I would like to reflect about the concept of serendipity phenomena in a not scientific way. That is because there is a neuroscience matter and it is out of my domain. Here is a
project “Serendip” which is more connected to scientific resarch.
Is it a way of thinking?.
I think it is a way of “thin slicing“.
May be you are wondering about what it is about the connection between Connectivism and Serendipity. I realize that there is much more among them than I believed, even more in the inmersive environments.
On the following of this post I will try to reply John Mak´s question posted a week before on Facebook: “How do you find serendipity?”
John gave the link to Wikipedia´s Serendipity definition:
“Serendipity is a propensity for making fortuitous discoveries while looking for something unrelated”.
I would like to define Serendipity as
“the Gift of finding valuable and agreeable things we have not not sought”.
It is a paradoxic mixture of looking for and not looking for. As a metaphor, the way we interact in the semantic web among billons of links and posts is a kind of source of this phenomena.
Along the course CritLit2010 I could I see the way we posted about others findings or emerged ideas. Sometimes we look over all the posts and links provided without attention. It could be difficult and there could not be time enough to follow and look into all of them. But sometimes, we could find value on some of them and appreciate their meaning (thanks to folksonomies). In a complex system like semantic web feedback continues its loop, there are several interconnected parts which create links for additional information not visible before for us. As a result of interactions between elements, emergent properties, which cannot be explained by the same properties isolated appear. This is the way that I consider that connectivism can be a way to lead to serendipity.
Appart from consider it as a “gift”, I think that we could
understand it as
a learning capability of “thin slicing” of recognizing the possibilities to find out or became aware of something “meaningfull” on the caotic and random virtual environment.
Regarding this, we have the opportunity to develop it in the way we learn from each experience like this, to learn from each other, to interact in the way we can learn, to grow, listen to, lead and live with a creative attitude.
I consider that, even though we can met by chance on the web or outside it what we find “meaningfull” is inside us.It is an oriented attention towards to it.
Here transcript the pharagrahp of John Gardner, professor of Standford University that I find significant:
“The meaning is not something that we find by chance, as the answer to a puzzle or a prize in a treasure hunt. It is something constructed by oneself from our own past, affections and loyalties. From the experience of mankind which has been transferred from their own talent and understanding, the things we think, of things and people you
love, the values for which we are willing to sacrifice something. The ingredients are there.We are the only one who can keep them in that pattern that will be our life. That is a life with dignity and meaning for us”.
I wonder how much of the learning experience (and us as facilitators) can add more to develop this capability.