Accidental Research

I like researching. Sometimes it can get tedious, but overall it helps me see things I otherwise wouldn’t be able to see. My interest areas still remain in Employability and Culture, hence I find myself reading stuff about those areas, and gradually I build up a surprising amount of knowledge without even knowing it. This is one of those ironic blog posts, where I talk about how accidental research happens through, well, consuming media (like blog posts).

I’m starting to produce more music now that I know what I’m doing more than before. A lot of what I’ve learned about production simply comes from casually listening to popular music. I tend to remember arrangement techniques and complexity, as since I rarely show restraint as a music producer, it’s important to analyse how successfully a song manages to not overwhelm, while still being crowded with sounds. There is of course watching free video tutorials and learning by doing, but what makes observation work is that I have a professional level template to subconsciously work from (in a sense).

The next big big big source of accidental research is reading press articles. I try to avoid the less influential papers on focus more on The Guardian, as that website has specific sections which works for me. I’m currently following the Culture, Unemployment and Higher Education sections; some are written by journalists and some by non journalists for a more personal perspective. To me, I simply read the articles for interest, but I’ve noticed that it widens my horizon as I have accidentally become more familiar with those “worlds”.

Finally, film reviews provide not only research, but also a more cultured understanding. Although I sometimes read written reviews, I usually prefer to watch video film reviews as I can connect more when there’s actually someone on the screen talking to me. When I appreciate third party perspectives and compare / contrast them to my own, it enables me to do more critical thinking hence gain a more open understanding. I can accept or reject opinions of course, but it helps as research when others open my eyes “for me” in a way.

I call this kind of research accidental, as “research” isn’t really the goal when I perform the aforementioned tasks. That said, it’s really handy to constantly learn new things without really knowing that it’s happening, and perhaps this can happen to my readers too. Research doesn’t always have to be a (conscious) chore!

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