to hear that not everybody uses RSS. [↩]