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jerryking : pay_attention   43

Opinion | Talk Less. Listen More. Here’s How. -
Jan. 9, 2020 | The New York Times |

* By Kate Murphy, is the author of “You’re Not Listening: What You’re Missing and Why It Matters.”

Listening can be more valuable than speaking. Wars have been fought, fortunes lost and friendships wrecked for lack of listening. It is only by listening that we engage, understand, empathize, cooperate and develop as human beings. It is fundamental to any successful relationship — personal, professional and political.....The sad truth is that people have more experience being cut off, ignored and misunderstood than heard to their satisfaction.....listening goes beyond simply hearing what people say. It also involves paying attention to how they say it and what they do while they are saying it, in what context, and how what they say resonates within you......It’s not about merely holding your peace while someone else holds forth. Quite the opposite. A lot of listening has to do with how you respond — the degree to which you facilitate the clear expression of another person’s thoughts and, in the process, crystallize your own.......Good listeners ask good questions......anyone can be interesting if you ask the right questions......ask truly curious questions that don’t have the hidden agenda of fixing, saving, advising, convincing or correcting. Curious questions don’t begin with “Wouldn’t you agree…?” or “Don’t you think…?” and they definitely don’t end with “right?” The idea is to explore the other person’s point of view, not sway it..........Avoid leading questions like, “Do you shop late a night because you didn’t get around to it during the day?” or “Do you shop at night because that’s when they restock the shelves?” Instead, she turned her question into an invitation: “Tell me about the last time you went grocery shopping late at night.” 
In social situations, avoid peppering people with judgmental, personal or appraising questions--questions that rank the other party in a social hierarchy.........Instead, ask about people about their interests. Try to find out what excites or aggravates them — their daily pleasures or what keeps them up at night [JCK: passions??] ..... ..........Because our brains can think a lot faster than people can talk, beware of the tendency to take mental side trips when you should be listening. Smart people are particularly apt to get distracted by their own galloping thoughts. They are also more likely to assume they already know what the other person is going to say..........The reward of good listening will almost certainly be more interesting conversations........it’s human nature to return courtesies .......listening to other people makes it more likely other people will listen to you.........Listening is a skill. And as with any skill, it degrades if you don’t do it enough.......each of us can become a better listener with practice. The more people you listen to, the more aspects of humanity you will recognize, and the better your instincts will be. Listening well can help you understand other people’s attitudes and motivations, which is essential in building cooperative and productive relationships, as well as discerning which relationships you’d be better off avoiding.......listening poorly, selectively or not at all limits your understanding of the world and prevents you from becoming the best you can be.
 books  Communicating_&_Connecting  contextual  conversations  courtesies  dining  family  independent_viewpoints  listening  passions  pay_attention  questions  relationships  skills  smart_people  social_hierarchy  tips 
5 weeks ago by jerryking
Creative summer: visiting an art gallery
AUGUST 19, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Isabel Berwick.

Viewing John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing, an exhibition of artworks and objects from Museums Sheffield and the Guild of St George — a charity founded by the English polymath, which he endowed with a tiny museum intended for what the exhibition guide calls “the iron workers of Sheffield”. ....Ruskin, who wrote about 9m words in his lifetime and was variously an art critic, artist, social commentator, polemicist, philanthropist and thoroughly eminent Victorian (he died in 1900), has left one of the most creative legacies that most of us will ever encounter. What can he teach us about creativity at work?....the guide talks about the artist’s ideas about the ways in which we see the world around us — and how we can learn to see more clearly, and in more detail. ...Ruskin believed that in order to properly observe, one had to draw what one is seeing — not something we could do in the gallery, but it suggests a different way of engaging with the world around us for some of the people on the team. “Ruskin was a great joiner of the dots, and showing that everything is connected,”........the surprising ways in which we can make connections — suddenly seems to be one of the most important ways in which we can be more creative in a workplace focused on being “agile” and “collaborative”. We tend to think in well-defined ways, with longstanding colleagues whose reactions we can often guess in advance.....the importance of just . . . noticing. Of finding beauty and interest in a wide range of things, just for the sake of it, and allowing thoughts to drift about.....The simple act of looking at beautiful things, the sort of activity Ruskin would have considered a good in itself, is a way of taking time out to be reflective.
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Rob |Aug 20, 2019.

I’m on board with the thrust of the article. I’m fortunate (although it doesn’t often feel that way) to work for an artist. This has given me access to yet more artists and regular recommendations for exhibitions.

Two recent examples are ‘Beyond the Streets’, an exploration of graffiti and it’s genesis in Brooklyn, and ‘Visions of the Self’ at Gagosian in London — both were mind-bending-ly good; both were outside my usual interests and I wouldn’t have attended unless pushed.

I really don’t know anything about graffiti or Rembrandt. However, visiting an exhibition with a knowledgeable friend, provided they aren’t particularly overbearing, is a delightful experience that, to my own surprise, leaves me feeling both rejuvenated and creatively invigorated. (Anecdotally. I haven’t done an RCT to assess the impact on my work...)

The upshot: provided they’re well assembled, almost any exhibition can provide relaxation and stimulation in equal measure.
art  art_galleries  attention  connecting_the_dots  creative_renewal  creativity  focus  mindfulness  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  reflections  serendipity  think_differently 
august 2019 by jerryking
You’re Not Paying Attention, but You Really Should Be
July 14, 2019 | The New York Times | By Tim Herrera.

I called up Rob Walker, author of “The Art of Noticing.” In his book, Mr. Walker writes: “To stay eager, to connect, to find interest in the everyday, to notice what everybody else overlooks — these are vital skills and noble goals. They speak between looking and seeing, between hearing and listening, between accepting what the world presents and noticing what matters to you.”.... it’s just about trying to carve out and give yourself permission to have this time where you’re tuning into things, listening to your own curiosity and seeing where that leads you,”......Record 10 metaphor-free observations about the world this week. This is deceptively simplistic: Who couldn’t look at 10 things this week and write them down? The trick is the no metaphors hook. You’re just noticing, not comparing, analyzing or referencing. You’re forced to slow down and truly contemplate the world around you, rather than passively breezing through it.

Remember: It’s looking vs. seeing. Hearing vs. listening. Accepting what the world presents vs. noticing what matters to you.

“There’s nothing more important than the stuff you notice that no one else does,” Mr. Walker said. “That’s where every single innovation begins; that’s where all creativity begins. It’s honoring what you notice, what you tune into and what you care about.”
attention  books  focus  listening  mindfulness  overstimulation  pay_attention  noticing  Slow_Movement 
july 2019 by jerryking
George Trower-Subira, author, lecturer
December 16, 2010 | The Inquirer | by JOHN F. MORRISON, morrisj@phillynews.com

FOR A MAN who spent his life in the often frustrating struggle to win justice for African-Americans, George Russell Trower-Subira embodied the meaning of the Swahili word that he added to his given name.

"Subira" means "patience" in Swahili. And that was one of the main characteristics of George's character.

"He had incredible patience with people," said his brother, Len Trower. "Even people who did unjust things to him, he would forgive them. He would try to rationalize why they did it. Me? I'd be throwing things against the wall."

George Russell Trower-Subira, who grew up in Philadelphia as George Trower and wrote numerous books of self-help advice for African-Americans as George Subira, collapsed and died of a heart attack Sunday while jogging on the track at Penn Wood High School, in East Lansdowne. He was 66 and lived in East Lansdowne.

He was a major influence on the subject of black entrepreneurship through his writings and speeches. His book, "Black Folks Guide to Making Big Money in America," published in 1980, was the first to tell blacks that what was missing from their drive for equality was success in the economic arena.....George traveled the country expounding these views, and was in demand at schools and conferences as a speaker and teacher of economic values and business development for blacks.

He gained wide recognition for his ideas and was interviewed on the Phil Donahue show, the "Today" show, "Tony Brown's Journal" and the "700 Club," and was written up in Essence, Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise, among others.
African-Americans  authors  economic_clout  entrepreneurship  entrepreneur  obituaries  black_power  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline 
april 2019 by jerryking
What tech hasn’t learnt from science fiction
APRIL 3, 2019 | Financial Times | Elaine Moore.

Never mind the future: where are the books tackling Silicon Valley’s current challenges?

There is a myth that Silicon Valley is stuffed full of nerds who have never picked up a book in their lives. Like a lot of tales about the Valley, it is not true. The tech industry is acutely aware of the value of storytelling.......Whenever a tech founder is asked about their favourite novel it is usually worth paying attention. Uber founder Travis Kalanick’s admires Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead.....Jeff Bezos’s is taken by the quiet despair of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Remains of the Day......and Theranos' Elizabeth Holme is attached to Moby-Dick.

It’s true that reading lists on the West Coast tend to skew towards science fiction.......For Silicon Valley, the genre seems to offer both inspiration and validation. .......But the connection between tech companies and sci-fi novels runs deeper. To make their futuristic projects reality, some seek the help of the authors themselves......Less is made of its focus on the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world (jk: sci fi doesn't pay enough attention to the the downside of humanity interacting with a virtual world). .....The affection tech founders feel for sci-fi often seems to lack this dimension.....If founders are not paying too much attention to cautionary sci-fi themes, at least some people are. Amazon Go shops can feel like a vision of the future as you pick up milk and walk away, without scanning anything. But cities such as San Francisco have begun to wonder whether cashless shops will end up marginalising the country’s poorest citizens, who do not have access to online bank accounts......does any sci-fi novel offers a way to think about Silicon Valley’s present, as well as its future? The singularity and inter-planetary travel are well covered in literature..... are there book out there that address privacy scandals, electric scooters and $100bn IPOs?
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* Counting Heads' (2005) by David Marusek is a novel set in 2134.
* Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson.
* Idoru" by William Gibson.
* Count Zero" by William Gibson.
* "Black Mirror" TV series Charlie Brooker.
* The Circle by Dave Eggers.
* ‘Minority Report’ Phil K Dick.
* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
* Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.

People who don't read science fiction (SF) are handicapped in today's world really, because usually they form part of the 99% of humans who are unable to look ahead more than a few months or so and see where society is going. ......Or the people that think Elon Musk is a visionary. He is not a visionary! He is just a smart person, which necessarily includes reading SF, and taking things from there. People who do not read SF think that Musk is the only person on the planet thinking about and developing our future society on Mars...  But there are millions - it's just that he is one of a few billionaires working concretely on it. For example, if you read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson, you'd realise that one of the reasons that Elon Musk now has a tunnel boring company is that we will NEED tunnels on Mars... You'd also realise that the TV rights of the trip to Mars will pay for (most of) the cost of the trip... etc. etc. etc.
Amazon_Go  augmented_reality  Ayn_Rand  authors  books  cautionary_tales  Elon_Musk  entrepreneur  fiction  founders  future  futurists  novels  pay_attention  reading_lists  San_Francisco  science_fiction  Silicon_Valley  start_ups  storytelling  virtual_reality  William_Gibson 
april 2019 by jerryking
How the modern office is killing our creativity
March 14, 2019 | | Financial Times | by Pilita Clark.

Roger Mavity and Stephen Bayley, the design guru, have published "How to Steal Fire", ....a book on one of the most eagerly sought qualities in the business world: creativity. Companies buffeted by a storm of digital disruption and competitive pressures have embraced the need for creative thinking with gusto in recent years, which marks a turnaround......CEOs have talked ....about the importance of innovation (i.e. the implementation of new ideas), but far less attention has been devoted to figuring out how to foster creativity itself.....“The first thing that helps creativity is solitude,” “Creativity is essentially an individual rather than a collective activity.” Sir Isaac Newton was a case in point....The great thoughts that helped him go on to formulate the theory of gravity came after the Great Plague closed his university (Cambridge) and he spent nearly two years shut away in his home in Lincolnshire......When he was running Microsoft, Bill Gates used to head off by himself to a secluded hideaway twice a year for what he called Think Week.....Mavity says: “If you need to produce an idea, isolating yourself can be enormously beneficial.”......“How you do that in a big open-plan office with 100 other people trying to be creative at the same time?.......Solitude is in hopelessly short supply at a time when companies are captivated by the financial allure of the open-plan office and its evil twin, hot-desking. ....The idea that great creative thoughts come from teamwork, brainstorming and the ever-present away day is one of the “great myths” of creativity......the Ringelmann effect, named after a French engineer, Max Ringelmann, who first observed that individual productivity falls as group size increases. Away days can be useful for helping people get to know each other better, but not for generating ideas, said Mr Mavity. As his book puts it: “Brainstorming produces, at best, a light, irritating drizzle of complacent mediocrity.”....smart companies understand the need for focused concentration [JCK: sustained inquiry]...what should executives be doing to foster creativity?....“They have to walk the talk,” ....leaders need to set clear goals and then give people doing creative work the time, resources and autonomy to achieve them....Managers must be genuinely open to new thoughts and make sure good ideas are fostered. “None of it is rocket science or brain surgery,” “But you have to pay attention on a regular basis to whether people have these things.”
advertising  billgates  books  brainstorming  creativity  disruption  ergonomics  innovation  Isaac_Newton  myths  pay_attention  solitude  sustained_inquiry  teams  workplaces  ideas  open-plan 
march 2019 by jerryking
The robot-proof skills that give women an edge in the age of AI
February 11, 2019 | Financial Times |by Sarah O’Connor.

in a world of algorithms and artificial intelligence, communication skills and emotional intelligence — traditionally seen as female strengths — could prove key.

The latest panic about artificial intelligence is that it will deal a blow to women in the workplace..... The concerns are legitimate enough, but they fail to appreciate the big ways in which the world of work is going to change. In fact, it is quite possible the age of AI will belong to women. Men are the ones in danger of being left behind....Some AI tools may be biased against women — a risk for any group that has been historically under-represented in the workplace. Because machine learning tends to learn from historical data, it can perpetuate patterns from the past into the future......It is right to pay attention to these problems and work on solutions. Algorithms shouldn’t be given power without transparency, accountability, and human checks and balances. Top AI jobs should be held by a more diverse set of smart people.....As machines become better at many cognitive tasks, it is likely that the skills they are relatively bad at will become more valuable. This list includes creative problem-solving, empathy, negotiation and persuasion. As Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has put it, “the high-skill, high-pay jobs of the future may involve skills better measured by EQs (a measure of emotional intelligence) than IQs”..... increasing demand in these jobs for supplementary skills such as emotional intelligence, which has given women an edge.....as the AI era dawns, it is the right moment to overhaul the way we value these skills, and the way we teach them. With an eye on the demands of the future, we are trying to persuade girls that coding is not just for boys. So why aren’t we also trying to persuade boys that empathy is not just for girls?

We could start by changing the language we use. For too long we have talked about “soft skills”, with connotations of femininity and a lack of rigour. Let’s call them what they are: “robot-proof skills” that neither men nor women can afford to face the 21st century
21st._century  algorithms  artificial_intelligence  biases  checks_and_balances  dark_side  emotional_intelligence  EQ  future-proofing  gender_gap  machine_learning  soft_skills  smart_people  under-representation  women  workplaces  pay_attention  historical_data 
february 2019 by jerryking
How to Talk to People, According to Terry Gross
Nov. 17, 2018 | The New York Times | By Jolie Kerr.

(1) “Tell me about yourself,” a.k.a the only icebreaker you’ll ever need.
(2) The secret to being a good conversationalist? Curiosity.
(3) Be funny (if you can). “A good conversationalist is somebody who is fun to talk to,” she said. Ms. Gross, it’s worth noting, is very funny. If you can’t be funny, being mentally organized, reasonably concise and energetic will go a long way in impressing people.
(4) Preparation is key. “It helps to organize your thoughts beforehand by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and then reflecting on how you might answer,” think through where your boundaries are, so that you’re not paralyzed agonizing over whether you’re willing to confide something or not.”

In a job interview, organizing your thoughts by thinking about the things you expect you’ll be asked and reflecting on how you might answer can help you navigate if things start to go badly.
(5) Take control by pivoting to something you want to talk about.
(6) Ms. Gross doesn’t want you to dodge questions. But if you’re going to, here’s how: Say, “I don’t want to answer that,” or, if that’s too blunt, hedge with a statement like, “I’m having a difficult time thinking of a specific answer to that.” Going the martyr route with something like, “I’m afraid by answering that I’m going to hurt somebody’s feelings and I don’t want to do that,” is another option.
(7) Terry pays attention to body language. Be like Terry.
(8) When to push back, and when not to.
body_language  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  curiosity  howto  humour  interviews  interview_preparation  job_search  preparation  tips  nonverbal  posture  ice-breakers  concision  Managing_Your_Career  pay_attention 
november 2018 by jerryking
Passive investing is storing up trouble
August 2, 2018 | Financial Times | by Megan Greene.

I was recently informed by the owner of an artificial intelligence fund that markets do not listen to economists any more. .....A fundamental shift in market structure towards rules-based, passive investing over the past decade means a lot of trading is no longer based on fundamentals. But just because some markets do not pay attention to economists, it does not mean economists should not pay attention to these markets........AI quant funds are not waiting on tenterhooks for analysis of every non-farm payrolls report, Fed press conference, Donald Trump tweet, or earnings report. Instead, they look for trading strategies that are succeeding and adopt those strategies until a better one comes along, regardless of the underlying fundamentals. But what happens when the strategy suddenly becomes to sell everything? Will the computers find the buyers they need?.......ETFs, often set up to mimic an index, have to buy more of equities rising in price, sending those stock prices even higher. ETFs similarly ignore fundamentals.....This creates a piling-on effect as funds buy more of these increasingly expensive stocks and less of the cheaper ones in their indices...Risks of a bubble arise when there is no regard for underlying fundamentals or price. It is reasonable to assume a sustained market correction would lead to stocks that were disproportionately bought because of ETFs and index funds being disproportionately sold.

But again, in a crisis will the ETF managers find liquid markets? ....Passive investors and quant funds could also threaten the economy by making markets vastly more complex, noisy and opaque. They send mixed signals to active investors about what the fair value of a stock is. That could cause a significant misallocation of capital.

The danger is exacerbated by the speed at which trading is now done. The average holding period for a security on the New York Stock Exchange has fallen from two months in 2008 to just under 20 seconds today.......Systemic failures, misallocation of capital and dried up liquidity could cause a bear market, dragging on growth when the economic backdrop is already lacklustre......So even though passive investors ignore economists, economists should pay attention to risks posed by the shift in market structure they represent....This is not to say that index funds, ETFs and AI quant funds are necessarily bad. But the real test will come when there is a sudden crisis followed by a sustained bear market.
active_investing  artificial_intelligence  bear_markets  economists  ETFs  holding_periods  index_funds  investing  liquidity  misallocations  NYSE  passive_investing  piling_on  risks  systemic_failures  rules-based  bubbles  quantitative  market_fundamentals  crisis  dark_side  pay_attention 
august 2018 by jerryking
Fine-Tune Your B.S. Detector: You’ll Need It - WSJ
March 19, 2018 | WSJ | By Elizabeth Bernstein.

HOW CAN YOU SPOT B.S.?
Check the source. Is this person an expert or in a position to know the information? Why is he or she telling me? What does the person have to gain?

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that we all suffer from confirmation bias—we’re more likely to believe something that confirms what we already think or want.

Ask questions. Research shows people are more likely to B.S. when they feel they can get away with it. “Ask them simply: ‘Why do you think that? How do you know that is true?’” ......“This will get them thinking critically.”

Don’t trust your gut. People who pause and think about whether information is true are better able to detect false information, research shows. “Rely on your prior knowledge,”

Ask for evidence. This is different than an explanation, which people can continue to spin. Facts don’t lie—but check them to make sure they are real.

Pay attention to people who discount evidence. “I don’t care what the experts say” is a red flag that the person is using B.S.

Stay offline when you’re tired. Research shows we’re more vulnerable to false claims when our cognitive resources—that is, brain power—are depleted.
5_W’s  brainpower  bullshitake  confirmation_bias  critical_thinking  Elizabeth_Bernstein  evidence  gut_feelings  howto  infoliteracy  misinformation  pay_attention  power_of_the_pause  questions  skepticism  unshared_information 
march 2018 by jerryking
Getting smarter, knowing less
March 16, 2018 | FT | by Robert Armstrong.

The point is that for me, and perhaps most people, the main barrier to being smart is not what we do not know. It is the masses of things we know and mistakenly believe to be relevant.

My wife and I have been thinking about the next stage of our kids’ education. Being central-casting middle-class professional types, we hired an educational consultant to talk us through a range of state schools. She provided briefings about each school, crammed with facts about test scores, teacher turnover, class sizes, and so on.

Feeling slightly dizzy, I asked which bits I should pay attention to. She responded — with glorious honesty for someone being paid by the hour — that there was only one piece of information that really mattered: how many students are late or absent on a regular basis. If a school is the kind of place where almost everybody shows up and shows up on time, then it is the kind of place where kids and teachers can achieve a lot together. The rest is noise.

That comment made me smarter, not because it was a surprising revelation but because it allowed me to clear a lot of junk out of my head — and avoid putting a lot more junk into it. What we all need is the cognitive equivalent of decluttering guru Marie Kondo, who can help us to go into our own heads and throw out all the beliefs that have outlived their usefulness.
decluttering  problem_framing  signals  noise  information_overload  questions  smart_people  incisiveness  education  schools  pretense_of_knowledge  pay_attention  what_really_matters  work_smarter 
march 2018 by jerryking
Dr Boyce Watkins: The rise of black immaturity
October 26, 2017 | Black Wealth Channel | by Dr Boyce Watkins.

we must think carefully about what we're saying about the social, political and intellectual maturity of black people when we swear that the only way to get a black person to value learning is by making it light-hearted and fun. As my father used to tell me, "Everything ain't about fun and games. A man has to know when to get serious."

It would be a horrible thing to admit that our people are only capable of paying attention to life-saving knowledge when you mix it with a rap video or a bunch of dance moves. Are we saying that we are so immature that we can't concentrate on anything other than how to do the Electric Slide?....Here's a fact about communities that build real power. In order to obtain true strength in a competitive and racist world, some of us must have the discipline to sit down and PAY ATTENTION. This means paying attention without the bells and whistles, without the music, without the buffoonery. It means seeking to understand the world because that's what grown-ups are supposed to do to protect the people they love......In order for us to move forward, we must grow the hell up. Black people, unfortunately, have been fed and mass marketed false media culture that makes us the #1 consumers of all things unhealthy, including brain dead television, fast food, wasteful consumer spending (to look fly of course), social media and the worship of toxic, dysfunctional, violent, misogynistic, drug-addicted, financially irresponsible celebrities. If you ever want to know why the world doesn't take us seriously, it might be because we don't take ourselves seriously either.
African-Americans  Boyce_Watkins  conspicuous_consumption  distractions  economic_clout  entertainment  immaturity  pay_attention  self-discipline  sustained_inquiry 
october 2017 by jerryking
John Doyle: This is no time to take a vacation from the news
AUGUST 21, 2017 | The Globe and Mail | JOHN DOYLE .

Today the volume of political news can be overwhelming, with crazy events amping up the news cycles ....There is genuine fatigue – and that's understandable – but it's wrong. The temptation is to twist all Trump-related news into one big tumbleweed of tedious acrimony and let it blow away. At this particular time of the year, a lot of people are on vacation and there is aversion to the ill-temper of it all. Best ignore the news, say many people....ignore it at our peril.....I was put in mind of the late Rob Ford, the former Toronto mayor.

Just a few years ago, in this neck if the woods, citizens of Toronto felt they were living in bewildering times. Analysis was beggared by the news as it unfolded – the Rob Ford fandango of revelations, accusations, apologies and freakouts. It was exhausting to watch, let alone cover it. Often, TV and print media covered the Ford situation by relying on the usual menu of some expert pontificating on the marketing and selling of politicians. This was comically useless in the Ford situation. There was no playbook. There were no rules. Does that ring a bell of recognition?....Mr. Ford held sway with his many supporters because, in part, he knew that in the digital age, a portion of the electorate only dips in and out of the news narrative. There's a bunch of people who don't know or care what's real and what's merely sensational half-truths or biased opinion – that became starkly evident during the Ford years in Toronto.

It's important not to be one of those people, not to give in to fatigue and tune out news coverage. If you paid close attention to the Ford phenomenon, you could see what was coming in the politics practised during the digital age. Rob Ford merely insulted the intelligence. Donald Trump is doing far worse than that. Pay attention.
John_Doyle  news  Rob_Ford  Donald_Trump  fatigue  politics  playbooks  pay_attention 
september 2017 by jerryking
How to Become a ‘Superager’ - The New York Times
Gray Matter
By LISA FELDMAN BARRETT DEC. 31, 2016

make a New Year’s resolution to take up a challenging activity. Learn a foreign language. Take an online college course. Master a musical instrument. Work that brain. Make it a year to remember.

Think about the last time you grappled with a math problem or pushed yourself to your physical limits. Hard work makes you feel bad in the moment. The Marine Corps has a motto that embodies this principle: “Pain is weakness leaving the body.” That is, the discomfort of exertion means you’re building muscle and discipline. Superagers are like Marines: They excel at pushing past the temporary unpleasantness of intense effort. Studies suggest that the result is a more youthful brain that helps maintain a sharper memory and a greater ability to pay attention.
aging  howto  cognitive_skills  USMC  resolutions  discomforts  hard_work  struggles  longevity  pay_attention  arduous 
january 2017 by jerryking
Center for the Future of Museums: Painting in Blue
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Painting in Blue

Often, I must repeat what I do for a living. You teach police about art? Not exactly. I teach them to improve their observation and communication skills by learning to analyze works of art. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs have proven to be transformative tools in professional training programs for authorities in law enforcement, intelligence, and counterterrorism. Agencies from around the country and around the world are turning to museum collections to bolster their efforts to combat crime, terrorism, and unrest in our increasingly threatened and complex world....The US spends about $15B each year to train doctors, and over $100B per year to train and maintain police forces. Shouldn’t museums, drawing a direct line from their resources to improved outcomes for these and other critical social needs, be included in that support? ..... In 2001, as Head of Education at The Frick Collection, I instituted a program for medical students, The Art of Perception. Based on a model program at the Yale Center for British Art, the course took medical students from the clinical setting into an art museum to teach them to analyze works of art—big picture and small details—and articulate their observations. When they returned to the hospital, they would, we reasoned, be better observers of their patients. (You can find an assessment of the program in Bardes, Gillers, and Herman, “Learning to Look: Developing Clinical Observational Skills in an Art Museum, Medical Education, vol 35,no.12, pp.1157-1161.) Humanities in medical training has a strong historical precedent and this program underscored the value of critical thinking and visual analysis in the disciplines of both medicine and art history.
art  art_galleries  Communicating_&_Connecting  creativity  critical_thinking  empathy  historical_precedents  inferences  law_enforcement  museums  noticing  observations  pay_attention  perception  policing  the_big_picture  training_programs  visual_analysis  visual_cues 
december 2016 by jerryking
VC Pioneer Vinod Khosla Says AI Is Key to Long-Term Business Competitiveness - CIO Journal. - WSJ
By STEVE ROSENBUSH
Nov 15, 2016

“Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important,” Mr. Khosla said. “So what do you do? You don’t plan for the highest likelihood scenario. You plan for agility. And that is a fundamental choice we make as a nation, in national defense, as the CEO of a company, as the CIO of an infrastructure, of an organization, and in the way we live.”....So change, and predictions for the future, that are important, almost never come from anybody who knows the area. Almost anyone you talk to about the future of the auto industry will be wrong on the auto industry. So, no large change in a space has come from an incumbent. Retail came from Amazon. SpaceX came from a startup. Genentech did biotechnology. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter did media … because there is too much conventional wisdom in industry. ....Extrapolating the past is the wrong way to predict the future, and improbables are not unimportant. People plan around high probability. Improbables, which people don’t pay attention to, are not unimportant, we just don’t know which improbable is important.
Vinod_Khosla  artificial_intelligence  autonomous_vehicles  outsiders  gazelles  unknowns  automotive_industry  change  automation  diversity  agility  future  predictions  adaptability  probabilities  Uber  point-to-point  public_transit  data  infrastructure  information_overload  unthinkable  improbables  low_probability  extrapolations  pay_attention 
november 2016 by jerryking
Network orchestrators are the new path to profit - The Globe and Mail
Jul. 03, 2016 | Special to The Globe and Mail | HARVEY SCHACHTER

* "The Network Imperative" by authors Barry Libert, Megan Beck, and Jerry Wind.

Technology - Shift from physical to digital. Develop a digitally enabled platform around which people can congregate.

Assets - Shift from tangible to intangible assets. Physical assets are becoming a liability. Pay attention to your brand, a key intangible asset, and also view people as an asset, not an expense.

Strategy -move from operator to allocator. As a strategist, Mr. Libert has spent many years working with leaders to figure out what products to sell to what market. But these days, leaders should be active allocators of capital, like portfolio managers.

Leadership - The shift here is from commander – in charge of a highly structured, hierarchical, top-down organization – to co-creator, who knows how to motivate, inspire and work alongside others to develop the network.

Boards - His favourite shift, because it is the most difficult, is the switch from governance to representation.
Finally, the mindset must change to thinking less rigidly about roles, processes, products and industries.
assets  atoms_&_bits  books  business_models  capital_allocation  co-creation  eBay  Etsy  flexibility  Harvey_Schachter  intangibles  mindsets  networks  orchestration  pay_attention  platforms  portfolio_management  physical_assets  resource_allocation 
july 2016 by jerryking
A Burglar’s Guide to the City
Ways of thinking/looking at the built environment. Consider "security architecture".

Studying architecture the way a burglar would, Geoff Manaugh takes readers through walls, down elevator shafts, into panic rooms, and out across the rooftops of an unsuspecting city.

At the core of A Burglar’s Guide to the City is an unexpected and thrilling insight: how any building transforms when seen through the eyes of someone hoping to break into it.

Encompassing nearly 2,000 years of heists and break-ins, the book draws on the expertise of reformed bank robbers, FBI Special Agents, private security consultants, the L.A.P.D. Air Support Division, and architects past and present.

Whether picking locks or climbing the walls of high-rise apartments, finding gaps in a museum’s surveillance routine or discussing home invasions in ancient Rome, A Burglar's Guide to the City ensures readers will never enter a bank again without imagining how to loot the vault or walk down the street without planning the perfect getaway.
Achilles’_heel  architecture  books  counterintuitive  dark_side  fresh_eyes  hacks  heists  mindsets  observations  pay_attention  security  security_consciousness 
april 2016 by jerryking
How Covenants Make Us - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 5, 2016

there are four big forces coursing through modern societies. Global migration is leading to demographic diversity. Economic globalization is creating wider opportunity but also inequality. The Internet is giving people more choices over what to buy and pay attention to. A culture of autonomy valorizes individual choice and self-determination.

All of these forces have liberated the individual, or at least well-educated individuals, but they have been bad for national cohesion and the social fabric. Income inequality challenges economic cohesion as the classes divide. Demographic diversity challenges cultural cohesion as different ethnic groups rub against one another. The emphasis on individual choice challenges community cohesion and settled social bonds.....Strong identities can come only when people are embedded in a rich social fabric. They can come only when we have defined social roles...You take away a rich social fabric and what you are left with is people who are uncertain about who they really are....how do we preserve individual freedom while strengthening social solidarity?

In her new book “Commonwealth and Covenant,” Marcia Pally of N.Y.U. and Fordham offers a clarifying concept. What we want, she suggests, is “separability amid situatedness.” We want to go off and create and explore and experiment with new ways of thinking and living. But we also want to be situated — embedded in loving families and enveloping communities, thriving within a healthy cultural infrastructure that provides us with values and goals.

Creating situatedness requires a different way of thinking. When we go out and do a deal, we make a contract. When we are situated within something it is because we have made a covenant. A contract protects interests, Pally notes, but a covenant protects relationships. A covenant exists between people who understand they are part of one another. It involves a vow to serve the relationship that is sealed by love: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people....Tolerance, he said, means, “I’m going to stomach your right to be different, but if you disappear off the face of the earth I’m no worse off.” Patriotism, on the other hand, means “love of country, which necessitates love of each other, that we have to be a nation that aspires for love, which recognizes that you have worth and dignity and I need you. You are part of my whole, part of the promise of this country.”
David_Brooks  community  social_collaboration  social_integration  covenants  patriotism  books  Commonwealth  values  social_fabric  social_cohesion  social_contract  tolerance  autonomy  individual_choice  self-determination  college-educated  pay_attention 
april 2016 by jerryking
ATTENTION TO DETAIL by Dave Martins and The... - Dave Martins and The Tradewinds
the two biggest concerns for me are, in macro, the Indian/black ethnic division, and, in micro, the widespread tendency to accept or even encourage the sub-standard. For someone who has lived in the developed world, for two or three decades, that discinclination or disability to pay attention to detail in the various aspects of our life, is a jolt, and adjusting to that difference is very difficult because it confronts one daily. ....It is a detail, but we don’t seem to have yet understood in Guyana that the difference between good and excellent is always, absolutely always, in the details. Here, we praise the overall structure and seem oblivious to the pieces left hanging.
More pivotally, the lack is across the board. It is not just in the things we build. It is in the presentations we give, in the shows we stage, even in the way we drive. It is rampant in the media. Without fail, every day, there are punctuation errors, or declensions wrong, or verb/subject disagreements in our newspapers, and the lack of attention to detail in how we say what we say infects the broadcast media as well..... A friend of mine, with an awareness of the problem, says that this lack of attention to detail is now part of our cultural make-up; it is a condition of who we are and what we are. It is Guyana’s sociology in 2013. Cynical as that may be, it is a contention to consider....
Guyanese  Guyana  politics  limitations  detail_oriented  ethnic_divisions  quality  standards  substandard  developed_countries  Dave_Martins  shortcomings  developing_countries  pay_attention 
december 2015 by jerryking
Five things the TD Centre can teach us about how to build Toronto - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

The TD towers were a radical departure both in scale and in style. The tallest of the original two soared to 56 floors, dominating the skyline like nothing before or since. Rising from its six-acre site at King and Bay, it was everything the old buildings around it were not. While they featured arched windows and gargoyles, Greek columns and bronze roofs, the design of the TD Centre was all austerity and simplicity.

It is just this sort of future that the creators of the TD Centre had in mind when they hired one of the era’s most renowned architects to build them something outstanding. The architect was Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), the Chicago-based German émigré who liked to say that “less is more.” He referred to his works as “skin-and-bones” architecture, and his unadorned steel-and-glass boxes were meant to reflect the spirit of a modern technological era.

It took ambition and foresight to pull off something as bold as the TD Centre. It meant thinking about what the city would become instead of just coping with what it was. Those qualities sometimes seem lacking in today’s Toronto. There are still things we can learn from those dark towers.

First, don’t be afraid of tall buildings.
Second, investing in quality pays.
Third, maintain what you have.
Fourth, pay attention to details.
Finally, always think about the future. Toronto, and Canada, were in a risk-taking frame of mind when the first tower took shape. Expo 67, the wildly successful world’s fair, was under way in Montreal. The striking new Toronto City Hall by Finnish architect Viljo Revell had opened two years earlier.
'60s  ambitions  architecture  boldness  foresight  history  lessons_learned  Marcus_Gee  skyscrapers  Bay_Street  TD_Bank  Toronto  design  forward_looking  PATH  detail_oriented  minimalism  quality  Expo_67  risk-taking  mindsets  pay_attention 
may 2015 by jerryking
U.S. Retailers Learn to Speak Canadian - WSJ
By RITA TRICHUR
Dec. 3, 2014

High-profile stumbles are not lost on those still planning to enter. “We’ve been paying attention to every American retailer that moved into Canada,” said Ms. White of Nordstrom, which expects an approximate loss of $35 million in 2014 due to infrastructure and pre-opening costs.

After first announcing its intentions back in 2012, Nordstrom immediately called some its best Canadian customers. Hosting about 160 of those clients in Calgary, Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto, the retailer treated them to hors d’oeuvres while seeking their feedback for a Canadian launch. “Bring us the full Nordstrom. Don’t bring us Nordstrom lite,” was the consistent message.
crossborder  luxury  mens'_clothing  retailers  Harry_Rosen  Nordstrom  localization  Saks  loyalty_management  pay_attention 
december 2014 by jerryking
The Philadelphia Eagles' Secret Coaches: Professors - WSJ
Sept. 16, 2014 | WSJ | Kevin Clark.

Kelly, in his second NFL season after an impressive run at the University of Oregon, has made academics as much a part of the team as the long snapper. He leans on them all off-season for new ideas and has them on speed dial when he needs a quick fix, according to those who have interacted with the Eagles coach.

"Chip says, 'This guy, with his social sciences or psychology or statistical model or his understanding of African-American history, let's bring him in and see if there's even one idea or one sentence that is a piece of trying to get done what I'm trying to accomplish,' ...Kelly is so devoted to the idea that one of his top lieutenants told professors that Kelly's goal is to have a sort of academic conference, where Kelly is essentially the only beneficiary. (Imagine, if you'd like to laugh, a TED talk with Kelly as the only audience member.)...Ericsson then addressed the entire staff in a 90-minute session in which Kelly tried to get to the heart of the matter. Kelly wanted Ericsson to understand the basic training methods of the Eagles, then ask of the professor, "What could be done differently?"

Ericsson's answer is tied to another Kelly secret. The Eagles use memory devices to get players to memorize formations. Safety Malcolm Jenkins said that during meetings, coaches will show an opponent's formation on a screen, and players will attempt to remember it and yell the play call they would use against it. Then, Jenkins said, snapping his fingers, "They start to flash it quicker and quicker. There's less time to process. And so you build those same cognitive skills where it's the same as getting a mental rep on the field."

Ericsson thought this a noble effort, but in his opinion, it wasn't enough. He recommended that the situations be harder to understand—to go beyond the formations and "get them to respond to video clips of more complex scenarios instead of simple, fast recognitions," he said. "You want to encourage players to be more analytical and open them up to more feedback on what they aren't paying attention to."
academia  innovation  football  sports  NFL  memorization  think_differently  pattern_recognition  PhDs  overlooked  coaching  video_clips  pay_attention  visual_cues 
september 2014 by jerryking
World’s largest asset manager rails against companies’ short-term thinking - The Globe and Mail
BOYD ERMAN
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, May. 23 2014,

...Mr. Fink is worried that the great tide of economic growth is not rising as quickly as it could be because of persistent and pernicious short-term thinking. Everyone from Main Street to Wall Street to Pennsylvania Avenue is too focused on near-term waves to pay attention to what the overall water level is doing.

Blogs, polls, the story of the moment – that is what drives peoples’ thinking, he says. That means investment decisions and political moves are based on what’s happening now, and not long-term goals. The economy will bear the cost of this short-term obsession, and so will investors, Mr. Fink warns. He would like to see big changes in everything from accounting to corporate governance to government spending priorities, to reset the focus on more distant horizons....“We need executives in business to start focusing on what is right in the long run,” ...“Societies are having a hard time, politically and economically, adjusting to the immediacy of information: The 24/7 news cycle, blogs, the instantaneous information. It’s very hard. This is one of the things where we are developing a crisis.”...Mr. Fink is particularly frustrated with the lionization of activist investors in the media. Think Bill Ackman, Carl Icahn and others who push for changes that will lead to an immediate runup in the stock price,....Similarly, he is critical of accounting rules that push insurance companies to invest in shorter-term assets, rather than long-term projects such as infrastructure. “Everything is leading toward an underinvestment in infrastructure and an underinvestment in capital expenditures.”...In 1999, the company went public. It has grown incredibly fast ever since. It manages money for everyone from retail investors to pension plans. During the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury hired BlackRock to run assets in the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and the Bank of Greece hired the company to help fix the country’s banking system. (Model for WaudWare?)
BlackRock  Laurence_Fink  asset_management  long-term  Boyd_Erman  Wall_Street  delayed_gratification  thinking  strategic_thinking  Communicating_&_Connecting  CEOs  money_management  shareholder_activism  immediacy  insurance  infrastructure  CAPEX  short-term  short-term_thinking  financial_pornography  pension_funds  underinvestments  noise  pay_attention 
may 2014 by jerryking
Search for a Market Niche, and You Might Find a Crowd - NYTimes.com
By JENNA WORTHAM FEB. 8, 2014

Tristan Walker decided that his moon shot would be revolutionizing the skin-care and beauty-product industry for African-Americans....Kartik Hosanagar, a professor of online commerce at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, said that even the smallest companies would soon have to start paying attention to so-called unconventional markets.

“There are still two Silicon Valleys,” Mr. Hosanagar said. “Young entrepreneurs in San Francisco, working at a tech firm, surrounded by the tech 1 percent, solving problems for the 1 percent. And there are companies that manage to break through that and become relevant. The Googles, Twitters and Facebooks of the world.”

The companies that break out, he said, are successful because they are adept at appealing to all users. But even those tech giants must think ever more broadly if they are to have continued success and growth. Signs suggest that these companies are trying to extend their reach and understand the complexity and diversity of their users and potential users.
African-Americans  niches  entrepreneur  moonshots  Foursquare  Andreessen_Horowitz  unconventional_thinking  personal_care_products  personal_grooming  underserved  Bottom_of_the_Pyramid  Jenna_Wortham  Tristan_Walker  pay_attention 
february 2014 by jerryking
Ten habits of the world’s best connection makers - The Globe and Mail
Scott Dinsmore

Young Entrepreneur Council

Published Friday, Jan. 10 2014,

1. Smile.
2. See friends, not strangers.
3. Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends.
4. Be genuine. If you’re connecting just because you want to get yourself further up the ladder, then you’ve already lost. There is only one type of connection — one you genuinely care about.
5. Contribute. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job or anything in between — there is a way to help everyone. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.
6. Pay attention. The easiest way to be interesting is to be interested.
7. Make people a priority.
8. Be open to conversation.
9. Know who you are and who you want in your life.
10. Be uniquely YOU.
attention  authenticity  Communicating_&_Connecting  conversations  friendships  habits  networking  pay_attention  self-awareness  serving_others 
january 2014 by jerryking
Beware the Tech Bubble—But Stay Calm - WSJ.com
By Farhad Manjoo

Dec. 29, 2013

two-step guide for reaping the best from tech while staving off the next bout of irrational exuberance. Think of it as my year-end gift to you, a clip-and-save guide for preventing a new tech bubble.

Step 1: Worry. If you're an investor, employee, founder, tech journalist or in some other way connected to the tech business, worrying about the bubble is your best defense against the bubble. Worrying keeps you sharp. Worrying keeps magical thinking at bay. As in the 1990s, the tech industry is pushing grand, society-transforming novelties on the rest of the world. If you're not worried that some of these claims are crazy, you're not paying attention.

Step 2: Don't panic. Don't let your anxiety become all-consuming. If you study the last dot-com boom, you'll see profound differences between what happened then and what's happening now. Unlike in the 1990s, today's public markets have yet to fully buy in to the boom; it's difficult to take a tech company public, and a newly public company can expect to be judged harshly by the press and investors if it shows any sign of weakness. This factor—the stock market's demand for results—is an enormous difference from the last boom. And it is reason enough to hold off on any panic.

Now, I know that my plan—worry, but don't panic—sounds like a glib, easy way to deal with tech's rise. As a columnist, I strive for firmer, less squishy opinions. I want to say, "Hey, keep partying, there's no bubble!" or "Everyone hide, doom awaits, the end is nigh!"

But unfortunately, the truth is more nuanced and complicated. People with an interest in tech should be on guard against the bubble at the same time they are open to the transformative powers of tech.
Silicon_Valley  technology  bubbles  IPOs  skepticism  paranoia  happy_talk  Farhad_Manjoo  keep_calm  wishful_thinking  worrying  panics  tech-utopianism  pay_attention 
december 2013 by jerryking
For Most Small Companies Patents Are Just About Worthless -
10/04/2013 | Forbes | Todd Hixon

A widespread meme in the tech community holds that patents are a path to riches: an entrepreneur who solves a key technical problem and receives a patent can build a business on the technology and ride to glory. Xerox and Polaroid are celebrated examples (both now nearly extinct). But, IMHO, for most small companies today, patents are just about worthless. Many entrepreneurs misunderstand the value patents create, and how difficult they are to enforce........A patent is a sword, not a shield. It gives you the right to attack a competitor who makes commercial use of ("infringes") your patented technology. Contrary to common belief, it does not give you the right to practice your technology free of interference.....Patents are often quite narrow and hence can be circumvented: they might apply to a specific design element or combination of characteristics. They have effect only in the jurisdiction of the patent-granting authority: effective world coverage requires six to ten patents in different geographies......Enforcing your patent in the courts is a nightmare. Plan on 3-5 years and $3-$5 million to get to a judgment. And then there is the appeal ... Usually the stakes and time frame will be too much for a start-up. .......In the information technology world, patents have the most value in the hands of big companies, as part of patent “portfolios” so large that any competitor is bound to infringe some of them. They use this weapon to attack competitors (usually smaller ones) that lack patent portfolios: e.g., the lawsuits against Google ’s Android operating system. To defend itself, Google acquired Motorola, which owned a large relevant patent portfolio. Now Google can counter-sue. The usual result among the big companies is a stand-off, reciprocal licensing, or a patent pool wherein the major competitors share their patents, and new entrants are out in the cold.

My suggestions for a small technology companies*:

* Don’t base your business strategy on patents. And don’t try to raise money primarily on the basis of patents; most likely this will fail and you will appear naïve.
* It’s worthwhile to file patents for your key inventions in the U.S. (what patent-savvy universities do), but don’t go much beyond that.
* Pay close attention to patents that others hold which might enable competitors to block you. In my experience “freedom to operate” is more important when evaluating a business plan than patent ownership.
* It will rarely make sense for a small company to sue a big company for patent infringement. The lawyers will probably be the winners.
* Non-patent intellectual property strategies can hold off copycats effectively. Trade secrets (parts of the product or production technology that are hard for competitors to replicate), knowledge of customers, and superior rate of innovation work best.
* Build your business on real competitive advantages: product value-in-use, customer relationships, rapid innovation. Don’t count on patents to defend you from your competitors.
cross-licensing  patents  patent_litigation  portfolios  portfolio_management  offensive_tactics  pay_attention  small_business  start_ups 
october 2013 by jerryking
Saving Your Career When Your Position Has Been Outsourced
Dec. 12, 1995 | WSJ | HAL LANCASTER.

here are some rules for keeping your career moving after outsourcing:

When the announcement is made:

If you're surprised, you have already been left at the starting gate.

Messrs. Travis and Molter had an excuse, outsourcing was rare then. Anybody who claims surprise today isn't paying attention.

KNOW YOUR company's financial condition, how much cost-cutting it's doing and which operations qualify for the chopping block. If your department looks ripe for outsourcing you should already be looking for a less vulnerable position.

If not, contact key executives to assess opportunities for staying put.

You'll hear a lot of hooey about ``core competencies'' and ``aligning with corporate goals.'' Translation: Find a job the company can't afford to cut, or start looking elsewhere.

Prepare to wow the new folks.

You know the drill: research the company, its strategy, how you can contribute, etc. Dust off any ideas you have about how to do your job more efficiently.

After the move:

Quickly survey the landscape.

Who are the power brokers? Who are potential mentors? Andersen assigns a coach to help the outsourced, Mr. Wray says.

Be active.

Take advantage of any get-together, social or professional, to get acquainted with important new colleagues in your department and elsewhere, Mr. Molter says. ``If you're not aggressive,'' Mr. Wray counsels, ``you can feel like an outsider.''

Look for opportunities to learn new things.

Mr. Molter started taking management and technical classes. ``Don't stagnate on the job,'' he says. Make sure you're continually trying to improve yourself and making yourself available for future positions.''
Outsourcing  tips  Hal_Lancaster  survival  survival_techniques  stagnation  Managing_Your_Career  power_brokers  pay_attention 
december 2012 by jerryking
Why Listening Is So Much More Than Hearing - NYTimes.com
By SETH S. HOROWITZ
Published: November 9, 2012

The difference between the sense of hearing and the skill of listening is attention.

Hearing is a vastly underrated sense.... hearing is a quantitatively fast sense. While it might take you a full second to notice something out of the corner of your eye, turn your head toward it, recognize it and respond to it, the same reaction to a new or sudden sound happens at least 10 times as fast.

This is because hearing has evolved as our alarm system — it operates out of line of sight and works even while you are asleep. And because there is no place in the universe that is totally silent, your auditory system has evolved a complex and automatic “volume control,” fine-tuned by development and experience, to keep most sounds off your cognitive radar unless they might be of use as a signal that something dangerous or wonderful is somewhere within the kilometer or so that your ears can detect.

This is where attention kicks in.

Attention is not some monolithic brain process. There are different types of attention, and they use different parts of the brain. The sudden loud noise that makes you jump activates the simplest type: the startle. A chain of five neurons from your ears to your spine takes that noise and converts it into a defensive response in a mere tenth of a second — elevating your heart rate, hunching your shoulders and making you cast around to see if whatever you heard is going to pounce and eat you. This simplest form of attention requires almost no brains at all and has been observed in every studied vertebrate.

More complex attention kicks in when you hear your name called from across a room or hear an unexpected birdcall from inside a subway station. This stimulus-directed attention is controlled by pathways through the temporoparietal and inferior frontal cortex regions, mostly in the right hemisphere — areas that process the raw, sensory input, but don’t concern themselves with what you should make of that sound. (Neuroscientists call this a “bottom-up” response.)

But when you actually pay attention to something you’re listening to, whether it is your favorite song or the cat meowing at dinnertime, a separate “top-down” pathway comes into play. Here, the signals are conveyed through a dorsal pathway in your cortex, part of the brain that does more computation, which lets you actively focus on what you’re hearing and tune out sights and sounds that aren’t as immediately important.

In this case, your brain works like a set of noise-suppressing headphones, with the bottom-up pathways acting as a switch to interrupt if something more urgent — say, an airplane engine dropping through your bathroom ceiling — grabs your attention.

Hearing, in short, is easy. You and every other vertebrate that hasn’t suffered some genetic, developmental or environmental accident have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. It’s your life line, your alarm system, your way to escape danger and pass on your genes. But listening, really listening, is hard when potential distractions are leaping into your ears every fifty-thousandth of a second — and pathways in your brain are just waiting to interrupt your focus to warn you of any potential dangers.

Listening is a skill that we’re in danger of losing in a world of digital distraction and information overload.

And yet we dare not lose it. Because listening tunes our brain to the patterns of our environment faster than any other sense, and paying attention to the nonvisual parts of our world feeds into everything from our intellectual sharpness to our dance skills.

Luckily, we can train our listening just as with any other skill.
10x  listening  attention  hearing  senses  information_overload  distractions  perception  empathy  signals  physiological_response  bottom-up  top-down  pay_attention 
november 2012 by jerryking
Personal Business; Amid a Flood of Recalls, Who's Paying Attention?
April 14, 2002 | New York Times | By SANA SIWOLOP.

IF it seems that companies are announcing more and more recalls lately, on products from tires to toys to turkey, it's not your imagination.

The number of product recalls has indeed been rising steadily, and by some measures the increases have been big. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which oversees more than 15,000 types of consumer products, said that there were more recalls last year -- 344 separate products -- than in most years over the last decade. The Agriculture Department, which regulates meats, reported 87 voluntary recalls last year, nearly double the 44 of 1998. At the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, officials said recalls of vehicles, tires and equipment like child car seats totaled 490 in 2001 and 554 in 2000, the two highest figures on record....Still, consumers now have far more resources available for tracking and complying with recalls on their own, thanks largely to the Internet....The increase in recalls has a variety of explanations. Some federal agencies have become more aggressive in having companies comply with product safety laws. The Consumer Product Safety Commission, which develops safety standards and can issue recalls, has stepped up enforcement of fines for companies in violation of the laws,...Many companies, trying to stay in consumers' good graces and to prevent lawsuits, are taking action voluntarily, experts say. Recalls can result from mistakes like mislabeling of food ingredients or from problems like design or manufacturing flaws....(Business Opportunity ''I'd like to see companies devote the same amount of sales and marketing information to a recall as they do to marketing a product in the first place,'')
product_recalls  CPSC  regulatory_standards  product_safety  pay_attention 
june 2012 by jerryking
Hot Commodities
May 2004 | Robb Report Worth |by John Fried.

When you invest in say, copper, you have to determine whether there is too much supply of copper or too little. You have to figure out how many copper mines are being opened and how many are dpelted. Once you uncderstand those dynamics, you invest. If you inves tin the stock of a copper company, you have to look at those samle macro issues as well as corporate fundamentals. You have to worry about management, balance sheets, continuing practices, and how well the board of directors handles its pension plan . You have to worry about the overall mood of the stock market, the U.S. economy, and well as foreign economies. To me, cutting out the middle man is a lot easier....As a savvy commodities investor you must pay attention to the macro fundamentals--supply, demand, inventories--as well as the mood of the market in order to find your sell sign.
Jim_Rogers  commodities  investing  China  water  gold  market_sentiment  pay_attention 
may 2012 by jerryking
"Portrait of a perfect salesman."
3 May 2012| Financial Times | Philip Delves Broughton.

Tips for closing any deal

Know the odds

Most salespeople face far more rejection than acceptance. Knowing how many calls or meetings it takes to make each sale helps develop the positive attitude vital to succeed. After all, 99 rejections may be just the prelude to that triumphant yes.

Find a selling environment that suits you

Some people are great seducers, others dogged persuaders. Some like to make lots of sales each day, others prefer making one a year. Some enjoy high financial incentives, others thrive on the human relationships. Decide who you are first, then find a sales role that suits your personality type.

Be your customer's partner not their adversary

Great salespeople create value around products and services that they can convey and deliver to their customers. Paying attention and acting in the interests of your customer rather than yourself is very difficult. But as information about price and features becomes more widely available, service and relationships become the real value in each sale.
sales  selling  Philip_Delves_Broughton  Salesforce  character_traits  personality_types/traits  customer_centricity  ratios  partnerships  relationships  rejections  salesmanship  salespeople  success_rates  customer_focus  pay_attention  positive_thinking  solutions  solution-finders 
may 2012 by jerryking
Chilled Summer Soups - WSJ.com
AUGUST 6, 2011 | WSJ | By ALEKSANDRA CRAPANZANO. Like
spoonfuls of summer, cold purées transform everyday vegetables into pure
refreshment. Recipes for Asparagus Vichyssoise, Chilled Beet Gazpacho,
Chilled Almond Soup, Chilled Sake Cucumber Honeydew Soup, Chilled Corn
Soup with Fresh Nutmeg...There are three secrets to chilled perfection:
Blend, blend and blend again for an elegant smoothness. The consistency
should be that of a velouté, thicker than a smoothie, but still a tad
thinner than a winter bisque. And don't skimp on the chilling time: A
good three hours in the fridge is essential to achieve an even and
thorough cool; an iced tureen and bowls will keep the soup cold when
eating outdoors. Last but never least: Pay attention to texture. Garnish
the soup with a scattering of tiny fried bread cubes, minced nuts or
chopped herbs—that little something to bite into is always gratifying
and offers a pleasing surprise.
summertime  recipes  soups  vegetables  gazpacho  asparagus  pay_attention 
august 2011 by jerryking
How to make small talk - The Globe and Mail
HADLEY DYER
From Monday's Globe and Mail
Published Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010
the art of conversation is combining good technique with the right
attitude. (1) Arrive armed. Do your homework. Scan the headlines. (2)
Pay attention. “Sometimes listening is better than talking.”. (3) Give
and take. Seek a recommendation. Give a compliment. . “Say, 'That's a
beautiful jacket. Where did you get it?' (4) Wrap it up, gracefully. “I
don't like it when someone says, 'I'm going to the bar to replenish my
drink.' I think it's better to say, 'Would you like to come with me?’ ”
Mr. Hyndman says. “If they don't move on, at least you're in motion. You
might be able to include other people along the way and bring in some
new topics, because you've obviously run dry, but always be conscious of
not hurting their feelings.”
howto  Communicating_&_Connecting  ice-breakers  conversations  listening  small_talk  pay_attention 
march 2011 by jerryking
Hot New Marketing Trends
August 2006 | Entrepreneur Magazine | By Gwen Moran. Go
Online:
"Think globally, act locally" is now the mantra for entrepreneurs
advertising online. Online ad spending is up as much as 33 percent over
last year, says David J. Moore, chairman and CEO of digital marketing
firm 24/7 Real Media Inc. in New York City. Earlier this year, Google
announced a new local advertising program linked to its map service and
AdWords program, allowing businesses to drive some of Google's traffic
to their brick-and-mortar locations.

"[Entrepreneurs] should pay attention to any targeting that allows them
to increase advertising efficiency by reaching users in their particular
geographic area," says Moore. Online ads are also migrating to podcasts
and blogs, where advertisers can reach very specific niche audiences.
And with increased access to broadband and the falling cost of video
production, Moore foresees a rise in online video ads for businesses as
well.
marketing  trends  local_advertising  City_Voice  targeting  target_marketing  bricks-and-mortar  web_video  pay_attention 
july 2010 by jerryking
Op-Ed Columnist - The Sandra Bullock Trade - NYTimes.com
March 29, 2010 | NYT | By DAVID BROOKS. Marital happiness is
far more important than anything else in determining personal
well-being. If you have a successful marriage, it doesn’t matter how
many professional setbacks you endure, you will be reasonably happy. If
you have an unsuccessful marriage, it doesn’t matter how many career
triumphs you record, you will remain significantly unfulfilled...the
correspondence between personal relationships and happiness is not
complicated. The daily activities most: associated with happiness are
sex, socializing after work and having dinner with others...injurious to
happiness is commuting...to find a good place to live, ask people if
they trust their neighbors...interpersonal relationships [are]
important...We need better preparation at making social decisions. “The
Hidden Wealth of Nations” by David Halpern & “The Politics of
Happiness” by Derek Bok — argue that public institutions should pay
attention to well-being and not just material growth.
books  happiness  relationships  marriage  David_Brooks  trustworthiness  life_skills  personal_relationships  pay_attention 
march 2010 by jerryking
Gaining and holding attention in a cluttered world
Jun 2007 | Public Relations Tactics. New York: Vol. 14, Iss.
6; pg. 6, 1 pgs | by John Guiniven. In their breakthrough book "The
Attention Economy," Thomas Davenport and John Beck said an important
distinction exists between awareness and attention."We are aware of many
things, but not paying attention to them,' ' they wrote.When we focus
on a particular item, we become engaged, attentive, and we move to a
decision phase, which leads to the sought-after and repeat
behaviors....Finally, evaluation, often ignored in awareness campaigns,
needs to be incorporated into attention campaigns. Was the message
source - the spokesperson or the organization itself- seen as
trustworthy and credible? Was the message context related to a concern
of the audience?Was the message content engaging to the point of
audience involvement? Did the audience consider the substance of the
message?
attention  public_relations  ProQuest  Thomas_Davenport  analytics  attention_spans  awareness  attention_economy  Communicating_&_Connecting  messaging  pay_attention 
march 2010 by jerryking
To get an investment edge, learn to recognize business stars
Feb 10, 2007 | The Globe & Mail pg. B.9 | by Avner
Mandelman. Therefore, if you invest, see yourself as a business fan, and
pay attention to individual business stars: Follow their careers, learn
what they do and how they do it, what they succeed in and where they
fail -- and try to remember what they look like. If you do that, you'll
often have an edge over those who don't. Sure, you must know the
numbers, too, and the industry. But if you can identify a young
business-Kobe-Bryant joining -- or quitting -- a company, you may take
the money of those who only see a press release. Star talent matters
greatly, both in sports, and in business.
Avner_Mandelman  sleuthing  scuttlebutt  proprietary  star_power  slight_edge  Bay_Street  sports  Pablo_Picasso  talent  personal_knowledge  pay_attention 
february 2010 by jerryking
Look out for well-informed shoppers in 2010
January 4, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Harvey Schachter.
Searching for stability; Reading the fine print; Maximum disclosure; The
devil wears packaging; Pay attention to emerging giants; Trickle-up
innovation; Retooling for an aging world; Life in real time;
Location-based everything; Visual fluency.
The continuing shift from words to images will accelerate. Communicators
across all sectors will need to find innovative visual ways to convey
information.
Harvey_Schachter  JWT  trends  location_based_services  aging  BRIC  luxury  visualization  infographics  Communicating_&_Connecting  jugaad  innovation  visual_culture  trickle-up  pay_attention 
january 2010 by jerryking
How to Be a Billionaire: Worry!
Monday, Feb. 05, 2001| TIME | By JOSHUA COOPER RAMO. For
George Soros, the problem is not how to make money. That's easy, he
believes. You do that by spotting mistakes. The problem is the mistakes
themselves. Soros thinks that our history, especially economic history,
is sculpted by blunders. It's a radical proposition, as if you suggested
that Botticelli's best art was the result of paint splatters. But Soros
is insistent: mistakes make history. They also make--and
destroy--fortunes. Soros, who made a fortune looking for and finding
mistakes, worries we are making one now. He picks up on these errors by
listening to his money. These days he doesn't like what he
hears..."George is signal," says a Fed adviser, referring to the high
noise-signal ratio among advice givers to Alan Greenspan.

===================================================
From Farhad Manjoo
Step 1: Worry. If you're an investor, employee, founder, tech journalist or in some other way connected to the tech business, worrying about the bubble is your best defense against the bubble. Worrying keeps you sharp. Worrying keeps magical thinking (i.e. happy talk) at bay. As in the 1990s, the tech industry is pushing grand, society-transforming novelties on the rest of the world. If you're not worried that some of these claims are crazy, you're not paying attention.
====================================================
George_Soros  Joshua_Cooper_Ramo  financial_history  wishful_thinking  Kissinger_Associates  pattern_recognition  patterns  moguls  lessons_learned  mistakes  Bank_of_England  financiers  negative_space  investors  signals  worrying  paranoia  human_errors  economic_history  happy_talk  pay_attention 
october 2009 by jerryking

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