Thursday, August 28, 2008

Three Research Resources

Three Research Resources

My first sources are usually pen and paper writing down and actualizing the questions I want to answer. I think our own head space, the largest and most useful research tool is often under-estimated. Where else do we make unique and innovative linkages between data and information? At what point if ever do we move beyond tentative to confident skills in research other than our own minds first? It takes perhaps some degree of self-awareness to develop a talent into a skill.

Then I seek my information generally through internet searches and despite what is said in our text about the usefulness of other search engines, being that much in our text dates from 1995, I have evolved fully during those dozen years through circus freaks like Askjeeves, Lycos, and the like and have come to rely on google almost exclusively as I feel it continues to set the trend in options while other bots, spiders, engines meekly appear to bob in its wake.

I seek to confirm and disconfirm through internet research and there has to be a palatable story in the end which explains why or how whatever I mine appears to float to the surface, either in business news reports, periodicals or what I would classify general knowledge sources.

Not saying that what is generally or publically known is the least common denominators of information usefulness, but I often attempt to exceed that quotident by further retrieval of esoteric historical texts from used book sellers or libraries, either on business sector or target market, country or cultural issue as the root sources of our human abilities in terms of sharing profits and dividing losses are often easily exemplified in the periodic nature of the historical record. Human nature remains unaltered through the centuries and anyone who studied English Literature as I did sees this revealed.

Especially this pertains to my view of information overload. I pay to study to learn what is commonly acceptably known and push that envelope in my own mind to my own economic advantage because in my own opinion, if it is informed, then I may be expected to rework that information uniquely and personally to my own benefit first which is the nature of man. We are really only ever overloaded with choices of action rather than real new information, and as this often provokes indecision and inaction of our individual versus collective needs to provide personally interested benefits out of mass media content strategically adapting to current positions in a technologically galloping world are at times hindered.

Simple escape lies in patience, reading books and writing. All three skills feed one upon the other and provoke diffusive reworking of the mind's own capabilities to formulate and summarize, rework and reformulate ideas, concepts which have at times been collectively known but often only revealed by some and at the right times and at later dates are newly innovative and profitable solutions. In a possibly "dumbed down world" complexity is often overlooked. However it is often simply structural and reveals competency in a topic. I think our current global business world has often simply narrowed and shortened our collective short-termism at the expense of long-term sustainability and saying so should not cast me as some sort of eco-fascist. Our technologies have hastened and come at the expense of our collective future. Greed predicts much of the business world today as ever. However fascinating such a world is. It even trumps ficiton in my book it is more fascinating than poems or short stories. The real is often so fantastic.

For these assignments, for example I have solicited more opinions from experts, for example at the BOI in Bangkok and plan to approach more experts at the embassies here in Seoul. However I trust my own opinions somewhat more than others at times as my interest is based on exemplifying competency in a task and sustaining small-scale consumption while theirs are often merely in selling a trade concept or market destination by comparison. No embassy would ever under-sell their own market. Similarly, few trade commissioners would ever publically discourage local market entry in a trading partner nation. It defies their purposes somewhat. However I did talk with a Chrysler agent in the middle east who warned me off their products there. Funny?

While I rely on my self and my own mind first I consume information much like a steam engine consumes coal. A mind needs exercise to continually gain competency in research. I am always attempting to maintain current usefulness and find it difficult to communicate with people who do not see the purpose of it.

I took a marketing class that described this as "selective filtering." As humans the theory relates we spend more time blocking out irrelevant and un-necessary information that does not meet our current needs or wants. As part of marketing theory advertising is designed to make it easier for consumers to "find" what they are looking for as it is designed to attract our attention especially when we are looking for that service or product category. This might make finding relevant research data easier. However the reverse scenario - when we seek to verify based on poor initial assumptions is a real nightmare.

Take for example the "Mars Anomaly Research" page. J.P. Skipper analyzes grainy photos of Mars and comes up with lucidly written but completely un-substantiated grandiose claims and completely baked conclusions based on what he "thinks" he already knows sans evidence.

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