Wisdom Mining

mining cars

“Wisdom Mining” ideally happens live and in person with about 3 to 8 participants.
Each miner should show up with a light, a shovel, and a vein they hope to mine for wisdom, however mining tools and possible veins of wisdom are typically shared among the miners.
First the “vein”: This is usually a book in paper or electronic form, however websites, blogs, TED talks, etc… often may hide precious jewels of wisdom. If you have none at hand, other wisdom miners will be willing to share.
As for your pickax or shovel, this would be some sort of Internet connected device which you may use to “shovel” wisdom into the mining car which is the present group. Hopefully our little cart will carry your jewels on to our database refinery and out again into the wide world.
The ideal pickax or shovel would be a laptop or notebook computer with keyboard: fast, easy and portable. However we have made good use of tablets and smart phones in a pinch. And again, others will be willing to share.
And of course your miner’s light — that keen part of your mind’s eye that can spot the jewel of wisdom hidden inside the hard rock of great literature.
You may get a sense of what a jewel might look like by browsing the Wisdom database. Not all will glitter for you, but hopefully you will find some rare gem or two that may suddenly transport you into another dimension of consciousness.
The world is full of great transformative and transporting literature in many languages, but jewels may be rare.
Some of your favorite and wisest stories may contain no jewels at all, simply because they must be absorbed as a great whole in order to work its magic.
Melville’s Moby Dick or Henry James’ The Golden Bowl come to my own mind in this regard, although even they may contain the occasional rare jewel for a miner with much patience. I need to go back and read those again just to see…
Some may feel that the age of great literature is now passing with the rise of drama, and much more rapidly now in the age of OTT video. Yet the database shows us that Shakespeare, the Greek playwrights, and current science fiction have proven to contain very rich veins.
So, bring some words that you love to read or hear to the mining session. Something you’ve always wanted to read or view or something you want to read or see again — or again and again.
Most mining shifts last for an hour or two. Don’t worry about being late or early, miners may jump into or out of the pit at any time.
Silence may prevail for long periods as each miner enters deep into a chosen world, but may also get downright noisy if two or three feel like they have struck a mother lode.
When you think you may have found a jewel, share it. Rather like the fellow who picked up a rock at Sutter’s Mill and said, “Hey, look at this!”. Those present can usually tell pretty quickly if a find is worth keeping or not.
Sometimes we find we need to “brush it off” a bit. Chop off a chunk, add an ellipsis, maybe even change a word or two to help make the jewel digest readily, however the true gem will shine on its own.
Don’t worry about taking your gem out of context. We are working at building something bigger and richer than Fort Knox. It will evolve and grow its own context as we add jewel after jewel.
Just share your gem with those present, listen to suggestions about where it might be polished, and then decide whether you want to add it to the database. The decision is yours. The mining crew is there to help, or at least to keep the adventure fun and exciting.
If you decide to make an entry be sure to attempt to add a word or two in the “tags” column. Those tags are vital links in the long chain of Brief Wisdom. Other miners should be very helpful in this respect.
Once in the database, your jewel may sink or swim or be refined in the sea of Brief Wisdom.
Should you need a break from “hard rock mining” the shift is also an appropriate time to engage in the “refining” process.
When we “refine” brief wisdom, we are going back over previous entries:
– looking for duplicates
– correcting typos or other errors
– finding or verifying sources
– adding our Charlie Number to the entries that we recognize as true jewels (at least for this one miner)
– any entry with a number in the Verified column has had the source verified at least once – at least by use of a quick Google
– if you verify a jewel source enter your Charlie Number in the “Verified” column
At this writing the Brief Wisdom Database contains over 3,000 jewels of extremely varying value which have been compiled by only a very few miners with very limited means over nearly thirty years.
Hopefully more new mining shifts will drive exponential growth in both volume and quality. Enjoy.