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Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win

Inside the Secret World of the Data Crunchers Who Helped Obama Win | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

 

Time Magazine has published a fascinating account of how President Obama's campaign team used data to microtarget voters.

 

This is a great showcase of big data intelligence and the use of it.

 

This is something we see way more of and the development in this field will profoundly impact the way organizations are managed in the future. 

 

Harvard Business Review has followed up on the story in an interview with with MIT's Andrew McAfee. You can read the story here:

http://blogs.hbr.org/hbr/hbreditors/2012/11/the_analytics_lesson_from_the.html

 

Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen on www.scoop.it/t/knowledge-broker

 

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Books Can Open Your Mind

Books Can Open Your Mind | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

What happens when a dream you've held since childhood … doesn't come true? As Lisa Bu adjusted to a new life in the United States, she turned to books to expand her mind and create a new path for herself. She shares her unique approach to reading in this lovely, personal talk about the magic of books.

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Learning to Become Resilient

Learning to Become Resilient | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Perception is key to resilience: Do you conceptualize an event as traumatic, or as a chance to learn and grow?

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Resilience presents a challenge for psychologists. Whether you can be said to have it or not largely depends not on any particular psychological test but on the way your life unfolds. If you are lucky enough to never experience any sort of adversity, we won’t know how resilient you are. It’s only when you’re faced with obstacles, stress, and other environmental threats that resilience, or the lack of it, emerges: Do you succumb or do you surmount?

 

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Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

Facts Don’t Change Our Minds | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

New discoveries about the human mind show the limitations of reason.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

The vaunted human capacity for reason may have more to do with winning arguments than with thinking straight.

 

Providing people with accurate information doesn’t seem to help; they simply discount it. Appealing to their emotions may work better, but doing so is obviously antithetical to the goal of promoting sound science.

 

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Kajsa Hartig's curator insight, February 22, 12:14 AM
How can museums deal with a world of confirmation bias?
Barbara Ganley's curator insight, February 22, 9:54 AM
Important to keep in mind.
Michelle Pollace's curator insight, February 22, 10:45 AM
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Time Management is Ruining Our Lives

Time Management is Ruining Our Lives | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

All of our efforts to be more productive backfire – and only make us feel even busier and more stressed.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas. Which paths will you pursue, and which will you abandon? Which relationships will you prioritise, during your shockingly limited lifespan, and who will you resign yourself to disappointing? What matters?

 

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Karen Bowden's curator insight, February 10, 11:48 AM
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How to build a metaphor to change people’s minds

How to build a metaphor to change people’s minds | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Life is a road, time is a destroyer. What exactly is a metaphor? A metaphor designer's insight into the art and power of using language and imagery to communicate an idea.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

At a conceptual level, life is a journey, and arguments are wars: you take sides, there can be only one winner, evidence is a weapon.

 

 

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Don’t Quit Social Media. Put It to Work for Your Career Instead.

Don’t Quit Social Media. Put It to Work for Your Career Instead. | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Patrick Gillooly of Monster takes issue with Cal Newport, who recently urged professionals to quit social media. Mr. Gillooly says the career benefits far outweigh the pitfalls.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Your social media presence — and, really, your whole digital footprint — is no longer just an extension of your résumé. It’s as important as your résumé. Social media use is now a standard of the hiring process, and there’s little chance of going back.

 

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Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.

Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It. | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Our increasing addiction to the constant stimulus of updates, likes and posts is damaging our ability to concentrate deeply and focus on work that matters.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

The foundation to achievement and fulfillment, almost without exception, requires that you hone a useful craft and then apply it to things that people care about. This is a philosophy perhaps best summarized by the advice Steve Martin used to give aspiring entertainers: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” If you do that, the rest will work itself out, regardless of the size of your Instagram following.

 

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Are We Really So Modern?

Are We Really So Modern? | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

For all our technological breakthroughs, we’re still wrestling with the same basic questions as the Enlightenment philosophers.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

We like to think of ourselves as living in an age of unprecedented disruption. In reality we are still living with the problems that the Enlightenment philosophers formulated and tried to solve. We are never quite as modern as we think.

 

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David Hain's curator insight, November 3, 2016 11:31 AM

The big questions are timeless and don't go away. We just need to be sure we keep asking them from time to time...

Arron Saini's comment, November 14, 2016 7:06 AM
Here is the end of all the questions. I found a website which helps us solving all our questions so that we can life a peaceful life : http://www.dadabhagwan.org/
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The Sartre Blend: Uncovering the Birth of Existentialism

The Sartre Blend: Uncovering the Birth of Existentialism | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Want to know why 50,000 people showed up to pay their respects at the funeral of Jean-Paul Sartre? Three books may provide the answer.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell is a personal favorite of mine. It is a real gem if your interested in philosophy. 

 

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Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet

Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Cognitive biases are just tools, useful in the right contexts, harmful in others. They’re the only tools we’ve got, and they’re even pretty good at what they’re meant to do. We might as well get familiar with them and even appreciate that we at least have some ability to process the universe with our mysterious brains.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Four problems that biases help us address:

 

Problem 1: Too much information.

There is just too much information in the world, we have no choice but to filter almost all of it out. Our brain uses a few simple tricks to pick out the bits of information that are most likely going to be useful in some way.

 

Problem 2: Not enough meaning.

The world is very confusing, and we end up only seeing a tiny sliver of it, but we need to make some sense of it in order to survive. Once the reduced stream of information comes in, we connect the dots, fill in the gaps with stuff we already think we know, and update our mental models of the world.

 

Problem 3: Need to act fast.

We’re constrained by time and information, and yet we can’t let that paralyze us. Without the ability to act fast in the face of uncertainty, we surely would have perished as a species long ago. With every piece of new information, we need to do our best to assess our ability to affect the situation, apply it to decisions, simulate the future to predict what might happen next, and otherwise act on our new insight.

 

Problem 4: What should we remember?

There’s too much information in the universe. We can only afford to keep around the bits that are most likely to prove useful in the future. We need to make constant bets and trade-offs around what we try to remember and what we forget. For example, we prefer generalizations over specifics because they take up less space. When there are lots of irreducible details, we pick out a few standout items to save and discard the rest. What we save here is what is most likely to inform our filters related to problem 1’s information overload, as well as inform what comes to mind during the processes mentioned in problem 2 around filling in incomplete information. It’s all self-reinforcing.

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Dave Wood's curator insight, September 18, 2016 6:39 PM
Fascinating article that culminated in a summary  of the range of cognitive biases that underlie flawed thinking (our own and others).  Good coaching surfaces assumptions and biases and tests them.
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On Being Wrong

On Being Wrong | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for the New Yorker and is the author of "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error."

 

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Gisele HELOU's curator insight, September 9, 2016 3:38 AM

Kathryn Schulz is a staff writer for the New Yorker and is the author of "Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error."

 

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20 Big Questions about the Future of Humanity

20 Big Questions about the Future of Humanity | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Scientific American asked leading scientists to predict the future. Here’s what they had to say.

 

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David Hain's curator insight, September 9, 2016 4:50 AM

It's your future - are you thinking about some of this stuff? HT Kenneth Mikkelsen!

Miklos Szilagyi's curator insight, September 10, 2016 2:09 AM
It's already good to speak about it... future of humanity... hope it means it will exist...
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The Nature of Existence

What are the answers to the great questions of life, and who is certain they know the truth others have been struggling to find for centuries?

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

In this documentary, The Nature of Existence, Roger Nygard traveled around the globe to the source of the world’s different belief systems and asked theologians, scientists, skeptics, and everyday people 85 existential questions like why do we exist, how can we improve humanity and what is morality?

 

You can find the 85 questions here

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The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines

The Risk of Putting Our Knowledge in the Hands of Machines | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

We rely on computers to fly our planes, find our cancers, design our buildings, audit our businesses. That's all well and good. But what happens when the computer fails?

 

No machine is infallible. Sooner or later, even the most advanced technology will break down, misfire, or, in the case of a computerized system, encounter circumstances that its designers never anticipated. As automation technologies become more complex, relying on interdependencies among algorithms, databases, sensors, and mechanical parts, the potential sources of failure multiply. They also become harder to detect.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Seeking convenience, speed, and efficiency, we rush to off-load work to computers without reflecting on what we might be sacrificing as a result.  More and more, at work and at leisure, we’re living our lives inside glass cockpits. 

 

Does our essence still lie in what we know, or are we now content to be defined by what we want? If we don’t grapple with that question ourselves, our gadgets will be happy to answer it for us.

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Complexity & Stupidity

Complexity & Stupidity | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

In this episode of the Waking Up podcast, Sam Harris talks to biologist David Krakauer about information, complex systems and the future of humanity.

 

The Aeon article discussed in this podcast: The Empty Brain

 

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

David Krakauer is President and William H. Miller Professor of Complex Systems at the Santa Fe Institute. His research explores the evolution of intelligence on earth. This includes studying the evolution of genetic, neural, linguistic, social and cultural mechanisms supporting memory and information processing, and exploring their generalities.

 

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How Technology Disrupted the Truth

How Technology Disrupted the Truth | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Social media has swallowed the news – threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism.

 

Illustration: Sébastien Thibault

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Does the truth matter any more when we all live in a filter bubble?

 

 

Increasingly, what counts as a fact is merely a view that someone feels to be true – and technology has made it very easy for these “facts” to circulate with a speed and reach that was unimaginable in the Gutenberg era.

 

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This is Your Brain on Communication

This is Your Brain on Communication | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Neuroscientist Uri Hasson researches the basis of human communication, and experiments from his lab reveal that even across different languages, our brains show similar activity, or become "aligned," when we hear the same idea or story. This amazing neural mechanism allows us to transmit brain patterns, sharing memories and knowledge.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Our ability to communicate relies on our ability to have common ground. This alignment depends not only on our ability to understand the basic concept; it also depends on our ability to develop common ground and understanding and shared belief systems. Because we know that in many cases, people understand the exact same story in very different ways.

 

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Knowledge and Power: Noam Chomsky

Documentary on Noam Chomsky's life, opinions, influence and philosophies.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Discovering and reading Chomsky is a rite of passage. I highly recommend watching this documentary about his life, formation and thinking. 

 

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PressPausePlay

The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities. 

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Does democratized culture mean better art or is true talent instead drowned out?

 

This is the question addressed by PressPausePlay, a documentary film containing interviews with some of the world's most influential creators of the digital era. 

 

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At the Existentialist Café

At the Existentialist Café | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

An examination of the careers of existentialist thinkers clarifies their philosophy and its influence.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Sarah Bakewell’s book is a joint portrait of Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Albert Camus, Karl Jaspers, Martin Heideg­ger and a half-dozen other European writers and philosophers who embodied the movements in 20th-century thought known as existentialism and phenomenology. 

 

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The College of Chinese Wisdom

The College of Chinese Wisdom | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Telling young people to discover their true selves causes confusion and anxiety. Better to follow Confucius, who knew that our identities are in constant flux.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with.

 

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Demarcio Washington's curator insight, April 3, 2016 1:31 PM

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with.

 

Mónica Díaz's curator insight, April 4, 2016 8:43 AM

According to Confucius and other Chinese philosophers, we shouldn’t be looking for our essential self, let alone seeking to embrace it, because there is no true, unified self to begin with.

 

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Why Must We Be Efficient?

Why Must We Be Efficient? | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Not dozens or hundreds but thousands of titles like “Smarter Faster Better” are published every year, and they account for a disproportionate percentage of total book sales. Yet they mainly reiterate common sense.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Examining the rise - and limits - of books that promise to help you be more flexible, agile and innovative.

 

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Super-Intelligent Humans Are Coming

Super-Intelligent Humans Are Coming | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it
 Each society will decide for itself where to draw the line on human genetic engineering, but we can expect a diversity of perspectives. Almost certainly, some countries will allow genetic engineering, thereby opening the door for global elites who can afford to travel for access to reproductive technology. As with most technologies, the rich and powerful will be the first beneficiaries.Genetic engineering will one day create the smartest humans who have ever lived.
Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

 Each society will decide for itself where to draw the line on human genetic engineering, but we can expect a diversity of perspectives. Almost certainly, some countries will allow genetic engineering, thereby opening the door for global elites who can afford to travel for access to reproductive technology. As with most technologies, the rich and powerful will be the first beneficiaries.

 

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The Bias Against Creativity

The Bias Against Creativity | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

Is there a bias against creativity? It’s usually only after an idea has gained acceptance and recognition that we applaud the idea and its creator.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Why are paradigm-shifting ideas throughout history consistently, and predictably, ridiculed and rejected?

It’s because, as a culture and as individuals, we’re deeply biased against creativity. By nature, human beings are highly risk averse. And when there is a motivation to reduce uncertainty, creativity biases are activated on both individual and institutional levels. Across the board, people (not to mention institutions and decision makers) deny creative ideas, even when they explicitly cite creativity as being among their goals or values.

 

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Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, February 24, 2016 1:49 PM

Creativity disrupts the status quo. It is is different than innovation which uses existing structure to reform what is done rather than transform what is being done.Transforming is going beyond where we are and reforming is retaining the basic structure.

selfoperator's comment, February 24, 2016 10:33 PM
Its magnificent :)
margot roi's curator insight, February 25, 2016 9:10 AM

Always follow the insightful artists. 

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10 Great Vanishings in Literature

10 Great Vanishings in Literature | Knowledge Broker | Scoop.it

This is a great reading list from Idra Novey, author of Ways to Disappear.

 

Kenneth Mikkelsen's insight:

Why are disappearances so alluring? Perhaps the reason is that, as mortals, we are all destined to vanish from our lives eventually.

 

Ten landmark books that revolve around a vanishing.

 

Idra Novey can be followed on Twitter here: @IdraNovey.

 

 

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Curated by Kenneth Mikkelsen
Thinker ★ Speaker ★ Writer ★ Leadership Adviser ★ Learning Designer ★ Neo-Generalist

Kenneth Mikkelsen is co-founder of FutureShifts. He helps visionary companies identify and tackle the big shifts in the world by cultivating the skills, mindsets, behaviours and organisational cultures needed to succeed in times of change.