My Gov20 New Year’s Resolutions: Generate, Discriminate, Donate

I’m a sunrise kind of person. A morning person. An Aries. I’m an INTP: every day, for me, is a new construction site, and yesterday’s blueprints are, at best, guidelines for today’s crew. That’s why I love New Years’ celebrations, and why I always try to make attainable, ambitious resolutions. With regards to work, and a nod to INXS, here are mine for this year: generate, discriminate, donate

  1. Generate: write more blog posts, more tweets, give more presentations, and generally try to add more to the discourses I care about. This will probably mean shorter entries, but that also leads to the second resolution:
  2. Discriminate: Consume information more conscientiously (well, hello, Clay Johnson). I read a lot, and no doubt, some of it does more harm than good. (I wonder if Clay has read George Steiner’s After Babel, which contains one of the greatest lines I’ve ever read. Discussing translating a literary work, Steiner writes: “We can be mastered and made lame by that which we import.”)
  3. Donate: give more of my cognitive surplus to civic purposes


In 2011, I wrote more quite a few blog posts here on GovLoop, about 25 of which were featured. But there is more to being a part of a community than writing think-pieces and weekly round-ups. Many members have been far more active than I, and in 2012, I am going to try not only to write more occasional pieces, but also to comment on others’ posts, and generally add more to the discussions.


Talking for the sake of talking, however, is not what anyone should aspire to. And reading for the sake of reading is hardly better (though still preferable). Taking a page from Clay Johnson (or rather, his entire book, The Information Diet), I am going to be a more conscientious consumer of information, even as I try to be a more generous creator.


And the end goal is to be a more participatory member of my communities, especially the overlapping communities that together compose Gov20. Here, I’m taking a cue from Clay Shirky, whose Cognitive Surplus was an enjoyable and important (if incomplete) book.

So that’s the standard I’m setting for myself. What about you?

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Great ideas. My goal for 2012 is to focus on knowledge sharing/knowledge network. Tackle and have great discussions on the thorniest, practical issues in government.

I like the discriminate as well – I’m trying to focusing on doing more rather than reading more.

Dorothy Ramienski Amatucci

Wow. Awesome post. I, myself, have vowed to pay more attention to what I am doing with my time, as well as where my cognitive surplus is going. And The Information Diet is next on my reading list!


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