Adding Tools to Your Mental Toolbox

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Originally posted on TIME:

In The Art of War Sun Tzu said “The general who wins a battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought.”

Those ‘calculations’ are the tools we have available to think better. One of the best questions you can ask is how we can make our mental processes work better.

Charlie Munger says that “developing the habit of mastering the multiple models which underlie reality is the best thing you can do.”

Those models are mental models.

They fall into two categories: (1) ones that help us simulate time (and predict the future) and better understand how the world works (e.g. understanding a useful idea from like autocatalysis), and (2) ones that help us better understand how our mental processes lead us astray (e.g., availability bias).

When our mental models line up with reality they help us avoid problems. However, they also cause problems…

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How to Parent Like a German

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Originally posted on TIME:

The first time I went to a playground in Berlin, I freaked. All the German parents were huddled together, drinking coffee, not paying attention to their children who were hanging off a wooden dragon 20 feet above a sand pit. Where were the piles of soft padded foam? The liability notices? The personal injury lawyers?

Achtung! Nein!” I cried in my bad German. Both kids and parents ignored me.

Contrary to stereotypes, most German parents I’ve met are the opposite of strict. They place a high value on independence and responsibility. Those parents at the park weren’t ignoring their children; they were trusting them. Berlin doesn’t need a “free range parenting” movement because free range is the norm.

Here are a few surprising things Berlin parents do:

Don’t push reading. Berlin’s kindergartens or “kitas” don’t emphasize academics. In fact, teachers and other parents discouraged me from teaching my…

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5 Modern Da Vinci’s Rules of Success


Da Vinci Walter RussellWalter Russell is the 20th century Renaissance man you’ve probably never heard of, which in his biography shares the 5 rules that allowed him to accomplish so much. Each rule builds on those prior, culminating in the ultimate recipe for genius.

1) Humility – Make your every action in service of others. Ambitions seeking only to serve the self inevitably end in dissatisfaction.

2) Reverence - Become deeply aware that you are an interpreter of universal consciousness. Know that you have the potential to create anything, to co-create INCREDIBLE things, because you are a tool of the Universe, and are ultimately one with everything.
3) Inspiration - Once you are in a place of knowing with your one-ness with the Universe, you need only silence to bring about divine inspiration.
4) Deep Purpose - Inspiration is useless without direction. You must find your ultimate purpose in this life in order to make full use of your new-found knowledge.
5) Joy & Ecstasy - The joy of achieving refuels you with the energy required to carry on to the next achievement. It is by cultivating a deep-seated, untouchable joy that you become able to realize your genius without any interruptions.

The original article (written by Jordan Lejuwaan) is available here.

Original Source

How Nutritionists Snack at Work

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Originally posted on TIME:

Ever wonder what the experts who teach others how to eat healthfully pack in their bags to snack on at work? The right grub can help you stay focused, energized, and full for hours, so you can concentrate on the tasks at hand and maintain the stamina to stay awake during meetings (even the boring ones). We asked nutritionists to share the healthy foods they nosh on throughout the day for lasting body and mind benefits. The results will have you looking forward to snack time.

Full-Fat Cheese Stick Wrap

“My primary go-to snack is a cheese stick wrapped up in a mini high-fiber wheat wrap,” says Marjorie Nolan Cohn, RD, CDN, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. “I choose regular cheese sticks, not the low fat or fat free variety. I love this snack because the cheese stick is high in protein, the wrap is…

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Neil deGrasse Tyson on “What is the meaning of life?”


During a Q&A session on Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s show at the Wilbur Theatre (January 15, 2015), a 6-year-old – and three quarters – boy asked him about the meaning of life.

The answer he gave was simple enough for a child to understand, but so impressive that even left the adults there amazed and without words, see for yourself.

Namasté Neil deGrasse Tyson :)
“We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.” - Carl Sagan

Stay curious and best regards,
Pedro Calado

Computers aren’t making us better workers like they used to

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Pedro Calado:

Very interesting paper and conclusions from organizational and labor sociology perspectives of the evolution of the labor/economic market since the XIX century.

Originally posted on Quartz:

The last decade’s IT-driven productivity gains have largely fallen off, according to a new paper that the San Francisco Fed put up Monday (Feb. 9).

Researchers John Fernald and Bing Wang focused on industries that intensively used or created information technology, and they found that the great digital revolution of the late 1990s’ and early 2000s’ “New Economy” era dissipated in the years just before the recession:

The contribution of IT producers was inordinately high in the late 1990s, accounting for over half of overall TFP [total factor productivity] growth in this period—even though they account for only 5% of the economy. Much of that surge reflected gains in hardware production, in part because competition within the semiconductor industry led to the faster introduction of new chips. In the 2000s, the pace of TFP gains in IT production eased. Hence, the direct contribution of IT-producing industries fell.

IT productivity slowed down a lot. IT productivity slowed down…

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These cities have figured out how to grow sustainably

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Originally posted on Quartz:

European cities are living up to their reputation for being greener and more pleasant than cities in the US and the rest of the world. That’s according to a top-10 list of sustainable cities released by the design and engineering consultancy firm Arcadis in a recent report (pdf).

Arcadis looked at a selection of 50 cities around the world, using a definition of sustainability that goes beyond the environment, wrapping in economic viability and a sustainable quality of life for its citizens.

The report, compiled by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), looked at 50 cities’ sustainability levels by culling data from a range of sources, including the Siemens Green City Index and the World Bank’s World Development Indicators.

The study’s 50 cities were selected by CEBR to reflect a wide geographical coverage and range of levels of economic development, according to Colin Edwards, a senior economist at CEBR. Arcadis asked CEBR to look at cities…

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Google Wants to Make It Easier to Treat Symptoms and Diseases

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Pedro Calado:

From now on Oprah’s Dr. Oz will meet it’s instant online match, because Doctor Google has arrived.
Google brought great news for this Winter with it’s new search feature – best yet for hypochondriacs – because from now on google’s search results will include (lists of) symptoms, causes, prevention or treatment options and comparisons of common ailments or diseases with illustrated guides to treatment, way to go Google :)

Best regards,
Pedro Calado

Originally posted on TIME:

Google searches of common ailments will soon include illustrated guides to treatment, the search giant said Tuesday.

The new feature, which will roll out over the course of this week, will encompass 400 of the most commonly searched medical conditions, from tonsillitis to pink eye. Along with illustrations of the symptoms, the results will include bulleted lists of how frequently the condition occurs and what treatments are available to patients.

“We’re hoping to provide a framework for a more informed conversation with your doctor,” Amit Singhal, Google’s vice president in charge of search, toldUSA Today.

WebMD shares dropped by more than 5% in morning trading, shortly after Google’s announcement.

[time-brightcove videoid=3864878114001]

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Data Scientist Joined the White House to Wrangle Data Issues

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

DJ Patil, who has held of a number of jobs as a data scientist, most notably at LinkedIn, has joined the White House as a data scientist-in-residence with a focus on helping handle health care data, according to John Podesta, Counselor to the President, on a conference call held Thursday. Podesta said Patil had joined the White House this week during a call related to a White house briefing on how the government should handle data and consumer privacy.

After leaving LinkedIn, Patil took on a few jobs, including as data scientist in residence at Greylock, a venture capital firm. His most recent position — and current one, according to his LinkedIn profile — was as vice president of product at RelateIQ, a customer relationship management startup that was acquired by Salesforce.com in July.

Patil is one of the biggest figures in the data science movement, often crediting for coining…

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