Saturday, August 20, 2016

Analytical thinkers and Survey Monkey

I'm very surprised to find out that I am an analytical thinker. I think I might do another test and answer in different ways. I had so hoped to be an intuitive thinker, as that is how I perceive myself to be, especially where my botanising is concerned . I imagined that the hunter gatherer in me , hidden in  my mitochondrial DNA for  millennia made me a natural and intuitive recogniser of useful plants, for survival . Perhaps this trait in me is nothing to do with thinking but more to do with instinct, which seems to override both analytical and intuitive thinking , a sort of default.

So now I'm chewing over in my mind the recent Survey I was advised to complete for NPMS. I answered all the questions very quickly, you might argue intuitively. Now Im going back and wondering if my answers should have differed. 
These days its easy to have Survey Overkill, as all the coffee shops want to know which of the Baristas served one adequately, Hotels and Trip Advisor are quick to use ones data, and even the online shopping sites hope to take lots more orders if we do their market research and PR for them . Here in Filey where contactless means saying sorry when one bumps into someone there is no need for surveys as we all may shop in small shops where the service is good, ones name is remembered , and ones preferences recalled . 

An aside. I do miss our local greengrocer as she has moved on to  run a tearoom . I did like it when she used to have a glut of something like fennel or avocados or courgettes just going over , and would ask me what I would use them for . She gleaned knowledge and recipes which she passed on to her customers , and would  give  me old stuff rather that dump it , knowing that I could make soup or curry out of tough celariac or just going off mangoes.

Back to the NPMSs Survey . I can see that it is a very analytical way to check up on how well the first 2 years of the monitoring of the Wild Plants of Britain is going , and all those who have been allocated KM squares but not been able to do their surveys have an opportunity to opt out gracefully and their square can go back into the availability pool .
I completed my first 2016 Survey in June and its time to do my second /last one for the season . My bete noir is the identification of sedges and grasses, where only an analytical approach , using a key will give accuracy . I find using keys very difficult for these plants as the features are so small and all green , and the nomenclature a foreign country . So Yes , I need a further training course.

As for wishing that I was intuitive, no survey will get me really right. I know that this  woolly seedling is Mullein . 

But I also know that using my analytical skills it will grow into