Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Art of thinking clear

Is your volunteering work plainly a folly?

Suppose you are a professional and earning $300 per hour doing your work.

For example, a consultant of some kind, a photographer, a lawyer, a physician…

If you are a celebrity, showing up in a fund-raising event that you are passionate about, your volunteering of time might be a great move for publicity.

Otherwise, why volunteer your “precious time” to build birdhouses for endangered species if you have no carpentry skills?

With what you earn per hour, you can easily hire 6 professional carpenters who will produce dozens of well built birdhouses, instead of the lousy one you might be able to pull through

If you feel like volunteering time and effort, consider the jobs as a break in your routine life-style, from the tedious demands in your profession, a day of vacation to relax…

Volunteer folly does not correspond to volunteer work that may increase your skills and enlarge the sphere of your contacts…

Just don’t fall for these follies that corporate abuse new graduates to exploit their skills and talents for peanuts. (I have posted a few articles on the kinds of corporate abuse of graduate volunteers)

Many young people keep volunteering their time with Red Cross, Scout movement… way after they graduated instead of focusing on their career.

I guess this impulse of staying in close contact with the “tribe” is a mighty factor: we are unable to break free from our emotions and feeling secure.

Note: Read Rolf Dobelli (The Art of thinking clear)

Art of thinking clear?

Non Transferable Domain Dependence:

Profession, talents, skills, book smart, street smart…

You talk to medical professionals on medical matters and they “intuitively” understand you.

Talk to them on related medical examples based on economics or business perspectives and their attention falter.

Apparently, insights do not pass well from one field to another, unless you are not a professional in any specific field

This knowledge transfer is also domain dependent such as working in the public domain or in private.

Or coming from academia and having to switch to enterprise environment and having to deal with real life problems.

Same tendency when taking a job selling services instead of products.

Or taking a CEO job coming from a marketing department: the talents and skills are not the same and you tend to adopt previous and irrelevant skills that you are familiar with.

Book smart people do not transfer to street smart individuals.

Novel published by Literary critics get the poorest reviews.

Physicians are more prone to smoke than non-medical professionals.

For example, police officers are twice as violent at home compared to other normal people.

Nobel Prize in economics Harry Markowitz for his “portfolio selection” theory and applications could not think better than investing his saving 50/50 in bonds and stocks.

Decision making mathematical theoreticians feel confounded when deciding on their own personal issues.

Many disciplines require mainly skills and talents, such as plumbers, carpenters, pilots, lawyers…

As for financial marketing, financial investors and start -up companies… luck plays the bigger role than do skills.

Actually, in over 40% of the cases, weak CEO leads strong companies.

As Warren Buffet eloquently stated: “A good management record is far more a function of what business boat you get into it, rather than of how effectively you row”

Note: Read “The art of thinking clear”. I conjecture that people with vast general knowledge do better once they are inducted into a specific field that they feel comfortable in. These people feel that many fields of disciplines can be bundled in a category of “same methods” with basically different terms for the varied specialties.

Simple. I removed everything that is Not David

This is the response of Michelangelo to the Pope asking him how he managed to sculpt his famous David.

Do you know with certainty what destroys success or happiness?

Are you more attuned to “What Not to do“, a more potent approach than “What to do”?

Kind of eliminating all possible errors and discover that Thinking better follows?

Do you focus on removing all the blocks and hurdles to your success?

Nowadays, brilliant people consider the notion of “What Not to do” as counter-intuitive and down right counter to human spirit, and go ahead and destroy and massively exhaust earth and nature.

Complete control of our emotions through thinking clear is illusory: Our willpower will be frequently dangerously depleted if we try to continuously sustain our control for long period.

Overthinking will eventually trip you out of balance. For example, why test 45 varieties of strawberry jelly, by expert tasters, if it is demonstrated that expert and common people preferred the same type of strawberry Jelly?

If people are given a questionnaire to rank the variety of Jelly, the ones they actually liked are ranked in the bottom of the list.

If you are pressured to think too much, you end up cutting off your mind from the wisdom of your feelings.

Emotions and rational thinking are merely a different form of information processing: The primordial process does Not necessarily generate inferior variant of the complex rational process.

Rely on your circle of competence, otherwise, rely on your mental shortcuts in emergency situations.

Remember that sober reflection is Not innate to mankind evolution.

Consequently, you are better off relying on your intuition for decisions outside your circle of competence.

Read: Art of Thinking Clear

Placebo potency explained by Regression to Mean?

Extreme performances are interspersed with many less extreme cases

Trends fluctuate around a mean, back toward the average.

Such as in weather changes, stock market, performances of athletes, luck in love, subjective happiness, feeling under the weather, test scores…

Occasional visits to “expert” may boost your emotional moral, but it is more likely that the boost is a regression to the mean that might have taken place if you didn’t pay a visit to the expert.

Usually, it might not be the program, the process, the punishment method, the advice… that improved the situation.

Look out for the regression to mean behavior in natural laws and people emotional states.

Learn to assess the process and not judge according to results and outcome.

Study the decision process.

When the sample is small, the results are practically meaningless.

Better pay close attention by monitoring the preparation and the execution of the operations.

A bad result does Not generally indicate a bad decision and vice versa.

Stick to the method and process that work well, even if the result is not occasionally satisfactory.

“There’s nothing more effective in selling anything than getting the customer to really believe that you like him and care about him” Joe Girard, a successful car  salesman.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear

Consequences of Neglecting Base-Rates in your behavior

“When you hear hoof beats behind you, don’t expect to see a Zebra”: Zebras are minority among all the hoof species.

Nothing is certain but death and Taxes” Benjamin Franklin

It is a good habit that physicians are practiced to learn Not to neglect base-rates when diagnosing ailments: The physicians learn to investigate the most likely ailment before starting any exotic diagnosis of the disease.

For example, the probability that a new firm will survive the first 5 years is at best 50%.

Depending on you level of education, the university you graduated from, the social class you are allotted to, your genders, your height, your handsomeness, the color of your skin… the chances of landing a high spot on a Fortune 500 company is alarmingly low.

Get data and statistics on the base-rates of your status conditions before you invest all your strength and energy on a selection process.

You heard of the Gambler’s Fallacy: “Something must change eventually…”

Actually, outside casinos, lottery, coin tossing (not loaded or tampered with)…events in nature are interrelated and you should Not bet on them as “independent” or “memoriless events“.

We also tend to fall prey from drawing universal certainties based on individual observations. This is called the Induction bias.

Do you remember the feeding goose allegory? The goose started to have confidence of the feeder just before Xmas Day slaughter-hood.

We tend to fall hook, line and sinker for induction in our lives.

We believe that aerodynamic laws are totally understood and applied in designing airplanes: As if only aerodynamics is the major safety issues in plane accidents.

Read: Art of Thinking Clear


Cherry picking tendency and Feature-Positive Effect

And the deceitful checklist

The Absence of a feature is much harder to detect than its presence: We do place greater emphasis on what exist than on what is absent.

What exist means a lot more than what is missing.

For example, we fail to appreciate the absence of wars or when we arrived safely as we reach home.

For example, articles, particularly scientific articles that “confirm” a hypothesis are overwhelmingly readily published than those that “disprove” the hypothesis as false.

Actually, no Nobel prize was awarded to scientists who proved a hypothesis was false!

Although both confirmation and falsification of a hypothesis are scientifically valuable and valid in the same rank of importance.

Actually, disproving a hypothesis is the basis for any paradigm shift in every disciple.

Otherwise, our knowledge will be stuck in the Medieval Age.

It is well known that it is our belief system that is the real hindrance to progress and change.

How can you change paradigms if not by proving wrong what is already accepted as “true”?

All disciplines brag of their outcomes.

And the professionals are well-equipped to tell us what worth it did to mankind.

And yet, the professionals always fail to tell us what they didn’t achieve, or had gone wrong, just to show us how indispensable their methods are.

This is the Pure Cherry picking tendency.

For example, drug researchers and producers of antibiotics are celebrated while the huge success of anti-smoking activist campaigns is ignored.

Administrative departments in public and private institutions never communicate what they could not achieve for the institution.

Have you ever wondered “what happened to the left-over cherries?” These far more frequent failed projects and missed goals?

Have ever attempted to double-check targets instead of computing to the nearest cent cost/benefit accounts?

Mostly, the original goal fade while tending to what is tangible and easy to compute and collecting data.

Mostly, what we do is shoot an arrow and then draw a bull’s eye around our target.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear

For example

Law of small numbers that looms large

Suppose you own 100 stores in cities and in rural areas.

You hire a consultant to study the problem of shoplifting in your stores. The rates of theft compared to volume of sales show that shoplifting is highest in rural areas.

It turned out that the lowest rates are also located in the stores in rural areas. What gives?

In small stores, even a single theft looms large and the rates vary greatly.

If you order the rates according to size of stores, most of the shoplifting are in the vast middle, while the small stores occupy the tails of the curve.

It is not the location of the stores that is the deciding factor but their size.

If you read this caption “Start-ups employ smarter employees” be on your guard.

Start ups have small number of employees and their average IQ fluctuate far more than those employed by large companies.

Daniel Kahneman reveals that even experienced scientists succumb to the Law of small numbers: They tend to forget the random distribution law in their initial assessments.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear


Can you beat Homemade cooking? Not-Invented-Here syndrome

You have ingredients that you love to eat separately. Mix these ingredients and the result is not that tasty. I learned never to mix ingredients

You created a new cooking recipe. Never tell your guests that it is of your invention: They’ll make sure not to like your cooking. Lie through your teeth and say: “This a secret recipe, a tried-and true concoction that I learned from my grand mother.

You may try to invent a new sauce: Somehow, all sauces have been tried out without your knowledge. The kinds of sauce used are of the category “tried-and-true recipe.

You fall in love with your own ideas, for all kinds of solutions and designs that you put forth.

In-house designs and products are considered the best for clients in almost all companies. Even proposals by subsidiary companies are not good enough, compared to your tried-an -tested designs.

If you need to properly evaluate your ideas and designs, split your team in two: One team for generating the ideas and designs and the other for testing, assessing, evaluating and rating them compared to competitors products (a blind testing is necessary)

For example, shrewd ideas are overlooked when the source is from a foreign culture.

One of the major factors in start-ups frequent miserable returns is their self-confidence in what they newly designed.

Question: What could be your solution for reducing water consumption in your city without limiting it by law?

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear


Give it time: Propaganda works. The sleeper effect of our memory

War propaganda didn’t intensify the privates’ enthusiasm for war in the slightest.

Soldiers were aware that the war movies were all propaganda, the message was discredited and deemed hollow before the movie rolled and the message was dismissed.

Nine weeks later, the statistics changed and reverted to supporting war activities.

What gives?

1. In our memory, the source of the argument fades faster than the argument or the message

2. The message (war is necessary and noble) fades much slowly or even endure than the propaganda itself

3. Any knowledge, even that stems from untrustworthy sources, gains credibility over time.

Nasty advertisements in election campaigns do work sometime due to the sleeper effect of our memory.

Disclosing the sponsors of the ads have no significant effects on the undecided voters: these voters mostly forgot who were the sponsors, if they ever cared.

But it is a great law for those engaged citizens to know more about who are the ones considering themselves the peers of the campaign

The messenger fades from memory, but the ugly accusations persevere.

Most of the time we cannot recollect if our knowledge was picked up from well-researched articles or from a tacky advertorial source.

Propaganda works. What count are the Timing and how well the message is framed to attract and catch our attention and be memorized.

The other major factor is that undecided voters tend to side with the potential victors in the election year.

How to minimize campaign ads effects?

1. Campaign laws that are controlling the voting process must prohibit any poll taking at least 2 weeks before the the campaign officially start and be banned afterward

2. Campaign Ads should be restricted to the period of a single month before the campaign start and be banned later on during the campaign.

3. The same with no campaigning during Voting Day

Before you read an article, you need to ask this question: Who benefit? Cui bono? is a great training behaviour to refine what you read.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear


Social loafing effect: Two horses do not pull twice the force of a single one

When 8 people pull on a rope, each one tends to apply only 50% of his potential

How much idleness can we get away when working in a team, and how big the team before we notice the idle people?

Teams should be composed of different specialized professionals so that failure could be traced back to the culprit.

Otherwise, each member will easily cover for the deficient member since it would require too much time and effort to investigate all the members.

Consequently, teams take bigger risk than individual do because of the diffusion of responsibility effect.

Read: The Art of Thinking Clear




June 2023

Blog Stats

  • 1,522,132 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 769 other subscribers
%d bloggers like this: