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"The core of the engineering mind-set is what I call modular systems thinking. It’s not a singular talent, but a melange of techniques and principles. Systems-level thinking is more than j...
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 wor...
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
“Technological progress requires above all tolerance toward the unfamiliar and the eccentric.”
“Invention occurs at the level of the individual, and we should address the factors that determine individual creativity. Individuals, however, do not live in a vacuum. What makes them implement, improve and adapt new technologies, or just devise small improvements in the way they carry out their daily work depends on the institutions and the attitudes around them.”
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We need three kinds of focus:
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 but not aware of where we put our attention.
While modern technology has its advantages, our attention span is suffering. Teachers are noticing that current students find it hard to read books that previous students used to enjoy. Teachers think that students' ability to read has been compromised by short text messages and video games.
Those who focus best are relatively immune to emotional disturbance.
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A few months ago, the world seemed reliable, but now it is changing so fast and has so many unknown dimensions, it can be hard to try and keep up.
Mental models can help us understand the wo...
Compounding is exponential growth. We tend to see the immediate linear relationships in the situation, e.g., how one test diagnoses one person.
The compounding effect of that relationship means that increased testing can lead to an exponential decrease in disease transmission because one infected person can infect more than just one person.
In the absence of enough testing, we need to use probabilistic thinking to make decisions on what actions to take. Reasonable probability will impact your approach to physical distancing if you estimate the likelihood of transmission as being three people out of ten instead of one person out of one thousand.
When you have to make decisions with incomplete information, use inversion: Look at the problem backward. Ask yourself what you could do to make things worse, then avoid doing those things.
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