The Hidden Addictions to Technology

This is an interesting blog post to read if you are interested in digital technology and the addictions that may come along with it. It questions what responsibilities fall to the companies that make these apps and devices. The rest of Nir Eyal’s blog is pretty interesting as well.

Addiction can be a difficult thing to see. From outward appearances, Dr. Zoe Chance looked fine. A professor at the Yale School of Management with a doctorate from Harvard, Chance’s pedigree made what she revealed in front of a crowded TEDx audience all the more shocking. “I’m coming clean today telling this story for the very first time in its raw ugly detail,” she said. “In March of 2012 … I purchased a device that would slowly begin to ruin my life.”

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“We Are All Just Winging It.”

A comforting thought for all the people suffering from imposter syndrome.

I’ve often thought of my experience of adulthood thus far as one of incrementally discovering that there’s no institution, or walk of life, in which everybody isn’t just winging it. Growing up, I assumed that the newspaper on the breakfast table must be assembled by people who truly knew what they were doing; then I got a job at a newspaper.

7 reasons your brain loves lists

Well, why does our brain love lists? I’ll just quote this (only very slightly modified) from The New York Times:

1. It’s an easy reading experience

2. in which the mental heavy lifting of

a. conceptualization,

b. categorization,

c. and analysis

3. is completed well in advance of actual consumption

4. a bit like sipping green juice

5. instead of munching on a bundle of kale.

6. And there is little that our brains crave more

7. than effortlessly acquire data.

The original:

“Together, these create an easy reading experience, in which the mental heavy lifting of conceptualization, categorization, and analysis is completed well in advance of actual consumption—a bit like sipping green juice instead of munching on a bundle of kale. And there’s little that our brains crave more than effortlessly acquired data.”

Complexity and the 10,000 hour rule

I’m sure you’ve heard about the 10,000 hour rule: do something for 10,000 hours and you’ll be an expert! If only it were as simple as that. The number 10,000 is an easy number, though, to pick up and use it. It’s something concrete – you’ll get to 10,000 hours if you work long enough on whatever you’re working on. But as always there are nuances and it does not apply in every single situation. Malcolm Gladwell reminds us of that in this article.

This is the scholarly tradition I was referring to in my book “Outliers,” when I wrote about the “ten-thousand-hour rule.” No one succeeds at a high level without innate talent, I wrote: “achievement is talent plus preparation.” But the ten-thousand-hour research reminds us that “the closer psychologists look at the careers of the gifted, the smaller the role innate talent seems to play and the bigger the role preparation seems to play.” In cognitively demanding fields, there are no naturals.

Note to self: Don’t be so lazy you don’t even do this!

I’m not a naturally super neat person. There’s always something a little messy somewhere in my place (unless you’re visiting, then I stash my messes [mostly piles of paper and notebooks] in a box/closet/somewhere you don’t see it). But it doesn’t take much time to throw something out right away, to make your bed, and so on! But at times I get tired and lazy and the mess grows. So, this is a little reminder to myself. I need it, now and then.

Morning: make your bed. It may seem inconsequential, but it sets the tone for your whole day.

Noon: file and delete emails. […]

Night: pick up and put away clothes/set out tomorrow’s clothes. You’d be amazed at how quickly you can put away the clothes you’ve strewn around, and at how much having your clothes set out de-stresses your morning!

Click here.

How to think

1. Synthesize new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Annotate, model, think, and synthesize while you read, even when you’re reading what you conceive to be introductory stuff. That way, you will always aim towards understanding things at a resolution fine enough for you to be creative.

4. Always have a long-term plan. Even if you change it every day. The act of making the plan alone is worth it. And even if you revise it often, you’re guaranteed to be learning something.

8. As you develop skills, write up best-practices protocols. That way, when you return to something you’ve done, you can make it routine. Instinctualize conscious control.

And more at: Boyden, Ed. (2007). “How to think”. Technology Review.