From time to time, I participate in conference calls and online discussions that are focused on subjects that I should care about: knowledge management, communities of practice, online learning, etc.
More often than not I find that these discussion become academic discourse and generally make me feel the same.
I honestly respect academic discussion and I believe academia lays the foundation for what we know and understand. But man, that kind of discussion is just not for me- and perhaps I'm revealing my ignorance here.
The theoretical, the ongoing discussion about the published papers of respected academics, the arguments about pros and cons of each theory and their applications in endless situations -- it all just drones on for me.
It reminds me of a quote from Edwin Armstrong, who invented the FM radio: "Men like to substitute words for reality and then argue about the words."
I don't want the words- I want the realities. It seems sometimes that reality beats me over the head so often that I wonder why the words matter in practice.
I also wonder why I feel this way. In my work, I want more than anything to live in the future. I don't want to put a theory into practice, I want to do things that
don't yet have words.
Perhaps I've convinced myself (right or wrong) that academic discourse is too focused on the past- especially regarding the Web, where things move so fast.
No matter what, I feel confident that I have learned this about myself and I'm going to stop feeling self-conscious about not being interested in academic discourse- it's just not for me.