The Long and Winding Road 57: Why you should turn the channel rather than the page

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‘Sacrilege!’ I hear. Twenty years ago I would have agreed wholeheartedly but today I am not so sure. The idea that someone is ‘well read’ implies that they have a wide range of useful knowledge, some of which at least they put to good use. 

When I was a child , the measure of education was based around scholarly pursuits , none more so than in my home-town of Liverpool. Surprisingly for some to learn but Liverpool is the owner of some significant world firsts such as;

1758 Building of the Lyceum, the first circulating library

1823 First mechanics lending library

 have a glance at this list and you will be surprised

As we move on at breakneck speed through life , ticking off achievement after achievement we can reflect that the evidence of our learning is becoming less and less centered around the written word. One of the more amusing labels given to people is that they might be ‘academic’ which really means that they can only operate in the world of hushed ‘bookwormtopia’. The knowledge is all research based and agreed upon…hhmmmm. 

Some of the brightest and most successful people on the planet were and are not ‘academic’,yet  their innovation and creativity allows ‘academics’ to make a living trying to understand them. Don’t you just love irony?

 I think we all know understand but perhaps do not yet fully accept that conventional book based learning as we have understood it is now gone. Gone in respect of being the dominant method of teaching and learning, at least.

So what were the last ten books you read…..or coloured in, then?!

For many people the habit of reading books has diminished, certainly it is true that although book purchase figures are healthy and in some areas increasing, the point at which books are bought in the cycle of learning has changed. There was a time when one bought a book to learn about something because we either needed to, in order to pass an exam or we had a personal reason, away from school, which dictated the need for a book to be read.

In today’s environment we are as likely to seek out the actual physical book after seeing a video as we are anything else. The world of podcasting has bridged the gap between hearing about something but not actually doing anything about it and doing it .Podcasts give us the chance to sample ‘books’ and all manner of creative and instructional material without commitment.

Podcast give us a chance to explore for free, find new things, expand our minds and look closely at things that we would never buy a book about. I had a look at the podcasts I regularly either watch or listen to. I try to satisfy my interest in certain areas and then develop new areas along with understanding different perspectives to my own. This process of interacting with content in such a way that we can absorb without nailing our colours to the mast is unique. I simply could not physically read books quickly enough to absorb the amount of information I take in each week as I listen to my podcasts. Rather than the radio in the car , I tend to listen to podcasts which will fit the length of my journey…how easy is that?!

So without further ado, here are the last ten podcasts I have listened to this week; bear in mind that whilst they might give some idea of my view on things they also might indicate how I don’t think about things!

1) The South Bank Show  ITV

2)Learning without Frontiers

3)Eckhart Tolle TV

4)The Hivecast MTV

5)Friday Night Comedy BBC Radio4

6)Practical NLP w/ Andy Smith

7)The Critical Thinker

8)TED Talks

9)Good Job Brain

10)The Guardian Music Weekly

OK , feel free to run to the hills, perhaps I am more weird than you thought!

Have a look at your podcast consumption and see what you use for relaxation, fun, work and learning… you may just be surprised.

The most entertaining talk this week was from a gentleman who I think is wonderful at engaging audiences and forcing them to think, oh to be as good a presenter as Sir Ken Robinson!


see you on the long and winding road……  Patrick

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