READING: Learning Something New Every Day

I spend a lot of my time on my Google Reader. At first, it was to keep an eye on news in my industry – television – but as time goes on, it’s more and more about learning things I never knew about.

In school, I zoned out of most subjects due to disinterest, getting good marks but retaining almost nothing. Once I got to university, my education was narrowed down to my field, with the exception of a handful of courses. So unless I do some original research, I rarely encounter new knowledge in areas I’d normally not explore. And I’ve found relying on books for my horizon-expanding is either too expensive or, in the case of libraries, just not something my brain adapts naturally to.

But the Internet is an amazing tool for quick, small bursts of learning from multiple sources.  And I found this out largely by accident.

Two of the blogs I read regularly, despite being out of my comfort zone, I found almost through chance. Tiger Beatdown, the blog that got me interested in feminist politics and gender theory, only came onto my radar when Whedonesque linked to her feminist commentary on Whedon’s Dollhouse.  TB led to me exploring that net culture, which is how eventually I found this ain’t livin’, which has been a constant source of small bursts of learning and political and social commentary. Most of the really engaging pieces I’ve encountered on the past few months have been from livin’, after all.

The other coincidental discovery I made was Both Sides of the Table, whose post on creativity was linked to me via Facebook. Though tech VC is completely outside of my regular reading circle, his voice was so interesting that I started following him via Reader. And, despite knowing so little about the actual industry, his posts are still fascinating and illuminating.

After these two accidental discoveries, I’m more and more interested in leaving my comfort zone and finding more like these in a variety of fields. I’d recommend digging through the blogosphere to anyone looking to quietly expand their eclectic knowledge base.

Any blogs, on any topic, you’d recommend?

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