Discovery using old technology

I like to spend time watching and talking to musicians who play music unfamiliar to me, I find their music inspiring and on many occasions incredible and gives me new ideas about my music and my teaching practices.
Stepping outside ones comfort zone is very important for the process of learning and yet it is the very thing that we are not doing and as a society it is becoming endemic that we are ring fencing what we know. This is happening in a way that you may not spot because it is happening all around you; I will sum up it in two words, Google and Amazon.
As a kid I spent lots of time in the library and one of my favourite books as a child was an encyclopaedia. I had and still do have a fascination for new ‘facts’ and ideas and I have always made a point of looking at things in circles. I looked at circles that touched the circle of what I knew and then moved into a circle that touched that, so as an example I might look up the Roman empire which would take me to the Greeks and then to the myths and then to Hindu myths and then meditation and then to Ayurveda and so on.
Also you would stumble by ‘accident’ on something you really did not know so you might in a library see a book that was put back in the wrong place etc. this does not happen if you follow the rules of Amazon because they suggest books to you based on what you have browsed or have bought so it reinforces what you already think. Now if you throw dice to determine what you did well that would really open up the possibilities of learning!
Google gives you things that are chronological common in your searches so you get the stuff that others are searching, now for someone who is rather weird like me that is not what one wants. I know that raising your profile through traffic on twitter and Facebook makes it possible for you to compete in the traffic online easier (!) but not for discovery in something old which brings me back to the book found in a second hand shop or in the library. Let us face it that was the old World Wide Web maybe it could help you to discover things and be creative in ways that may in the near future be different from the crowd.
Vic one day course in October to make money from music contact for details