Book Lesson 02- The Fuzzy and the Techie

The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the liberal arts will Rule the Digital World by Scott Hartley

Why should you read this?

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  • To understand how liberal arts, inspire creative thinking
  • To know the dynamics of the future digital job market
  • To get a close view of silicon valley’s new-found love towards fuzzies
  • To get an idea of what the futuristic education system should look like
  • To understand why fuzzies will be at the forefront of innovation in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world

5 Key takeaways!

  • If you have been a bright or above average student during your school life, there is a high probability that you must be a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), graduate. Also, most of the STEM graduates end up working in the tech sector but when it comes to critical and complex problem solving involving humane element, it’s the liberal arts graduates who have the higher chance of excelling. Well, this sounds quite counterintuitive, isn’t it?
  • Most of the persuasion cues (random & variable reward, red color for notifications etc.) that are used in today’s social media apps or websites are derived from the field of psychology and these persuasion techniques are taught to the silicon valley techies in psychology and persuasion techniques classes, for example- Stanford’s professor B.J.Fogg’s class Persuasive Technology Lab (PTL) is quite famous for teaching persuasion or engagement techniques. So, humanities and liberal arts are already ruling us.
  • Our too much screen time actually affects our mind and the development of social skills and creativity among children. It is not surprising that most of the silicon valley parents send their children to Waldorf school in California where children are kept away from tech. Also, physical activity and art are preferred over technology and computers are not introduced until eighth grade.
  • There is a distinction of task between routine/non-routine, where routine jobs have a higher threat of automation as these are quite manual in approach as compared to non-routine tasks which are more abstract and can’t be automated easily.
  • There is also mention of a few interesting studies which highlights the automation probability of the different type of jobs and shows how the liberal arts or humanities-based jobs (like educational service) come last in their turn for automation. The studies mentioned in this book are The McKinsey Study and the study by Oxford University.

Book Lesson 01- Moonwalking with Einstein

Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer

Why should you read this? 51rz2FvKGmL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_

  • To understand how memory can be trained.
  • To know few techniques of memory enhancement.
  • To get a glimpse of inner workings of brain.
  • To believe that our memory can be enhanced with practice.
  • To understand the amount of hard work that goes behind winning memory championship.

5 key take-aways!

  1. There are two types of memories Declarative and Non-declarative.
  • Non-declarative memory is what we know unconsciously. It consists of Motor skill learning in cerebellum, perceptual learning in neocortex and habit learning in basal ganglia. (This is hardwired in us unconsciously)
  • Declarative memories consists of semantic memory (fact based) and episodic memory (experience based located in time and space). (We must deliberately retrieve it from our brain)
  1. Brain is just 2% of our body mass but it uses a fifth of the oxygen we breathe and the quarter of the glucose we take. (So, it requires a lot of energy compared to any other organs)
  2. There are three stages of acquiring new skills – cognitive stage (intellectualizing the task and discovering new strategies to accomplish it), Associative stage (concentrating less, making fewer errors and becoming more efficient), Autonomous stage (you have become good for task and it’s on autopilot). Autonomous stage is where we hit the plateau in terms of learning curve. So, here comes the importance of deliberate practice, which helps in keeping out of autonomous stage and improve further.
  3. Monotony collapses time and novelty unfolds it. When we change our routine on regular basis by traveling, acquiring new skills etc. then we have enough instances of memories to anchor it over the stretched psychological sense of time. So, it lengthens our perception of our lives.
  4. Life seems to speed up as we get older because life gets less memorable as we get older.” So, the more distinct memory we have, the better we feel about our life.