Extending empathy forward

I got this expression from the first One Giant Leap film. From the section on time and the 10,000-year clock. I use it in my knowledge sharing work — when trying to explain why it’s important to document, tag, give context. I say stuff like this

Sharing content with empathy. This is a key practice. We must provide sufficient context and metadata in order for our content to be findable and usable.


You may also want to add more detailed information to help others create works about similar topics or issues. Documenting who or what is in the picture, why it’s important, and giving a sense of the context will help others immensely. (We like to call this “extending empathy forward”.)

The idea is to make it easier to build on each other’s work.

Then today I heard Nora’s full interview with Ed Burtynsky. There it is again. It also brings up many of the issues around archiving and digital work, which Theresa Rowat has been explaining to me. Theresa is currently the director of the McGill University Archives. She is an amazing. She makes archiving come alive — especially the issues surrounding digital records. I can listen to her for hours. (Seamus Ross summarizes these issues in another conversation with Nora.)

The 10,000-year clock is a project of The Long Now Foundation. Which was part of the inspiration for Neal Stephenson’s book, Anathem. That stayed with me for a number of reasons. One being that I feel like much of what I do is point to ideas and connect them. Not that that’s bad. I like connecting people and ideas. But I’d like to balance it with being able to do some deep thinking of my own.

Sometimes I feel like everything is connected.