1.5 million balloons over Cleveland
... that you want to write a book about something that you only partly understand but find fascinating. Obviously, you want to spend some time coming up to speed, perhaps learning about the area over the next year or so.
How would you do that?
What would you actually do to become an autodidact (that is, a self-taught person) in that topic? While there are many things one could do (take an online class, read a lot of books, subscribe to blogs and vlogs)... is there some way to get information on this topic in a regular way? Some way to skim off the latest writings on your topic and get a constant feed of information?
Let's call this slow research. In many ways, this is the opposite of the quick Google search; it's not the same as just finding the factoid you want as rapidly as possible.
Instead, this is research over time, letting deeper understanding of a topic emerge, develop, and grow into something rich and marvelous.
The question for us is how do you do this?
There are many ways to answer this, but let's frame this as an SRS Challenge:
Suppose I want to write a book on this topic:
Sometimes when you take an action, something very unforeseen happens as a consequence after that action is taken.
For example: in 1986, the Cleveland United Way charity planned on releasing 2 million balloons as kind of spectacle, with donors pitching in to sponsor a balloon. But with a storm coming into the city, they decided to release the balloons early, causing all kinds of problems with the flood of balloons in the area, ultimately causing a net loss for the charity along with a host of problems.
Note that the topic is NOT "balloons" or "charity" or "disasters," but it's about the effect of making one decision (the early release of balloons) and the after-effects that followed from that bad choice.
And so the Challenge for this week is...
1. How would you set up a continuing stream of information to you about this topic? This is partly a question about the way to do this, but also a question about what the search terms should be. What would you do? How would you search for this phenomenon?
Suggestions welcome (I really AM writing a book on this topic, and I'm curious what good advice you'd give to said author).