[ATE Logo]Maintaining Your Own Data

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Do some counting; Know the Difference

What's the difference between you and anyone else?  Ethnic and cultural differences exist, but they are minor in comparison to the difference in life experience each of us has.  Although our brains tell us that we remember things easily, that's a trick the brain plays on us.  You cannot remember what happened to you, although you convince yourself that you can.  Once you've forgotten you can't remember what you've lost, you brain always wins, it thinks it has a perfect record.  That is why it's valuable and important to keep a record of things you might need to remember in a diary or notebook. 

What form this record takes is up to you.  Try though to do some counting and measuring, try to quantify things in a meaningful way.  Try also to look at things like cause and effect and seek to understand how people get misled because they make assumptions that are later shown to be faulty.  People typically don't bother to keep records.  They assume (wrongly) that they will remember, and they assume that all their own understandings are valid.  Without a written record they will never discover that it wasn't so. 

The mis-information and the dys-information from government sources on the recent war with Iraq is a good example.  There was excellent data on the internet that told the truth about Iraq a year before the war began.  British and American "intelligence sources" claimed something different according to several prominent politicians.  OK so we have to believe our leaders.  They are in a position of trust and we take it for granted that they won't abuse that trust.  So I ask you, was trust abused?  Do you have your own data?  Was the war illegal?  You should know, and the facts are very clear if you seek to understand them. 

I keep a journal, and since the internet entered my home I've begun to collect a fair bit of printed paper too.  You can get swamped with other people's data.  Other people's data is never as important as your own life experience and knowledge.  You own life is the foundation for the other things you can learn.  Get that foundation firm, then the data other people might provide can be better assessed, and will be more useful.

A Blog is one way to keep a personal record of what you think is important. The best blogs are written with a readership in mind. Denise O'Berry keeps a directory of business related blogs called the
Small Business Blog Directory. With over 200 business focus blogs listed you should find something of interest.

Keeping Your Own Records

An Example: From Vague Idea to new Understanding

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