"All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work." (Thomas Watson, IBM)
James Schreier's insight:
The items on this topic are related to thinking and information on brain research. The items posted are frequently directly related to one of my most popular management training programs -- Thinking Clearly and Analytically.
One of the things I’ve most enjoyed while watching this first season of Westworld is trying to figure out which tech CEO Ford is most like. Is it Elon Musk with his big dreams and even bigger ambition? Or is it Jeff Bezos with his need for ever-increasing excellence and high pressure, no-regrets management style? Is Ford inspired by all of our worst tech leaders and a few of our best ones? His character seems to be a collage of famous quirks, Hannibal Lecter eyes, and byzantine logic trees.
Having a degree will always be beneficial. It proves to employers that you have determination and transferable skills, for example, the ability to make decisions effectively, lead a team and think logically and analytically - all of which are highly valued.
[William] Clifford argued that we are morally responsible not merely for what we do and say, but also for what we believe… When we show ourselves to be uncritical and careless with own our beliefs, we implicitly invite others to do the same. And, perhaps more obviously, we invite others to fool us. We encourage dishonesty and deception. Each time we believe something that we lack the right to believe, in other words, we spread an intellectual and moral disease: an epistemic shamelessness that threatens the very possibility of meaningful, rational discourse… Among the most pernicious and perilous immoralities of our own age is our apparent surrender to the lowest standards of belief and communication… But it will take tens of thousands of us to really make a difference and drag our civil discourse back from the brink. Should all freshmen across the land be required to study critical thinking and symbolic logic? It is a thought. It’s a thought of Michael Ventimiglia, associate professor of philosophy at Sacred Heart University, who directs what sounds like a terrific program at the school that introduces every first-year student to critical thinking and introductory formal logic, in an essay at Times Higher Education. He is understandably disappointed and frustrated with the level of public discourse, as well as its political results, and he thinks that teaching every student logic could make a difference. I want to believe this. So I should be suspicious of it. (Note: being on the lookout for motivated reasoning is not something typically covered in logic or philosopher-taught critical thinking courses.) Professor Ventimiglia’s case is an explicitly moral one based on the value of “meaningful, rational discourse.” Whether such discourse is valuable in itself, or for the realization of other goods, or both, we can leave aside. Let’s also leave aside the many interesting questions about the extent and degree to which we can plausibly be held responsible for our beliefs. Grant all that. Questions remain. For example: Do people’s improved skills in critical thinking and symbolic logic lead to better, more meaningful, rational discourse among them? Does taking a course in critical thinking and symbolic logic lead to improved skills in critical thinking and symbolic logic? Do enough people attend college such that their..
James Schreier's insight:
Logic was a required freshman course at my university (way back in the day). While I did not do well in the course, I will strongly admit it turned out to be one of the most important and most valuable courses in my entire career -- both educationally and professionally!
The problem is our brains are programmed to procrastinate. In general, we all tend to struggle with tasks that promise future upside in return for efforts we take now. That’s because it’s easier for our brains to process concrete rather than abstract things, and the immediate hassle is very tangible compared with those unknowable, uncertain future benefits. So the short-term effort easily dominates the long-term upside in our minds—an example of something that behavioral scientists call present bias.
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