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Question your Assumptions: The Paradox of Knowing Part 2

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Hi everyone, Fabian here from a long long week in the think- do-team.

This week was very busy for us. We had so many deadlines in the think team yet I still had to make Biogas Digesters. But I’m happy I get to visit the office from time to time. I will postpone some of my blog plans and write a short one today. This would be my first blog without proofreading, so we'll see. I’d like to go back to one of my blog posts where I talked about why common sense doesn’t make sense.

Next week, we will have an intensive short-course program with Tokyo University and I will be giving a lecture on Agriculture in Bali (yay). After practicing my presentation in front of the other giftmakers, I was given feedback that made me realize several things. Our CEO Tak told us that, in general, we should presentations should contain more personalized experiences. Nowadays, information that you can find on the first page in Google is meaningless in a presentation (Tak covered it in his blog here). It makes sense to watch a presentation where you can get it exclusively from that person, something you can't find on Wikipedia. I didn't realize how much value there was to 'experiences' as information.

Long story short, I was struggling to piece together a 2-hour lecture. I was not sure if people would be interested in my experiences, as he encouraged me to talk more about my farm experiences more than agricultural theories. Then Tak proceeded with "you think your experiences are normal? People still ask me if my office is finished because there are no walls". We laughed. I realized, I got so used to working at the office, that my definition of an office is severely different from my friends who work in a corporate job. The office is wall-less, semi-outdoors, and filled with plants and recycled items. I guess that does not fit the category of a usual office.

This also got me thinking of Cynthia's post about Social Science research. In this sense, I am an insider rather than a mere observer of the situation. So much that it slightly backlash, that I don't realize that I am sort of "one" with the situation. I'm not sure if I explained that really well, but here is my main takeaway: the more you know about a situation, the more you don't realize some details that are not very "common". I simply assume that my experiences were normal, when in fact, 'normal' is very relative.

I hope you got some insights from this short post. See you next week!

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