cool_hand_luke, responding to I’ve always wanted to cook, but…, on Reddit.
Everything posted here is worth thinking about. On the other hand, the ideas and opinions put forth may not be right.
Curated and annotated by Timoni West.
Identity and belief has been my recent academic obsession. This article is a nicely lays out some key fundamentals.
Tim Kreider: The Power of ‘I Don’t Know’, in the New York Times.
Little is known about how discrimination against women and minorities manifests before individuals formally apply to organizations or how it varies within and between organizations.
We address this knowledge gap through an audit study in academia of over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities drawn from 89 disciplines and 259 institutions…In our experiment, professors were contacted by fictional prospective students seeking to discuss research opportunities prior to applying to a doctoral program.
Names of students were randomly assigned to signal gender and race (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese), but messages were otherwise identical.
We found that faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from Caucasian males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions.
…In the decades that followed, Maltz’s work influenced nearly every major “self-help” professional from Zig Ziglar to Brian Tracy to Tony Robbins. And as more people recited Maltz’s story…people began to forget that he said “a minimum of about 21 days” and shortened it to, “It takes 21 days to form a new habit.”
…On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact. And how long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances. In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit.
(51) How Long Does it Actually Take to Form a New Habit, by James Clear
Good thing to keep in mind if you’re actively trying to change your behavior right now, and feel frustrated.
Five Ways White Feminists Can Address Our Own Racism, by Sarah Milstein
Lovely piece full of practical advice. What Milstein’s talking about here is the confirmation bias, something that everyone has. The more aware you are that it exists, the easier it is to combat.
I think the answer to this question is: ‘he is really good at what he does, and his job does not directly involve making the company profitable.’ Either that, or he/she is great to work with—which, for most higher-level positions, is the same as being good at their job.
That being said, there is a certain bias assuming that one’s work can be judged by the companies they worked at. While it’s certainly not a bad indication, it’s always best to check out the portfolio —and go with your gut.
I post this because, particularly early on my career, I noticed a lot of number fudging on company presentations. I never saw the point of it: if things are bad, it’s time to consider change one’s focus or direction, not change the graph axis.
This quote illustrates a variable that isn’t often discussed when people talk about meritocracy in the workplace, or (more importantly) address when product decisions are being made. When those people who have excellent ideas are naturally self-effacing, how does one make sure that their ideas get special attention? It’s easy to confuse a good idea with a good argument.
I see quotes like this a lot. They sound right, but aren’t based on data, just gut reaction, or perhaps personal experience.
Only in the previous century has humanity had large populations with significant literacy rates. When it comes to reading, analyzing, and thinking about written material, it’s fair to say that we’ve moved into uncharted territory.
We simply do not know if humans will be better off they read less fluffy articles and social timelines. We do know the following:
- Historically, fluffy articles and social timelines are similar to the oral updates humans would have heard throughout the day: gossip from people they know, and news about the area.
- TVs and movies now occupy a space similar to the oral storytelling traditions of yore.
- There has almost always been something of a small literate population. They have had long-form materials throughout history, though popular fiction only happened after the improvements of mass publishing tools, and with a few exceptions, popular non-fiction came even later.
I like the idea that humans are bettered by reading and absorbing large abstract ideas, ideas that allow them a greater understanding of the human experience without having to live it. But I’m not entirely sold on the idea that consuming small bits of shallow data must then be harmful.
I quoted this because it roughly supports an idea I’ve been kicking around lately: that there is an uncanny-valley-like problem for apps and sites that display user-generated content. If content is too high-quality, it seems wasted on an ugly interface, regardless of audience. If the content is low quality, it’s not worthy of posting on a well-designed interface, again, almost regardless of audience.
There is a sliding scale of what is high or low quality, of course, that goes beyond pretty pictures: what the content says, how original it is, what it captures, and who made it. But the dichotomy appears to persist, subconsciously, across user bases, and the promise of ephemerality seems to have the same qualities as an ugly interface.
Narrator: One interesting thing Seth says he learned from studying leaders leader is that a lot of them…are not textbook leader material. They’re not charismatic, or inspiring, at least not at first.
Seth Godin: There’s a nonsense belief that leaders have this glib George Clooney-like, or even Adolph Hitler like, effect to them…and that you need to have that in order to lead—that charisma leads to leadership. In fact, in all of my research, the opposite is true. Charisma doesn’t come from being a leader; being a leader makes you charismatic. And when we look at someone like Nathan [Winograd, of SPCA], who’s quite shy, he doesn’t seem like someone who could take a Jimmy Stewart role in a movie.
Guy Raz: Or Bill Gates!
Seth Godin: Right. Bill has a lot of trouble making eye contact. Bill has a lot of trouble getting a room of strangers to come around to his point of view.
Guy Raz: Yeah, he’s kind of an awkward guy.
Seth Godin: Yeah. But now, because of the kind of impact his foundation has had, with he and Melinda, he gets charisma. People feel differently around him.
Seth Godin on Ted Radio Hour: Disruptive Leadership
This is something I’ve noticed before and part of the reason I advocate for affirmative action. Often people are assigned respect due to their role, and will then naturally grow to deserve that respect.