Told story of John Brown, the abolitionist.
Developed the idea of information architecture.
Went to work for Library of Congress in 2009. There were 100 separate sites, which he compared to the Winchester Mystery House. He wrote a report, which offended people. Eventually they came around. He worked on loc.gov, congress.gov, and copyright.gov
The job of the information architect is to create “environments for understanding.” German word “merkwelt,” unique ways of viewing the world.
2016 made him realize how people have lost track of the truth. Working with a Fortune 500 company that didn’t seem to care about their users or the truth. Started walking dogs, because he needed to do something that had nothing to do with the internet.
Wrote a book called “Planning for Everything.” Fable of “The Ant and the Grasshopper.” People who act and plan concurrently succeed.
Perception and emotion may not be so much about the present moment, but guidance for the future.
“Getting Things Done” is a great book, but it focuses on productivity and it argues that there’s only one way to plan. Doesn’t consider meaning.
Borges. “Garden of Forking Paths.”
Many ways to plan.
Four principles: make planning more social, tangible, agile, and reflective. (Mnemonic: STAR)
Six practices: framing, imagining, narrowing, deciding, executing, reflecting. (Mnemonic: FINDER)
“It’s not fear that stops you; it’s your unwillingness to feel fear.” Life’s too short to play it safe, and repression doesn’t work.
Hope = willpower + waypower (Charles Snyder)
Narrowing paths: evaluation and filtering. Drivers and levers.
Searching often works better with breadth first, then depth.
Explaining things backwards can be a good technique. Writing the instructions for something can help you make a decision.
Pivot or persevere?
Involving different people can find different ways around obstacles. Diversity is a cure for unpredictable adversity.
Gary Kasparov: When was the last time you made a bad decision? Reflection. Nobody wants to relive bad experiences. Repression doesn’t work. Recovery requires telling the truth.
Elephants are matriarchal. The oldest female knows the way to food and water. But some of the old ways are closed off, perverse incentives.
John Brown believed the ends justified the means. He started a war to end slavery, which may not be over. Gandhi believed that in the means is the seeds of the ends.
The library is an act of “inspiration architecture.” We’ve never needed libraries more than we do right now. Let’s go toward the fear and create a better future.
Edited to add links.