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jerryking : wisdom   28

Opinion | The Wisdom Your Body Knows - The New York Times
By David Brooks
Opinion Columnist

Nov. 28, 2019

**
** “How Emotions Are Made” by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
This has been a golden age for brain research.....we mistakenly believe that thinking happens only from the neck up.......scientists are now focusing on the thinking that happens not in your brain but in your gut. You have neurons spread through your innards, and there’s increasing attention on the vagus nerve, which emerges from the brain stem and wanders across the heart, lungs, kidney and gut. The vagus nerve is one of the pathways through which the body and brain talk to each other in an unconscious conversation. Much of this conversation is about how we are relating to others. Human thinking is not primarily about individual calculation, but about social engagement and cooperation.....When you enter a new situation, Porges argues, your body reacts. Your heart rate may go up. Your blood pressure may change. Signals go up to the brain, which records the “autonomic state” you are in....

a main purpose of the brain is to read the body, and to regulate "the body budget". Spotting a bully on the playground may cause one's brain to predict actions, speeds heart rates and breathing to deal with it. We experience these changes as emotion — e.g. fear, anger, etc. — because our brain has created an emotion concept [JCK - a lexicon??] to make those physical changes meaningful.

“You might think that in everyday life, the things you see and hear influence what you feel, but it’s mostly the other way around: What you feel alters your sight and hearing,”....... Under the old brain-only paradigm, we told people to self-regulate their emotions through conscious self-talk. But real emotional help comes through co-regulation. When a mother and a child physically hold each other, their bodily autonomic states harmonize, connecting on a metabolic level. Together they move from separate distress to mutual calm........the Welch Emotional Connection Screen, which measures the emotional connection between mothers and pre-term babies. ....When we step back and see the brain and body thinking together, the old distinction between reason and emotion doesn’t seem to make sense. Our perception of the world is shaped by the predictions our brains make about our physical autonomic states. It is vital to teach emotional granularity, something our culture pays almost no attention to. We’re not separate brains, coolly observing each other. We’re physical viscera, deeply interacting with each other. The important communication is happening at a much deeper level.
biology  Communicating_&_Connecting  David_Books  digestive_systems  emotional_connections  emotions  gastrointestinal  guts  human_anatomy  human_behavior  human_brains  logic_&_reasoning  mental_health  metabolism  op-ed  physical_touch  physiological_response  psychology  stress_response  thinking  wisdom 
11 weeks ago by jerryking
Kawhi’s silence was golden for making a deal without making enemies - The Globe and Mail
CATHAL KELLY
PUBLISHED JULY 7, 2019

"Never let anyone outside of the family know what you're thinking.". Vito Corleone.
basketball  Cathal_Kelly  closedmouth  cunning  deal-making  Kawhi_Leonard  lessons_learned  NBA  silence  smart_people  taciturn  Toronto_Raptors  wisdom 
july 2019 by jerryking
Quantum Computing Will Reshape Digital Battlefield, Says Former NSA Director Hayden - CIO Journal. - WSJ
Jun 27, 2018 | WSJ | By Jennifer Strong.

In the ongoing battle between law enforcement and Apple Inc. over whether the company should assist the government in cracking into iPhones, Mr. Hayden says it “surprised a lot of folks that people like me generally side with Apple” and its CEO Tim Cook.

Do you believe there’s a deterrence failure when it comes to cyber threats?

Yes, and it’s been really interesting watching this debate take shape. I’m hearing folks who think we should be more aggressive using our offensive cyber power for defensive purposes. Now that’s not been national policy. We have not tried to dissuade other countries from attacking us digitally by attacking them digitally.

What are your current thoughts on quantum encryption or quantum codebreaking?

When machine guns arrived it clearly favored the defense. When tanks arrived? That favored the offense. One of the tragedies of military history is that you’ve got people making decisions who have not realized that the geometry of the battlefield has changed because of new weapons. And so you have the horrendous casualties in World War I and then you’ve got the French prepared to fight World War I again and German armor skirts the Maginot Line. Now I don’t know whether quantum computing will inherently favor the offense or inherently favor the defense, when it comes to encryption, security, espionage and so on, but I do know it’s going to affect something.

What other emerging technologies are you watching?

Henry Kissinger wrote an article about this recently in which he warned against our infatuation with data and artificial intelligence. We can’t let data crowd out wisdom. And so when I talk to people in the intelligence community who are going all out for big data and AI and algorithms I say, “you really do need somebody in there somewhere who understands Lebanese history, or the history of Islam.”
Michael_Hayden  codebreaking  security_&_intelligence  quantum_computing  NSA  Apple  cyber_security  encryption  cyber_warfare  Henry_Kissinger  wisdom  national_strategies  offensive_tactics  defensive_tactics 
june 2018 by jerryking
Four qualities the wealthy look for when seeking out advisers - The Globe and Mail
| SPECIAL TO THE GLOBE AND MAIL | ANDREW MARSH, Andrew Marsh is president and chief executive officer of independent wealth-management firm Richardson GMP Ltd.

6 HOURS AGO

They look for these four essential qualities in their advisers – and you should, too:

Ability to challenge assumptions

There's a common misconception that wealthy people seek out "yes men" who simply agree with their opinions. Not in my experience. HNW investors value professionals who challenge assumptions and push back (hard) on long-held client beliefs – someone who isn't afraid to ask pointed, difficult questions about risk.

This kind of valued, trusted, sometimes contrary second opinion is a big reason why HNW investors work with professionals in the first place.

Belief in 'road maps'

Risk is often a reactive experience: It becomes an issue only when "stuff happens." That's not the way HNW investors think about it.

Instead, they're looking for advisers who can create a "risk road map" that anticipates the "stuff" that might come up, and outlines an appropriate asset allocation. The ultimate goal is to optimize the portfolio and align it with the risk needed to achieve specific financial goals – why aim for 12-per-cent returns if 7 per cent is all you need?

A 'wise counsellor'

Financial planner, portfolio manager, coach, confidant – advisers take on many roles with their clients. But the one that matters most to HNW individuals is that of counsellor: the calm voice of reason in times of uncertainty.

The best advisers I know have an extraordinary ability to be the "cool hand" when market noise is at its peak. They talk clients through anxieties and worries, and hold clients to long-term plans when the temptation to deviate arises (such as right now).

Understands the limits

Finally, great advisers understand their clients' risk limits. They ask clients difficult questions about risk tolerance, and they probe clients constantly to understand the boundaries of their financial comfort.

Great advisers work hard to ensure the advice they're giving to clients aligns with the information they're getting from clients – both the words and the unarticulated feelings behind those words. They understand that the best way to manage risk is to never allow their client to be in a situation that feels risky.
advice  anticipation  asset_allocation  assumptions  contrarians  financial_advisors  high_net_worth  investment_advice  risk-tolerance  roadmaps  unarticulated_desires  uncertainty  wisdom 
august 2017 by jerryking
I see history as my root and my illumination
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.

Sir, I am a bit perplexed at how Henry Mance can assert that history is “rarely instructive” (“ ‘Dunkirk’ shows that the past is not an open book”, July 29). At Stanford University, I was particularly attracted to history because Dionysius of Halicarnassus praised it as “philosophy learnt by example” [ Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric, who flourished during the reign of Caesar Augustus.]. Even to this day, such study helps me heed the counsel of the dead and marshal the strength of my own mind.

I see history as a laboratory rich in a hundred thousand experiments in economics, religion, literature, science and government. I see history as my root and my illumination, as the road from whence I came and the only light that can clarify the present and guide me into the future.

As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe stated: “He who cannot draw on 3,000 years is living from hand to mouth.” (i.e. my take is that being able to draw on 3,000 yrs. of living is the definition of wisdom).
========================================

Comment:
Gene 4 days ago
History is the great uncontrolled experiment on human behavior. Lessons should be drawn from it with caution (as history shows).
letters_to_the_editor  history  quotes  tools  hand-to-mouth  Greek  lessons_learned  skepticism  experimentation  wisdom  human_behavior  the_counsel_of_the_dead  foresight  Kwame_Nkrumah 
august 2017 by jerryking
Some of the Wisest Words Ever Spoken About Investing - MoneyBeat - WSJ
By JASON ZWEIG
Nov 25, 2016

Investing is often portrayed as a battle between you and the markets. Instead, Graham wrote, “the investor’s chief problem — and even his worst enemy — is likely to be himself.”

Evaluating yourself honestly is at least as important as evaluating your investments accurately. If you don’t force yourself to learn your limits as an investor, then it doesn’t matter how much you learn about the markets: Your emotions will be your undoing....Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman with his book Thinking, Fast and Slow.
I’m especially grateful that he taught me this: “The most important question is, ‘What is the base rate?’”....Michael Mauboussin, a strategist at Credit Suisse, has taken that hint and compiled base rates for all sorts of corporate measures, so investors can readily check a company’s projections against reality.....From the economist and investing writer Peter Bernstein, who died in 2009, I learned about Pascal’s wager: You must weigh not only the alluring probabilities of being right, but the dire consequences of being wrong....Finally, Mr. Bernstein never tired of emphasizing that we can never know the future — least of all at the very moments when it seems most certain....Richard Dawkins pointed out in a lecture in 1996, many of us today know more about the world around us than Aristotle, the greatest mind of his age, did more than 2,300 years ago: “Science is cumulative, and we live later.”

Investing knowledge is also cumulative, and we all benefit from those who have already learned — and taught — how it works.
investing  investors  gratitude  Peter_Bernstein  wisdom  economists  Jason_Zweig  ETFs  books  Benjamin_Graham  pretense_of_knowledge  base_rates  Michael_Mauboussin  self-awareness  self-analysis  self-reflective  proclivities  probabilities  Pascal’s_wager  Daniel_Kahneman  delusions  self-delusions  emotions  Achilles’_heel  cumulative  Nobel_Prizes 
november 2016 by jerryking
If you want a good PR person, hire a soccer player -
AUGUST 26, 2014 | PRConsultants Group| By Margaret Nathan, Partner at Strategic Communication, Inc.

"...the best PR people are always the ones who know the playing field cold, the ones who know where all the bodies are buried and who can feel the space and timing of a great opportunity or a good story, who know the best people in the company from whom to get information and how not to hide, but to explain.

As Critchley writes, “Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” A good PR person or public relations firm operation is the same.

I frequently get asked from clients why isn’t my acquisition, my product, my company front-page news. Well now I can explain it. If you have the “product” and your company runs the “right formations to control the space” and your competitors are in awe, you probably have a great story.

Good PR people should be able to help your company run the “right formations” and structure the right timing and space around the company and then always be able to provide three to four options for the company to run with. While baseball is also a team sport, it is primarily driven by individual achievement. “The team who performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game,” according to Brooks. But the question is can they win it for the long haul.

“Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning,” said Brooks.

So I would encourage everyone who is hiring a Public Relations firm to ask yourselves are these guys’ soccer players or a baseball team? If the PR firm or the PR person is not constantly re-evaluating your business, introducing you to new ideas and people to drive your business then go find someone who will. Go find a soccer player.
spatial_awareness  soccer  public_relations  wisdom  collective_intelligence  sophisticated  competitive_landscape  generating_strategic_options  professional_service_firms  long-haul  Simon_Critchley 
september 2016 by jerryking
The Money Letter That Every Parent Should Write - The New York Times
By RON LIEBER JUNE 17, 2016

"....consider the old-fashioned letter. It’s long enough to tell some tales to bolster your advice, and if it’s written with enough soul, there’s a good chance the recipient will keep it for a long time. Plus, it’s a literal conversation piece, since the good letters will inspire more curiosity about how the writers oversee their own financial affairs....A good letter, according to Ms. Palmer, should include at least one story about a large financial challenge and another one about a big money triumph. Then, include a list of crucial habits and the tangible things they have helped the family achieve.

HEED YOUR IGNORANCE Quite often, the best stories and takeaways come from the biggest mistakes.
BEWARE OF GENIUS: Don’t trust the person who claims to be omniscient either.
STICK TO YOUR SELLING PLANS We can be blinded by flattery from the seats of power,” “Be aware of this in your business lives.” Selling something that is still valuable is the hardest part of any trade, he added. So if you can’t name three good reasons to continue owning something, then it’s time to sell.
BUDGETS ARE ABOUT VALUES. What you spend says a lot about what you stand for, and if you don’t like what your own notebook says about you, try to make it look different next month.
personal_finance  parenting  Communicating_&_Connecting  writing  investing  investors  mentoring  values  budgets  advice  self-discipline  lessons_learned  wisdom  habits  financial_planning  ownership  ignorance  origin_story  takeaways  family  storytelling  financial_challenges  family_office  generational_wealth  soul-enriching  coverletters  unsentimental 
june 2016 by jerryking
The path to enlightenment and profit starts inside the office
(Feb. 2, 2016): The Financial Times | John Thornhill.

Competition used to be easy. That is in theory, if not always in practice. Until recently, most competent companies had a clear idea of who their rivals were, how to compete and on what field to fight.

One of the starkest - and scariest - declarations of competitive intent came from Komatsu, the Japanese construction equipment manufacturer, in the 1970s. As employees trooped into work they would walk over doormats exhorting: "Kill Caterpillar!". Companies benchmarked their operations and market share against their competitors to see where they stood.

But that strategic clarity has blurred in so many industries today to the point of near-invisibility thanks to the digital revolution and globalisation. Flying blind, companies seem happier to cut costs and buy back their shares than to invest purposefully for the future. Take the European telecommunications sector. Not long ago most telecoms companies were national monopolies with little, or no, competition. Today, it is hard to predict where the next threat is going to erupt.

WhatsApp, the California-based messaging service, was founded in 2009 and only registered in most companies' consciousness when it was acquired by Facebook for more than $19bn in 2014. Yet in its short life WhatsApp has taken huge bites out of the lucrative text messaging markets. Today, WhatsApp has close to 1bn users sending 30bn messages a day. The global SMS text messaging market is just 20bn a day.

Car manufacturers are rapidly wising up to the threat posed by new generation tech firms, such as Tesla, Google and Uber, all intent on developing "apps on wheels". Chinese and Indian companies, little heard of a few years ago, are bouncing out of their own markets to emerge as bold global competitors.

As the driving force of capitalism , competition gives companies a purpose, a mission and a sense of direction. But how can companies compete in such a shape-shifting environment? There are perhaps two (partial) answers.

The first is to do everything to understand the technological changes that are transforming the world, to identify the threats and opportunities early.

Gavin Patterson , chief executive of BT, the British telecoms group, says one of the functions of corporate leaders is to scan the horizon as never before. "As a CEO you have to be on the bridge looking outwards, looking for signs that something is happening, trying to anticipate it before it becomes a danger."

To that end, BT has opened innovation "scouting teams" in Silicon Valley and Israel, and tech partnerships with universities in China, the US, Abu Dhabi, India and the UK.

But even if you foresee the danger, it does not mean you can deal with it. After all, Kodak invented the first digital camera but failed to exploit the technology. The incentive structures of many companies are to minimise risk rather than maximise opportunity. Innovation is often a young company's game.

The second answer is that companies must look as intensively inwards as they do outwards (e.g. opposing actions). Well-managed companies enjoy many advantages: strong brands, masses of consumer data, valuable historic data sets, networks of smart people and easy access to capital. But what is often lacking is the ambition that marks out the new tech companies, their ability to innovate rapidly and their extraordinary connection with consumers. In that sense, the main competition of so many established companies lies within their own organisations.

Larry Page, co-founder of Google, constantly urges his employees to keep being radical. In his Founders' Letter of 2013, he warned that companies tend to grow comfortable doing what they have always done and only ever make incremental change. "This . . . leads to irrelevance over time," he wrote.

Google operates a 70/20/10 rule where employees are encouraged to spend 70 per cent of their time on their core business, 20 per cent on working with another team and 10 per cent on moonshots. How many traditional companies focus so much on radical ventures?

Vishal Sikka, chief executive of the Indian IT group Infosys, says that internal constraints can often be far more damaging than external threats. "The traditional definition of competition is irrelevant. We are increasingly competing against ourselves," he says.

Quoting Siddhartha by the German writer Hermann Hesse, Mr Sikka argues that companies remain the masters of their own salvation whatever the market pressures: "Knowledge can be communicated. Wisdom cannot." He adds: "Every company has to find its own unique wisdom." [This wisdom reference is reminiscent of Paul Graham's advice to do things that don't scale].

john.thornhill@ft.com
ambitions  brands  breakthroughs  BT  bureaucracies  competition  complacency  constraints  Fortune_500  incentives  incrementalism  Infosys  innovation  introspection  irrelevance  large_companies  LBMA  messaging  mission-driven  Mondelez  moonshots  opposing_actions  organizational_culture  outward_looking  Paul_Graham  peripheral_vision  radical  risk-avoidance  scouting  smart_people  start_ups  staying_hungry  tacit_knowledge  technological_change  threats  uniqueness  unscalability  weaknesses  WhatsApp  wisdom  digital_cameras  digital_revolution  historical_data 
april 2016 by jerryking
Canada beware: We are suffering a great depression in commodity prices - The Globe and Mail
MICHAEL BLISS
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 15, 2016

The Great Depression of the 1930s used to be understood as a worldwide structural crisis that was partly an adjustment to the great expansion of crop acreage and other primary industries undertaken to meet the demands of the First World War. Unfortunately the history of those years now tends to be viewed through the distorting lenses of economists fixated on monetary policy and financial crisis management.

They thought that the crisis of 2008 might become a replay of the 1930s. For the most part they have not realized that it is today’s global depression in commodity prices that has eerie echoes of the great crack-up. If it’s true that we have overexpanded our productive capacity to meet the demands of Chinese growth, and if that growth is now going to slow, or even cease, then history is worrisomely on the verge of repeating itself....One sign of the beginning of wisdom is to be able to shed illusions. Make no mistake. Right now, the world is experiencing a great depression in commodity prices, led by the collapse of oil, that represents an enormous shrinkage in the valuation of our wealth. As a country whose wealth is still highly dependent on the returns we can get from selling our natural resources, Canada is very vulnerable. In a time of price depression, our wealth bleeds away.
'30s  adjustments  commodities  commodities_supercycle  economic_downturn  Great_Depression  historians  history  illusions  Michael_Bliss  natural_resources  overcapacity  pricing  overexpansion  slow_growth  wisdom  WWI 
january 2016 by jerryking
Dear MPs not picked for cabinet: Get over it - The Globe and Mail
Nov. 04, 2015 | The Globe and Mail | BARRY CAMPBELL.

The political arena is not for the meek. There is much to learn and some of that is hard: how to create distance between brain and mouth so you are not the subject of an unfortunate headline and a nasty call from the Prime Minister’s Office; how to make everyone still like you even when you couldn’t do much to help; and how to be patient knowing that you can’t fix everything. Victories may be few and small, but still worth it.

You will learn from your caucus colleagues (each of whom thinks he or she is as smart and deserving as you) and learn how to give credit when it is due and when to keep your own counsel. Learn how to live to fight another day, how to speak at caucus meetings and be noticed (humour helps) and how to be a partisan loyalist and a relentless self-promoter without losing your soul and the still be the person who came to Ottawa to serve their country.

My advice is this: Your power will come through how well you develop and manage relationships – with the cabinet, your colleagues, Hill staff, civil servants and even the opposition. Your lack of an official portfolio means that you can be more objective and provide cabinet ministers with an unvarnished perspective they’ll appreciate (mostly).

Pick both your battles and causes carefully. Most important, pick an issue and be its voice. Make it yours. (or...use your political_capital wisely)
advice  appointments  Justin_Trudeau  politics  politicians  serving_others  political_capital  wisdom  humility  self-promotion  self-starters  House_of_Commons  influence  PMO  relationships  speaking_up  the_Cabinet 
november 2015 by jerryking
Baseball or Soccer? - NYTimes.com
JULY 10, 2014 | NYT | David Brooks
Is life more like baseball, or is it more like soccer?

Baseball is a team sport, but it is basically an accumulation of individual activities. Throwing a strike, hitting a line drive or fielding a grounder is primarily an individual achievement. The team that performs the most individual tasks well will probably win the game.

Soccer is not like that. In soccer, almost no task, except the penalty kick and a few others, is intrinsically individual. Soccer, as Simon Critchley pointed out recently in The New York Review of Books, is a game about occupying and controlling space. If you get the ball and your teammates have run the right formations, and structured the space around you, you’ll have three or four options on where to distribute it. If the defenders have structured their formations to control the space, then you will have no options. Even the act of touching the ball is not primarily defined by the man who is touching it; it is defined by the context created by all the other players.
“Soccer is a collective game, a team game, and everyone has to play the part which has been assigned to them, which means they have to understand it spatially, positionally and intelligently and make it effective.” Brazil wasn’t clobbered by Germany this week because the quality of the individual players was so much worse. They got slaughtered because they did a pathetic job of controlling space. A German player would touch the ball, even close to the Brazilian goal, and he had ample room to make the kill....Most of us spend our days thinking we are playing baseball, but we are really playing soccer. We think we individually choose what career path to take, whom to socialize with, what views to hold. But, in fact, those decisions are shaped by the networks of people around us more than we dare recognize.

This influence happens through at least three avenues. First there is contagion. People absorb memes, ideas and behaviors from each other the way they catch a cold....Then there is the structure of your network. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. There is by now a vast body of research on how differently people behave depending on the structure of the social networks. People with vast numbers of acquaintances have more job opportunities than people with fewer but deeper friendships. Most organizations have structural holes, gaps between two departments or disciplines. If you happen to be in an undeveloped structural hole where you can link two departments, your career is likely to take off.

Innovation is hugely shaped by the structure of an industry at any moment. ...Finally, there is the power of the extended mind....our very consciousness is shaped by the people around us. Let me simplify it with a classic observation: Each close friend you have brings out a version of yourself that you could not bring out on your own. When your close friend dies, you are not only losing the friend, you are losing the version of your personality that he or she elicited....Once we acknowledge that, in life, we are playing soccer, not baseball, a few things become clear. First, awareness of the landscape of reality is the highest form of wisdom. It’s not raw computational power that matters most; it’s having a sensitive attunement to the widest environment, feeling where the flow of events is going. Genius is in practice perceiving more than the conscious reasoning.

Second, predictive models will be less useful. Baseball is wonderful for sabermetricians. In each at bat there is a limited range of possible outcomes. Activities like soccer are not as easily renderable statistically, because the relevant spatial structures are harder to quantify.
David_Brooks  baseball  bridging  career_paths  Communicating_&_Connecting  soccer  social_networking  strategy  spatial_awareness  fingerspitzengefühl  innovation  negative_space  predictive_modeling  job_opportunities  job_search  competitive_landscape  think_threes  large_companies  opportunities  contextual_intelligence  wisdom 
july 2014 by jerryking
More Reflection, Less Action
February 14, 2014 |NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.

Observation from President Obama, caught on an open mike during a stroll with Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2008:

“The most important thing you need to do [in this job] is to have big chunks of time during the day when all you’re doing is thinking.”

Judgment is grounded in discernment, subtlety and nuance.... Good judgment grows out of reflection, and reflection requires the sort of quiet time that gets crowded out by the next demand.

Regular reflection also provides the space in which to decide what not to do. At the companies I visit, no topic comes up more frequently than prioritizing....Time to reflect is what makes it possible to prioritize.... a tools that ensures reflection and prioritization is an old-fashioned handwritten to-do list, with a twist. Download everything that’s on your mind – not just calls to make and emails to send, but also ideas you want to explore, conflicts you haven’t resolved, and longer-term projects you intend to pursue...If you can’t decide whether something is worth your time, I try to stop and answer two reflective questions – a task that ends up saving rather than costing time.

1. Could someone else do this just as well or better than I can? If so, I try to turn it over.

2. Is the time and energy I invest going to produce anything I’ll still consider worth having done a month from now?

We need less conventional wisdom and more genuine wisdom; less sheer output and more insights that add enduring value.
time-management  reflections  wisdom  work_life_balance  insights  priorities  lists  GTD  judgment  strategic_thinking  Obama  David_Cameron  thinking  timeouts  meditation  contemplation  discernment  subtlety  personal_energy  slack_time  monotasking  sustained_inquiry  Tony_Schwartz  nuanced 
february 2014 by jerryking
In Praise of Depth - NYTimes.com
January 17, 2014 | NYT | By TONY SCHWARTZ.
We don’t need more bits and bytes of information, or more frequent updates about each other’s modest daily accomplishments. What we need instead is more wisdom, insight, understanding and discernment — less quantity, higher quality; less breadth and more depth....The reality is that we each have limited working memories, meaning we can only retain a certain amount of new information in our minds at any given time. If we’re forever flooding the brain with new facts, other information necessarily gets crowded out before it’s been retained in our long-term memory. If you selectively reduce what you’re taking in, then you can hold on to more of what you really want to remember...Going deeper does mean forgoing immediate gratification more often, taking time to reflect and making more conscious choices. It also requires the capacity to focus in a more absorbed and sustained way, which takes practice and commitment in a world of infinite distractions.
deep_learning  discernment  distractions  focus  immediacy  information_overload  insights  instant_gratification  monotasking  reading  reflections  relevance  thinking_deliberatively  Tony_Schwartz  wisdom  work_life_balance 
january 2014 by jerryking
Want to get rich? Read fiction -
Nov. 22, 2013 | MarketWatch | By Jeremy Olshan.
Want to get rich? Read fiction. 5 financial lessons from famous novels.

Literature has always been a vessel for nuggets of practical wisdom — Homer’s epics contained a Wikipedia’s worth of ancient schooling, oral poetry being the original textbook. Fiction provides us “equipment for living,” in the words of the theorist Kenneth Burke, an assertion supported by a recent study linking literary reading to greater empathy.

1. Read Defoe to understand money.
2. Read Trollope and Dickens to spot the next Bernie Madoff.
3. Read Eliot and Flaubert before swiping that credit card.
4. Read Dickens to learn the difference between saving and hoarding.
5. Read Tolstoy before heading to the car dealership.

The old poker player’s adage that if, after a few minutes at the table, you can’t tell who the sucker is, it’s you, is more or less true in every financial transaction. Whether it’s the purchase of a horse, a car, a stock or a house, there’s a fair chance either the buyer or seller is getting the shorter end of the deal.

This is why it’s essential that before buying — or selling — anything one read “Anna Karenina.” Though the Tolstoy novel is better remembered as, yes, another novel of adultery, it’s also a highly useful manual for negotiating with car salesmen.

Stepan Oblonsky, a Moscow nobleman, visits his friend Konstantin Levin’s country estate, and tells how he sold a parcel of land — a wood — and wants to know whether he got a good deal.

Levin replies with a simple question: “Did you count the trees?”

“How can I count the trees?” Stepan Arkadyich said with a laugh, still wishing to get his friend out of his bad mood. “To count the sands, the planets’ rays, a lofty mind well may...” .....In other words, only a fool buys or sells something without knowing what it’s really worth. It sounds simple, but I’ve been that fool many times. How often do we fail to count the trees? How often do we sit with the car salesman and not know the real value of the car?

So always count the trees. Count them with calculators, with Excel spreadsheets or with iPhone apps, if you must. Or count them in their ideal form, after they’re churned into pulp and bound together as the pages of a good book.
fiction  books  lessons_learned  empathy  wisdom  literature  reading  wealth_creation  personal_enrichment 
november 2013 by jerryking
How to develop the mind of a strategist Part 1 of 3 - Google Drive
Apr/May 2001|Communication World. Vol. 18,Iss.3; pg. 13, 3 pgs.| by James E Lukaszewski.

Management wants and needs:

Valuable, useful, applicable advice beyond what the boss already knows

Well-timed, truly significant insights (insight is the ability to
distill wisdom and useful conclusions from contrasting, even seemingly
unrelated, information and facts)

Advance warning, plus options for solving, or at least managing, trouble
or opportunity, and the unintended consequences both often bring

Someone who understands the pattern of events and problems

Supporting evidence through the behavior of their peers

To be strategic, ideas must pass four tough tests: They must help the
boss achieve his/her objectives and goals. They must help the
organization achieve its goals. They must be truly necessary (and pass
the straight face and laugh tests). Without acting on the strategy recommended, some aspect of the business will fail or fail to progress.
strategic_thinking  strategy  public_relations  Communicating_&_Connecting  generating_strategic_options  indispensable  JCK  howto  endgame  wisdom  insights  warning_signs  ambiguities  advice  job_opportunities  job_search  actionable_information  pattern_recognition 
september 2013 by jerryking
What fatal flaw led us so deeply into debt?
October 18, 1997 | Globe & Mail | William Thorsell.

The Unheavenly City by Edward Banfield.

Wisdom has three practical dimensions (with intuition providing a fourth for the truly sage person). The first part of wisdom is knowledge, the second is context based on experience, the third is a long perspective on time......the more forward-looking you are, the higher your social class is. People who live a great deal of their intellectual life in the future derive two great advantages over those who do not: They avoid predictable damage to their interests, and they exploit opportunities that might otherwise be lost to others.

This requires a high tolerance for delayed gratification.

In his engaging book, Future Perfect, Stanley Davis argues that most people are stuck managing the results of things that have already happened....the aftermath. Great leaders manage what has not yet happened....the beforemath. "People who take out life insurance and have home mortgages are managing the beforemath...they are managing the consequences of events that have not yet taken place."
William_Thorsell  books  instant_gratification  delayed_gratification  sophisticated  social_classes  debt  debt_crisis  wisdom  long-term  intuition  far-sightedness  beforemath  anticipating  contextual  forward_looking  foresight  aftermath 
july 2013 by jerryking
Elect your local hypocrite
June 12, 2004 | G&M | Doug Saunders.

Hypocrisy now has the backing of science. Keith Stanovich, a cognitive scientist at the University of Toronto, has built a strong scientific case in defence of hypocn'sy

Mr. Stanovich, in his fascinating book The Robot's Rebellion, defines hypocrisy as the collision of first-order and second-order thought. First-order thought consists of the basic, animal desires promoted by our genes — reproduction, self-preservation, mate-finding, nest-building, self-aggrandizement and personal defence

People whose thoughts are mostly first-order are known as wantons: Their personal desires and aspirations are their only goals, and their principles consist of remaking the world to suit those goals People who vote for right-wing parties entirely because they want to pay less tax are wantons. So are people who vote for left-wing parties just because they want their organizations to get more grants.

Second-order thought looks beyond personal needs into rational calculations of larger principles and goals: If I give up this desire right now, it says, we all could be better off. It is higher, more principled intelligence. It constantly battles with our first-order desires, tending to require an even higher order of thought to reconcile those collisions. in Mr. Stanovich's system, the people who engage in this kind of thinking are known as strong evaluators.
Hypocrisy is a product of strong evaluation.
Doug_Saunders  decision_making  politics  hypocrisy  thinking  political_expediency  instant_gratification  delayed_gratification  wisdom  books  first-order  second-order  tradeoffs  self-preservation  mate-finding  nest-building  self-aggrandizement 
september 2012 by jerryking
Open Data in Agriculture and Why It Matters
July 16, 2010 | Food+Tech Connect | By Elizabeth Mcvay Greene.

With capabilities like social media that offers instantaneous mini-reports, remote sensing that announces field-level conditions, and user-generated mapping that offers an on-the-ground view of production, merchandising, and consumption activity, we are beginning to get the tools at our fingertips to optimize decision-making with connected, real-time information, not just intuition...don't want farmers’ wisdom to evaporate in the face of technology. Quite the contrary, we want that specialized knowledge of acre, crop, and herd to be augmented and preserved....If a farmer needs to decide how much to irrigate during a drought. It’s a decision that affects just his farm in the short run, but has systemic costs and benefits. If the farmer could connect historical commodity prices, weather charts, financial and environmental costs, and soil conditions to assess the trade-offs in the choice he makes, he could complement his highly refined intuition with the long-term effects that his decision has on his farm and beyond. The more widely information and tools like this are available, the more optimal decisions participants can make throughout the food system.
agriculture  data  decision_making  distribution_channels  farming  food_chains  intuition  massive_data_sets  open_data  open_source  optimization  real-time  supply_chains  tools  wisdom 
april 2012 by jerryking
Tackling Canada's thorniest issue
Dec 21, 2001 |The Globe and Mail. pg. A.19 | Jeffrey SimpsonJohn Stackhouse's magnificent series on Canada's aboriginals deepened his reputation as one of the two or three best journalists in the country.

Here was a series in The Globe and Mail crafted by an inquiring mind, written with a rare clarity of expression, and based on wisdom's first principle -- an appreciation of complexity.

Mr. Stackhouse was an eyewitness rather than an "I" witness. He invited readers to understand what he saw and heard rather than what he ate for lunch. The best journalists are shoe-leather sociologists who ask, listen and observe.

Mr. Stackhouse displayed a rare gift as a foreign correspondent for asking the right questions, understanding the answers and conveying the complexities of what he found. What worked for him in the developing world was perfectly suited to tackling Canada's thorniest issue: relations between aboriginals and the rest of us.

His series seemed effortlessly written, the way people at the top of their game make whatever they do appear easy.
5_W’s  aboriginals  complexity  curiosity  first_principle  Jeffrey_Simpson  John_Stackhouse  journalists  journalism  wisdom  developing_countries  asking_the_right_questions 
october 2011 by jerryking
Letters to the Editor: Spotting Bubbles in the Economy Isn’t Hard, but Deflating Them Is - WSJ.com
AUGUST 2, 2009 | Wall Street Journal..."More important than
appointing and paying someone to identify risks which are already being
identified is the need to have the political will to do something about
them when they are identified and, more importantly, to have the wisdom
to know which ones are going to become problems and which ones aren’t.
Systemic risks that cause major disruptions are only identified in
hindsight."..."Systemic risk is not created by assets increasing in
value—that’s good news. The risk is that asset values increase because
of excessive debt growth. Bubble watching is then simply a matter of
defining a speed limit for debt growth."
letters_to_the_editor  bubbles  Alan_Greenspan  systemic_risks  debt  political_will  assets  asset_values  wisdom  hindsight 
august 2010 by jerryking
John Henrik Clarke - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"The events which transpired 5,000 yrs ago; 5 yrs. ago or 5
min. ago, have determined what will happen 5 min. from now; 5 yrs. from
now or 5,000 yrs from now. All history is a current event."

"...education has but one honorable purpose, one alone, everything else
is a waste of time...that is to train the student to be a proper handler
of power."

"Every form of true education trains the student in self-reliance"
"African people need to stop shouting 'nationtime' until they are clear
about the responsibilities of running a nation."
"History is a clock people use to tell their historical culture and
political time of the day. It's a compass that people use to find
themselves on the map of human geography. The history tells them where
they have been, where they are and what they are. But most importantly
history tells a people where they still must go and what they still must
be"
**********************************************************************
I see history as my root and my illumination ☑
5 August /6 August 2017 | Financial Times | by Kwame Nkrumah Cain.
African-Americans  historians  quotes  history  political_power  education  self-reliance  North_Star  the_counsel_of_the_dead  wisdom  Kwame_Nkrumah 
may 2010 by jerryking
Seven questions that managers should ask
March 29, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | by Harvey Schachter.

Do you miss opportunities that others spot?

Despite massive investments in information technology and sophisticated data systems, many companies miss market shifts that rivals sense and exploit. To continually identify gaps in the market, you need real-time data, the ability to share it in your company, and the wisdom to supplement that data with direct observations in the field. He notes that Spanish retailer Zara, known for its capability to respond speedily to market shifts, has its designers, marketing managers and buyers work side-by-side in an open office setting that stimulates sharing and discussion.

Are your hydraulics broken?

Organizational hydraulics, Prof. Sull explains, are the mechanisms that senior executives use to translate corporate objectives into aligned actions by individuals across the organization. But in many companies, top executives deluge staff members with multiple, often conflicting, priorities, and everything plugs up. Alex Behring, chief executive officer of Garantia Investment Bank in Brazil in the 1990s, set out to repair the deteriorated organizational hydraulics in a railway bought from the government through such measures as capping the number of corporate priorities at five per year and requiring every employee to meet and negotiate with his or her boss both team and individual priorities for the year, again limited to five.

Do you reward mediocrity and call it teamwork?

In many organizations, he says, executives socialize bonuses in the name of teamwork, believing that differential payouts can stifle co-operation and long-term thinking. Variable pay represents a small portion of overall compensation, with the range of bonuses narrow. He argues instead for rewarding individuals who do what they say they will with outsized bonuses.

Are your core values a joke?

The most agile organization that Prof. Sull studied shared a core set of values: strong achievement ethic; personal responsibility by all employees for results; creativity to challenge the status quo; and integrity, to offset the temptation to cut corners when taking on ambitious goals. "Rather than print posters listing the values that then languish on conference room walls, executives should breathe life into the corporate culture by hiring and promoting individuals on the basis of the adherence to values," he says, noting that Reckitt Benckiser, a consumer goods company, created a pre-screening tool that allows potential employees to assess their fit with the organization.

Are you talking about the wrong things?

Managers spend about three-quarters of their time in discussions, and need to be adept at four different types of conversations that facilitate execution: making sense of volatile situations; deciding what to do, not do, or stop doing [Sounds a lot like Peter Drucker] ; soliciting and monitoring commitments by others to deliver; and making corrections in mid-course. Beware of executives who excel at only one type of discussion, and struggle with or avoid the others.

Have your Vikings become farmers?

Effective executives are like Nordic Vikings, who attacked when they saw an unprotected spot, and retreated when they realized they couldn't win. Do some of your executives have that same instinct, or are they all like farmers, more interested in protecting and tilling their current fields?

Do you rely on heroic leadership?

The economic crisis forced many executives into firefighting mode but, over the long haul, you need leaders who can build up your organization's execution strength in a disciplined way. "Senior executives who dash from crisis to crisis are a sign of organizational weakness, not leadership strength," Prof. Sull warns.
Harvey_Schachter  IT  Donald_Sull  observations  questions  wisdom  conversations  sense-making  real-time  data  mediocrity  overlooked_opportunities  Peter_Drucker  missed_opportunities  long-haul  primary_field_research  core_values  Zara 
march 2010 by jerryking
"The Hidden River of Knowledge"
May 21, 2007 | New York Times | Commencement address by David Brooks.

In short, things are about to change big time. And one of my messages today is that you know that uncertainty you feel today? It never goes away. The question is, do you know how to make uncertainty your friend?....here's one other thing I've noticed that separates the really great people from the merely famous ones. They talk to dead people.

Merely famous people have pictures of themselves on the wall. Really great people have pictures of dead people on the wall, and on their desks. It's one of the first things I look for when I go into somebody's office...And they talk about these dead people....
The dead were alive to them, and looking over their shoulder....The Greeks used to say we suffer our way to wisdom...Success is not something that we do or that happens to us. Success is something that happens through us....We inherit, starting even before we are born, a great river of knowledge, a great flow from many ages and many sources. The information that comes from millions of years ago, we call brain chemistry. The information that comes from hundreds of thousands of years ago from our hunter and gatherer ancestors we call genes. The information that was handed down thousands of years ago we call religion. The information passed along hundreds of years ago we call culture. The information passed along from decades ago we call family. The information you absorbed over the past few years at Wake Forest we call education....We exist as creatures within this hidden river of knowledge the way a trout exists in a stream or a river. We are formed by the river. It is the medium in which we live and the guide about how to live.

The great people I've seen talking to the dead do so because they want to connect with the highest and most inspiring parts of the river. When people make mistakes, often it is not because they are evil. It's because they don't have an ideal to live up to.

These great people also talk to the dead because they want a voice from outside their selves....the best people I've met don't feel that smart or that special. They have powerful jobs, but they don't feel powerful. They don't feel like architects building these great projects from scratch. They feel instead like river boat captains negotiating the currents around them.

They want to step outside their egotism and understand the river of events. They want to feel how people in the past have negotiated its channels. They want other voices in their heads so they can possess the ultimate power, which is the power of facing unpleasant truths.

Finally, I think they talk to the dead because they want to widen their time horizons....Think hard about who you marry. It's the most important decision you will ever make. Devote yourself to your kids. Nothing else is guaranteed to make you happy. The only thing I'd add is, create a posse of dead people. Create an entourage of heroes. Put their pictures on your wall, and keep them in your mind.

They will remind you of your place in the hidden river of wisdom. They'll serve as models. They'll give you an honest perspective on how you're doing. They'll remind you that your blessings don't come from you but from those who came before you.
advice  affirmations  ancestry  blog  brain_chemistry  career  cognitive_skills  commencement  culture  cultural_transmission  David_Brooks  education  family  genes  Greek  hidden  happiness  heroes  humility  hunter-gatherers  ideas  inspiration  Managing_Your_Career  marriage  perspectives  role_models  sense_of_proportion  speeches  success  suffering  the_counsel_of_the_dead  time_horizons  transcendental  uncertainty  Wake_Forest  wide-framing  wisdom 
november 2009 by jerryking
When you're drowning in knowledge, it's experience that counts
Aug. 20, 2009 | Globe & Mail | by Dan Richards. The key
to success today is no longer knowledge and information alone; more than
ever it's the discipline, experience, perspective and insight to know
what to do with that information, something that only comes from the
battle scars earned working through multiple market cycles....The bottom line is simple: If knowledge alone drives success, then years of experience may be less critical than intellect and analytical prowess. But in a time of market uncertainty such as we see today, intellect and knowledge alone aren't enough. Financial advisers and money managers also need the acumen that only years of hard-won experience can bring.
business_acumen  commoditization_of_information  Dan_Richards  discernment  experience  financial_advisors  information_overload  insights  investment_advice  money_management  pattern_recognition  uncertainty  wisdom  self-discipline  judgment  perspectives 
august 2009 by jerryking
How to be wise before the event
March 9 2009 | Financial Times | By Stefan Stern.

Restraint is back in fashion in these recessionary times. People have lost their appetite for risk.

But hang on a minute. No risk will mean no reward. You need new markets and customers to grow, and that means taking steps into the unknown. I doubt that anyone will be suggesting, in this newspaper’s new series of articles on the future of capitalism, that risk-taking should be abolished.

Bad risk-management helped get us into the current mess. It is vital that we learn the right lessons about risk from the crisis. What are they?

The new edition of Harvard Business Review contains a lucid piece of analysis from René Stulz, professor of banking and monetary economics at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. While his principal focus is on the financial sector, the diagnosis will be helpful to managers in any business or organisation.

Prof Stulz describes six ways in which risk has been mismanaged. First, there has been too much reliance on historical data among today’s decision-makers. Extrapolating from the past can provide, at best, only partial guidance for the future. Financial innovation has created a new world. No wonder some managers were unprepared for the calamitous fall in asset prices and demand. This collapse was unimaginable to anyone basing their thinking on post-war performance alone.

Second, narrow daily measures – in banking these are known as “value at risk” measures – have underestimated the risks that are being run. The assumption behind a daily measure of risk is that action can be taken quickly (through an asset sale) to remove that risk. But, as the current crisis has shown, such rapid moves become impossible when markets seize up.

Third, knowable risks have been overlooked. Managers who work in silos may appreciate the risks that they personally are exposed to. But they may not see how risks being run elsewhere in the business could affect them too. Someone – a chief risk officer? – needs to track them all.

Fourth, concealed risks have been overlooked. Incentives have proved to be particularly dangerous in this regard. Some traders and lenders may have enjoyed taking risky decisions that in the short term appeared to be delivering well for them and their organisations. But they had no incentive to report any downside risk. And unreported risks tend to expand.

Fifth, there has been a failure to communicate effectively. It is dangerous, Prof Stulz says, when risk managers are so expert in their field that they lose the ability to explain in simple terms what they are doing. The board may develop a false sense of security by failing to appreciate the complexity of the risks being managed.

Last, risks have not been managed in real time. Organisations have to be able to monitor fast-changing markets and where necessary respond to them without delay.

Prof Stulz offers a useful technical analysis. But a true understanding of risk also requires a maturity of outlook, an ability to see the big picture, and deep experience. This last is a rare commodity: impossible to fake and acquired only over time.

In a new McKinsey publication called What Matters, the 90-year-old investment manager and author Peter Bernstein offers some sober insights. “What is risk management all about anyway?” he writes. “We use the words as though everybody understands what we are talking about. But life is not that simple. Risk means more things can happen than will happen – which is a fancy way of saying we do not know what is going to happen.”

Mr Bernstein’s central point – not revolutionary, but unarguable – is that downside risks must be assessed rigorously. Someone old enough to remember the Wall Street crash is probably worth listening to right now.[JCK: elder wisdom]

“Nothing is 100 per cent sure,” Mr Bernstein says. “While a 95 per cent probability is statistically significant, that still leaves us in the dark about the remaining 5 per cent; we may decide to accept that uncertainty and bet on the 95 per cent sure thing, but there is still a possibility of being wrong.

“The crucial question to ask is, ‘What would be the consequence if that 5 per cent chance comes to pass?’ ”

Welcome to the less exciting but more soundly based era of calculated risks. For the foreseeable future, business leaders will be trying to be wise before rather than after the event.
beforemath  business  communicating_risks  downside_risks  elder_wisdom  false_sense_of_security  fast-changing  financial_innovation  hidden  historical_data  management  McKinsey  overreliance  Peter_Bernstein  recessions  real-time  risks  risk-assessment  risk-management  Stefan_Stern  the_big_picture  VaR  what_really_matters  wisdom 
may 2009 by jerryking
Learning the path to extraordinary wisdom
Jan. 3, 2003 | First published in the Globe and Mail |By
Brian Babcock

People will gladly associate with a leader whose personal character
shows balance in at least three areas: ethics, ambition and competence.
presentations  leadership  introspection  Brian_Babcock  feedback  public_speaking  Communicating_&_Connecting  wisdom  think_threes  ethics  ambitions  competence 
april 2009 by jerryking

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