Knowledge Mining
Knowledge Mining

Knowledge Mining

Quick Summary

The idea behind knowledge mining is that we can learn to do research that brings us more growth and more profit.

Two facts, in particular, make this possible, today more than ever.

Fact #1: The Internet Brought Us A Huge Leverage Increase

We live in a unique time because the internet has provided us with a dramatic increase in our ability to find and use knowledge.

Knowledge, in one sense, is a crystallized experience. It's abstracted trial and error, it's the experience of the species, all data compressed into sets of ideas, models, and symbols that we can now send back and forth to each other through the internet. We got a 100x, maybe even 1,000x increase in speed and efficiency compared to the time, not too long ago, where in order to get a piece of knowledge you had to get a book, read a journal, or talk to a person, which could then lead you to another book, journal, expert.

It was a very slow process to find the breadcrumb trails that would allow us to follow a chain of knowledge and do real research because we couldn’t follow rabbit holes very rapidly.

And now, with knowledge basically hyperlinked, with tools like Wikipedia, Google, with all the online journals offering free articles and academic papers, we can say that this is a platinum age of knowledge and information. When you want to study a new topic, when you’re interested in something, you can go online and do a little research and very quickly can get a sense of:

  • Who the top thinkers in the field are
  • Their different models
  • Their different value systems
  • Their different perspectives
  • Who's talking a language that you can understand
  • Who they think the smart people are

You can watch videos, look at graphics, read articles. In an hour, you can get your bearings about something. You can understand the fundamental distinctions, get a sense of who the thinkers are and what their philosophical differences, their similarities, their convergences or agreements are, and then you can decide if you want to go deeper.

That’s the opportunity we didn’t have only a couple of short years ago.

Fact #2: Some Knowledge Is Worth A Lot More Than Other Knowledge

We can develop an esthetic sense of high-quality knowledge, but the way to it is by doing a lot of mining through knowledge and looking at a lot of different knowledge across multiple domains to find the ideas that are really the powerful ones.

What Makes A Powerful Idea

A valuable piece of knowledge is something that helps you understand something better so that you can do, be, feel, or have something you haven’t before:

  • Get a particular result,
  • Have more power,
  • Build your business,
  • Get clients, etc.

It has a means-ends sort of value to it. As we experiment with knowledge, get knowledge, use knowledge, the more we get a sense of which knowledge could be valuable. (We also get a sense that we need to try the knowledge out to get to know whether it’s valuable.)

When you have a good mental model that gives you a way of doing the research efficiently, one focused hour of effort can yield gems. It's like going down to a random stream with a pan, spending an hour there, and coming out with a pound of gold. That's what's available right now.

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