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The Impoverishment of Attention

The Impoverishment of Attention

https://fs.blog/2014/01/the-impoverishment-of-attention/

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Inner, other and outer focus

Inner, other and outer focus

We need three kinds of focus:

  • Inner focus guides our values and decisions.
  • Other focus smooths our...

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Continual partial attention

We increasingly find it difficult to focus on the hear and now without checking our phones. We seem to go through life in a state of "continual partial attention." We're there...

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Two main varieties of distractions

  • Sensory: We can more easily tune out from sensory distractions. For example, the feel of your tongue against your upper palate is an incoming stimuli your brain weeds ou...

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We learn best with focused attention

As we read a book or blog, our mind constructs a mental model that helps us to make sense of what we are reading. If we can't focus, we'll have holes in our understanding.

To key to...

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Innovation at work

Innovation at work

When you look at great geniuses like Newton, for example, it can be easy to imagine that their ideas and work came exclusively out of their minds. But that is seldom how it works.

Innovatio...

Everyone gets a lift up

We get to see further than our predecessors, not because we have a greater vision or greater height, but because we are lifted on their gigantic stature.

There are giants in every field. Don't let them intimidate you. Take from anywhere that resonates with you and inspires or fuels your imagination. Build upon it and improve it. Doing this will make your work authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent.

The "Not invented here" syndrome

'Not invented here syndrome' is a term for situations when we avoid using ideas, products, or data created by someone else, and instead develop our own even if it is more expensive, time-consuming, and of lower quality.
The syndrome can also show up as a reluctance to delegate work.
Creating a new solution may be more exciting, but new solutions create new problems.

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    Risk Compensation

    Risk Compensation

    Risk protection is normally done to minimize the harm a particular activity can do to us. There are various things we do to reduce our risk, to make ourselves safer.

    Behaviour scientists po...

    Risk Compensation Effects

    • When automobile safety laws were introduced, the drivers started taking more risks while driving, leading to more pedestrian accidents.
    • Children (and even adults) take more physical risks while playing a sport with protective gear.
    • Safety features like Anti-lock brakes in vehicles ended up increasing the accidents for taxi drivers in Germany
    • Child-proof caps on medicine bottles made parents careless about their being opened by kids, including the ones which don’t have the safety feature.

    The Carelessness Effect

    Having a safety device in place, and armed with the knowledge that we can push the envelope a bit, the appetite for risk increases.

    • People who have an emergency fund in place tend to be less careful about their investments.
    • People wearing a face-mask in this global pandemic feel like they are safer in crowded places (It’s a face mask, not an Iron Man suit).

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    Guru Madhavan

    "The core of the engineering mind-set is what I call modular systems thinking. It’s not a singular talent, b..."

    Guru Madhavan

    Thinking in Systems

    It means to be able to break down a big system into its sections and putting it back together. The target is to identify the strong and weak links: how the sections work, don’t work, or could potentially work and applying this knowledge to engineer useful outcomes.

    There is no engineering method, so modular systems thinking varies with contexts.

    Fundamental Properties of the Engineering Mind-Set

    • The ability to see a structure where there’s nothing apparent.
    • Adeptness at designing under constraints.
    • The capacity to hold alternative ideas in your head and make considered judgments.