Saturday, March 17, 2018

Who am I to argue with science........


     A decade ago, the government of Spain took a step that seemed distinctly un-Spanish:  It officially eliminated the siesta.  For centuries, Spaniards had enjoyed an afternoon respite, often returning home to eat a meal with their family and even snag a quick sleep.  But Spain, its economy sluggish, was determined to reckon with twenty-first-century realities.  With two parents working, and globalization tightening competition worldwide, this lovely practice was stifling Spanish prosperity.  Americans applauded the move.  Spain was finally treating work with sufficient, and sufficiently puritanical, seriousness.  At last, Old Europe was becoming modern.
     But what if this now-eliminated practice was actually a stroke of genius, less an indulgent relic than a productivity-boosting innovation?
      In this chapter, we've seen that breaks matter - that even little ones can make a big difference.  Restorative breaks enhance performance.  Lunches and naps help us elude the trough and bet more and better work done in the afternoon.  A growing body of science makes it clear:  Breaks are not a sign of sloth but a sign of strength.

-Daniel Pink,  When:  The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing

Somewhat less sure..........................


Black-and-white thinking, uncolored by the reality of uncertainty, is a driver of both motivated reasoning and self-serving bias.   If our only options are being 100% right or 100% wrong, with nothing in between, then information that potentially contradicts a belief requires a total downgrade, from right all the way to wrong.  There is no "somewhat less sure" option in an all-or-nothing world, so we ignore or discredit the information to hold steadfast in our belief.
     Both of these biases cause us to see our outcomes through the equivalent of a funhouse mirror.  The reflection distorts reality, maximizing the appearance of our skill in good outcomes.  For bad outcomes, it makes skill all but disappear, while luck looms large.

-Annie Duke,   Thinking In Bets:  Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts

On connecting uncertain dots.............






Learning might proceed in a more ideal way if life were more like chess than poker.  The connection between outcome quality and decision quality would be clearer because there would be less uncertainty.   The challenge is that any single outcome can happen for multiple reasons.  The unfolding future is a big data dump that we have to sort and interpret.  And the world doesn't connect the dots for us between outcomes and causes. ...  When the future coughs on us, it is hard to tell why.

-Annie Duke,  Thinking In Bets:  Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts



Fifty years ago..............................


Arthur Conley...............................................................Funky Street

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Monday, March 12, 2018

Fifty years ago....................


..................................Shock waves at the New Hampshire Primary

Senator Eugene McCarthy, running mostly against the War in Vietnam, shocks the political world by receiving 42% of the votes cast in the Democratic primary.  In short order, Bobby Kennedy would enter the race, and soon thereafter Lyndon Johnson, the incumbent President, announced to the nation that he would no longer seek re-election. 

When getting 42% of the vote feels like winning.  Eugene McCarthy on 3/13/68


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Fifty years ago............................


At the art gallery.........................Pablo Picasso had a busy year

Cirque:  Weightlifter

The Painter

Artist and his Model

Don Quixote encountering Dolcinee

Female nude and smoker

Man and Women

Man Head

Musketeer pipe

Nude woman and man with pipe

Reclining nude with the necklace

Seated man with a pipe

The painter in his studio

Female bust

Musketeer and courtesan

Musketeer with pipe

Naked man with woman

Thinking in a Goya:  Women in Prison