Legal standards would often ask what the 'reasonable person' would do. But we should consider who this person is.
The reasonable person is not the average person as average people can do unreasonable things; neither is it the ideal person. Instead, the reasonable person represents someone common as well as good.
The reasonable person is often associated with the law of accidents.
When determining if someone is legally responsible for causing an injury, courts want to know if the person causing the injury acted with the care of a reasonable person. But theorists often remark that the reasonable person is not the average person. In turn, this sparks 'ideal' theories of a reasonable person.
How ordinary people judge reasonableness is mostly neglected. The standard of 'reasonable care' might be viewed as the standard level of care or a good level of care or both.
An experiment suggested that our conception of reasonableness is informed by thinking about what people actually do and what people should do.
When the law elaborates on reasonableness, it often suggests statistical considerations.
Historically, courts referred to the 'reasonable person and the 'ordinary' person, or otherwise, the 'ideal average prudent person'.
Acknowledging the relevance of statistical considerations offers progressive implications: when we want to include personal characteristics in reasonable-person analyses, should it include age, gender, race, etc.? For example, apparently sexist remarks. Women may understand certain remarks in the workplace differently from men.
Short-term benefits of firefighting (solving problems as they come) will be visible, but when a manager plays the long game, they think of the entire life cycle of the project, and the organization as a whole.
Preventing problems before they arise may not be as visible as solving problems, but is the right, proactive approach.
Leaders become a scapegoat when things go southwards, as there is a general assumption that everything is their responsibility, so every problem is their own fault. This leads to ‘learned helplessness’, where we ignore our own responsibility and blame others.
Taking the analogy of a ship, if something goes wrong, everyone including the captain is at risk, and is also equally responsible for the problem and for finding a potential solution. One cannot sit back and let others scramble, or blame the captain.
The work of Problem Preventers is invisible, as they seem relaxed, go home on time, and need lots of time to think. They don’t experience much conflict as they already prevent the same. The invisibility of the work they do leads to a wrong perception of them.
Problem Solvers are not united towards any clear goal, but make use of the fundamental flaw in most organisations: Rewarding the solving of problems. They let things go wrong and then step in to fix them, creating visibility. This becomes a zero-sum game after wasting resources and energy.
Taking complete ownership and leading by example makes for a more independent team, as it instils a certain autonomy in the team members.
They are now not just performing certain tasks or following instructions but can respond to any unexpected development as they all have a sense of responsibility. Any potential problem benefits from ‘second-order thinking’ and is noticeable before it turns serious.
Failure is part of the learning process and a good leader understands that it cannot be a sunny day every day.
The team members are not insulated from failure but are given the space and support to create their own path towards success.
Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.
Understanding what is learning and how our memory works will help you understand why certain techniques work and how to use and adapt the techniques to your advantage.
Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.
However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.
Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.
Spaced repetition describes the idea of reviewing new concepts at intervals that get spaced further and further apart.
For example, learning a concept in the morning, reviewing it 8 hours later, then recheck the next day. Reviews then get spaced out 3-4 days, then a week, a month, then again a few months later.
Learning is hard and takes effort on a personal level. It requires attention and physical energy.
Top-down learning is understanding the big picture. It allows you to put the main ideas into a big-picture map to understand how the information fits together.
Bottom-up learning, called "chunking" describes pieces of information that are linked together through meaning or use. Much of learning is developing a sufficient repository of these chunks.
Leveraging diffused and focused learning is key to truly understanding something. You learn chunks through the focused model, and you develop the broader conceptual map using the diffuse way of thinking.
First, learn the basic outline or core structure, then fill in the details. For instance, when reading a book, look at the table of contents (core structure) and scan through the material. Next, use focused reading to fill in the details.
Regressing or getting blocked when learning is not that uncommon, as your brain remaps a concept.
Skipping ahead may help. Take a break, sleep, and exercise, to give your brain time to put the pieces in order again.
We need to study things that interest us; otherwise, it will be hard to make much progress.
Learning is a highly personal process. You need to know yourself and how you learn best. Use the resources and techniques that you like and enjoy, even if they are not scientifically-speaking the most effective.
Jootsing means “jumping out of the system."
Philosopher Daniel C. Dennett describes the process of understanding a system in order to step outside of it as “jootsing,” using a term coined by Douglas Hofstadter.
The concept of jootsing shows us that constraints and restrictions are essential for creativity.
Most of us say we want to be creative—and we want the people we work with and for to be creative. The concept of jootsing reveals why we often end up preventing that from happening. Creativity is impossible without in some way going against rules that exist for a good reason.
Limitations are essential because they give us a starting point and a shape to work against.
War games are a great way to learn about history and warfare.
The Prussians used war games in the 19th c. to prepare for conflicts. So did the WATU (the UK Western Approaches Tactical Unit), and the US Navy. These organizations had the benefit of time, space, and resources, but the same benefits are often unavailable to the officer who wants to learn in his free time.
War games are a great tool to sharpen intuitive decision making. Considering that they provide insight, learning, professional development, and entertainment, they can be applied in a very specialized way.
The civilian market offers a variety of computer and board war games that serve this purpose and is often better at simulating war than those designed by the military.
Computer-based and tabletop-based games fulfil a different purpose and can be complementary.
War games can be used to simulate tactics, operational art, and strategy. War games teach history by doing, and players come to understand why events took place by facing the same dilemmas as the decision-makers of the period.
Improved knowledge of the complexities of war will increase an understanding of history and current events.
Present approaches suggest that intelligence means having the capacity to:
Charles Spearman (British psychologist, 1863–1945) described a concept he referred to as general intelligence or the "g factor". He utilized the method named 'factor analysis' to investigate a few mental ability tests; his conclusion was that the results and scores on these tests were very similar:
People who did well on one cognitive test usually performed well on other tests, while those who performed badly on one test usually scored badly on others. Spearman concluded that intelligence is a general cognitive ability that can be measured and numerically expressed.
Louis L. Thurstone (1887-1955) didn't approach intelligence as a single, general ability; his theory focused on seven different primary mental abilities:
Robert Sternberg (American psychologist) proposed the concept "successful intelligence; this concept involves three different factors:
The first two are easy to understand. It’s the third that’s hardest to learn, and can often only be learned through experience.
The tail-end consequences of an action or event (those with low-probability, high-impact) are all that matter.
In investing, the average consequences of risk make up most of the daily news headlines. But the tail-end consequences of risk (for example, pandemics and depressions) are what make the pages of history books.
Virtue signaling means speaking or behaving in a way that’s meant to prove a person's good moral values.
If a person affirms on social media that they fully support a specific cause, just because they want to show others how caring they are, that person is virtue signaling.
Usually, ‘virtue signaling’ has a negative meaning (even if there are a few situations where it is likely to lead to meaningful positive outcomes).
This behavior is generally defined as being mainly driven by the desire to signal your good moral values, regardless of whether it leads to a meaningful outcome or not.
Individuals can engage in virtue signaling, as can groups, companies, or governments.
Someone might even engage in virtue signaling in private, by saying things that are meant to convince themselves of their own good character.
It means speaking or acting in a way that’s meant to demonstrate one’s allegedly negative moral values.
If a person widely states how much they don’t care about a specific societal issue, that person can generally be said to be vice signaling.
It means supporting a cause in a way that requires little action or commitment, and which therefore has little impact.
Sharing a post about a social issue is a form of slacktivism, if that’s the only thing that the person does in support of that cause.
Boredom is one of the most important factors in creativity. Boredom is a productive state as long as you don't let it get to you.
Agatha Christie said there is nothing like boredom to make you write. Neil Gaiman advises aspiring writers to let themselves get so bored that the mind has nothing better to do than tell itself a story.
When we're bored, two key things are happening in our minds: One is a 'desire bind' where someone wants to do something but not anything that's on offer. The other is when your mind is itching to be engaged.
Our first instinct when we experience some boredom is to fill it with Netflix lists, Instagram feeds, and TikTok videos. Riding out this boredom is vital though.
Boredom is not in itself creative. It's what it leads to that is significant. In the gap of boredom, you're motivated to look for something else, and there's a real chance you'll discover something new.
Boredom triggers daydreaming, and that leads to creativity. In essence, boredom is not the state that is really good for the creative process. It's doing something familiar with a kind of diffused focus that allows your mind to wander.
Most people have a faulty idea about when they have actually learned something.
Learning doesn't come from reading or listening. Reading creates ideas and opportunities. You only learn something when you act on it.
Reading personal development books and articles is extremely valuable. The only problem is when you confuse this with real learning.
Reading a book on exercise doesn't make you fit. Reading an article on time management doesn't make you productive.
We can increase our learning when we understand that reading is like a seed - the ideas you read about have the power to create incredible learning and understanding, but only if you act on it.
Pick a few ideas that you think have the potential to benefit your life most. Then allocate time, energy and resources to practice those ideas.
If you don't have enough ideas to change your life, buy some personal development books and audio material, and search through the content around the web. You will find many ideas in a short time.
Most of the time, we have vague ideas but don't know what to do to make actual changes. This is because the knowing will come from the action. Start applying the ideas.
Acting upon ideas takes a much larger investment of time, energy, and money than reading about them. That is why you have to be selective about what and how you apply the ideas.
Write down all the ideas you have for improving your life. From this list, select one idea and start working on it today.
If you want to develop skills in any area, don't just buy a book. Put yourself in situations where you are forced to learn by doing.
If you want to become a good communicator, join organizations like Toastmasters and take up any opportunity you can to speak.