Yesterday, an initiative about encouraging reading in Muscat was kicked off by a non profit group, and the event focused on why people read and what motivates them to do so. The responses ranged from reading as understanding other people’s perspectives to improving attention spans. While all of them scratched on the surface, reading is an urgent response to the post truth, alternative facts era that we reside. Reading against the grain of the text as a mode of critique is popular with the social sciences fraternity is a vital pivot in separating the wheat from the chaff, and in honing ones one thought in a distracted mind. Information through digital means may have become democratic, though the ability to analyse, digest and articulate is still a task, Siri cannot help with yet.
In an AI driven future of work world, reading the correct curriculum may actually immunise communities against the next wave of technology led disruption. Out of the box is certainly obsolete in a complex adaptive systems dynamics space, where stochastic is norm rather than the normative.
The future of content is video, but the ability to distill, distinguish and disseminate complex ideas and make sense of them, in order to apply them has reading as a critical core in a learning tool box.
Reading to make sense and meaning is the fulcrum of the ability to discuss various sources of data and skim through to the central argument. Time or the pack of it is a lazy excuse to not read. Wait till the better read, colleague takes the better pay hike in front of you as reading diversely helps one develop an innovative tool box. It helps unlock imagination.
So what are you reading currently?