Ego and Ebbinghaus – when will we ever learn?

I have been ego-fodder at two events in less than 24 hours, so excuse me if the following post seems like it is written with a red mist…


Since when did we agree that being sat for an hour and lectured at is a good loosener-upper for having ideas, sharing them, being energised? I must have missed that memo.

Over a hundred years ago a chap called Ebbinghaus proved (to his satisfaction and mine) that You. Do. Not. Retain. Much. Information.

As in; Information that you’ve received passively (sage on the stage) leaks out your ears. Barring special techniques on the part of the recipient, which most of us don’t do most of the time, most of the information is gone within a day. All but a very general impression is gone in a week.

Being sat and talked at may allow the talker to get their jollies. It may allow the box marked “information given, now the recipient’s fault is something goes wrong” to be ticked (that’s an important box in cover-yo-ass management).  It may have other benefits I’ve not thought of too.

But it doesn’t build a movement. It doesn’t bring in newbies who’ve taken that first step. It doesn’t sustain existing members’ needs. It doesn’t bring ex-members back.   We do it because it lets the leaders get their jollies. We do it because it lets us off the hook, let’s us stay in the smugosphere.


About dwighttowers

Below the surface...
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