Brain Dump

I’m guilty. This is a cliche I use, often to refer to a first draft of a report or a presentation where I’m still figuring out what should be included and what should be omitted. The image to the right is my first draft for a presentation I’m working on about digital literacy.

My “braindump” for a presentation on Digital Literacy

It turns out this is not the meaning most IT people understand from “braindump“, where it has come to mean the mass of information needed to pass an exam – particularly a certification exam – produced by examinees who memorise the questions or record them and then “dump” that information onto a website for the next crop of examinees to use.

It’s considered bad practice by the examiners obviously, as it makes it difficult to assess the real knowledge of examinees. Long term it devalues the certification.

What do you understand by the term?

Paradigm Shift

Paradigm shift is a well understood term but it is relatively new, first appearing in 1962 in a book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas Kuhn. He used it to describe a change in basic assumptions within the ruling theory of science. Kuhn referred to the accumulation of experimental detail in support of an existing scientific concept or paradigm as “normal science” and believed that it was only when enough detail had accumulated that challenged the concept that a paradigm shift could occur.

Once the paradigm shift has occurred it is no longer possible to use the previously accepted paradigm. For example; once it was discovered that bacteria were the agents of disease it was no longer possible to accept the old concept of miasma being the cause of disease.

Kuhn didn’t believe that a paradigm shift could apply to the humanities, because it’s possible to make multiple interpretations of the same events.

picture-2Despite that distinction the term is now applied to many changes in economics, technology and business; internet, mobile technology, outsourcing to name a few.

In recent weeks it’s also been something called for in the international business world particularly in the financial sector. Going back to Kuhn’s original theory, perhaps enough detail, enough evidence, has now accumulated for a paradigm change to occur.