Brace yourself... Black (ink) Friday is coming

LCS 29: A creative challenge, a quote, an antilibrary,

Next Friday is Black Friday. Although, it seems that the whole month of November has become Black now. Perhaps that is unsurprising once this tradition, originally connected to American Thanksgiving, was exported to other countries.

It seems like every week is trying to persuade us to spend more money.

For a long time I've considered a producerism the alternative to consumerism. Instead of valuing ourselves by what we own and consume, we gain value from what we produce and share. While it has flaws as a world view, it's a helpful frame to resist the more common call to buy, buy, buy.

A year ago, I came up with an idea. Black Ink Friday - a sketchnote alternative to Black Friday and in the spirit of Buy Nothing Day.

The basic idea is to take a break from buying and making something or remind yourself of all the great things you have.

A post shared by Chris Wilson - Sketchnoter (@sketchnotr)

Of course, you may want to buy a Christmas gift for a friend or family member and know that there is a good deal on Black Friday. Fine. Do it. And don't feel guilty.

But maybe, you'll have a better time making something rather than scrolling all day through websites looking for a bargain that you'll never really use. If that's your Black Friday plan, I invite you to try something else.

Creative challenge: #BlackInkFriday

Grab a black pen and get drawing! #BlackInkFriday is an alternative to Black Friday in the spirit of Buy Nothing Day and REI's #OptOutside . Instead of shopping, try sketching. Here are some things you can sketch.

  1. An activity which is an alternative to Black Friday Shopping

  2. An activity you love doing (that isn’t shopping)

  3. Your thanksgiving

  4. A Sketchnote about Buy Nothing Day

You can see what some people did last year for inspiration.

Don't forget the hashtags #BlackInkFriday and #LearnCreateShare

Quote of the week

“The thing I have noticed is that when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right. There is something wrong with the way that you are measuring it,” - Jeff Bezos

Click to tweet

I thought this was nuts when I first heard it but I keep thinking about this. It might just be that we missed a detail here or there, but I've seen examples this week and it turned out someone had made a change in the way data was reported.

The anecdotes were right.


Evolution of the scientific method

It's obvious to say but strange to think, we didn't have most of the methods we use to know what we know until this century. The ways in which we learn things and test that knowledge (even the idea that we should test what we know) have evolved over time and continue to.

Personally, I suspect this could be a good book topic

Discover the history of science

Building an Antilibrary - Ness Labs

One of my sister's dreams when she was growing up was to own a home library. While she is still working on that goal (her study is quite impressive) maybe she should also aspire to own an antilibrary.

A collection of items that make us aware of the limits of our knowledge.

Start your antilibrary

The Mere-exposure effect

I came across this phenomenon while reading How to take smart notes. In it the author suggests the antidote is testing our knowledge (by explaining/writing a description from memory) to show if we actually know something.

I decided to test myself. I tried to describe what is quantum physics... Instantly I realised I knew less about the subject than I thought. I couldn't even start describing it. I knew of examples (Schrodinger's cat right?) and fields which intersected (quantum computing which uses quantum bits that can be both on and off, right?) but I couldn't even give a bad summary.

Give it a go, pick a topic that you know something about but haven't really studied and try and describe what it is. (I'd love to know what you pick).

Do you really know what you know

This is connected to the Antilibrary. After all, you can end up thinking you know something, simply because you have a book on it.

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