Deconstructed is the new artisan?

Diseñador: Juan Esteban Uràn

We were in the offices at media city and over lunch Simon got talking about progress. He never said it but I felt this was calling out of previous discussions about human progress.

Then he said…

Deconstruction is the new artisan

If you swap the artisan for deconstructed it gets interesting

Deconstructed food
Deconstructed cooking
Deconstructed coffee
Deconstructed tea
Deconstructed media
Deconstructed music

So what’s special about deconstruction? Well as most designers know deconstruction is something you are always doing. It drives creativity and performance; but a discussion with simon and roberto boiled down to this thought…

Destruction is the conceptual disassembly of an idea presented in a new realisation.

Realisation can be a product, idea, concept, service, gain, etc. Yes you could call it remix but it’s more… In a recent freakonomics podcast Dubner interviews Ericsson the writer of peak. In the interview he talks about deliberate practice. Deliberate practice being the act of deconstructing what you are doing, why and for a new realisation/direction?

ERICSSON: Well, I think this has to do with the body. If you’re just doing things that feel comfortable and go out and jog, the body basically won’t change. In order to actually change your aerobic ability, people now know that the only way you can do that is if you practice now at a heart rate that is above 70 percent of your maximal heart rate. So it would be maybe around 140 for a young adult. And you have to do that for about 30 minutes at least two or three times a week. If you practice at a lower intensity, the body will actually not develop this difficult, challenging biochemical situation, which will elicit now genes to create physiological adaptations.

DUBNER: Let’s say I’m a crummy piano player, and I want to become a good piano player. For something like that, or for something like writing, or for something like selling insurance, what does it mean to get outside of one’s comfort zone and why does that improve my ability to get good?

ERICSSON: Deliberate practice relies on this fact that if you make errors, you’re going to find ways to eliminate those errors. So if you’re not actually stretching yourself outside of what you already can do, you’re probably not engaging in deliberate practice.

That drive for peak performance no matter how unattainable perfection is; requires people to disassemble or deconstruct what they have done; then rework that part heavily. Out of this comes new insight, ideas and direction. Designers do this all the time, its called the design process.

In the future if its not deconstructed, it won’t be worth considering… Something similar to how artisan is now, but imagine similar in 5 years? Maybe?

Marching to the beat of my own drum

Time To Walk Like A Rebel

I had a read of Thought Catalog over breakfast in Vivid Lounge and came across this post which I certainly could identify with.

10 Signs You March To The Beat Of Your Own Drum

  1. You have a strong distaste for the status quo.
    Its less of a distaste, more a lack of interest in a system which rejects and marginalizes people because they are different.
  2. You lack respect for authority figures.
    I’m more skeptical and wary of authority. Partly down to previous experience but it can also be an advantage in compliance and social engineering scams.
  3. You can objectively look at both sides of an issue.
    Yep its a bit strange, as I can always play the devils advocate. It tends to frustrate.
  4. You’re passionate about learning
    I’m all about life long learning and admitting I quite enjoy learning.
  5. You’re always up for a good debate.
    This plays right back at the devils advocate things, I won’t lie a good debate is how you learn and refine.
  6. Sometimes people think you’re crazy.
    Indeed…
  7. You’re always refining your ideas.
    Through debate, discussion and collaboration.
  8. You limit the amount of media you consume.
    This one is something I find interesting. People always wonder why I haven’t heard about this and that. I mean how could I not know about this and that? Interestingly the Freakonomics covered something similar a few weeks ago in a podcast.I do limit how media I consume, by limiting the number of time I spend looking at Facebook, Twitter, etc. I’m also a chooser, so I don’t just put the Radio/TV on and watch whats on. Likewise I’m choosy on what and where I spend my attention.
  9. You fear being average.
    Doesn’t everybody? I do wonder if most people think about this?
  10. You’re never bored.
    Indeed, theres so much that can and should be done. Be it physically, mentally or elsewhere. Life’s too exciting to be bored…!

Great stuff… and I leave you with this… Thanks Chris

https://twitter.com/chrismessina/status/614201228952797184

Think like a child?

Many people have said and commented I think like a child or that I am childlike…?

On the face of it, it can be seen as a negative thing, I mean who wants to be compared to a child? Heck theres even game shows asking if you are smarter than a child. But I don’t see it that way.

This is a side effect of my dyslexia in daily life, and has a interesting affect on relationships. However I and the freakonomics think this is a good way of going about life

It may be that we embrace the idea in this book of thinking like children because we’re kind of, you know, childlike. We have kind of obvious observations sometimes. There’s observations that strike people as obvious. We ask a lot of questions that are not considered, you know, the kind of questions that people ask in good company or smart company. But one of the most powerful pieces of thinking like a child that we argue is thinking small.

Thinking like a child is a gift and a advantage I would argue.

…what I find is that kids are better at paying attention to more than one thing. Their attention is more diffuse. Adults are really good at focusing on one thing and ignoring peripheral distractions, whereas kids are really good at sort of shotgunning their attention all over the place. Which is a good way to learn. It’s good when you’re first learning how things work, when you’re first exploring the world. But in magic, you want the person to focus on one thing. You want to direct their attention to one particular thing so that they won’t see what’s going on in the shadows…

Ah attention… They tell us that multi-tasking is a bad thing but regardless I feel better when multitasking. Unless I’m delving into the flow state with others, but I’m still wondering elsewhere.

…I think it’s also that they’re approaching it with this curiosity and it’s this sponge-like desire, and that they’re always making theories. That’s the other thing. I don’t feel like adults are like that. I sort of feel like they watch it and they’re waiting for the punchline, and then they sort of see it, and then they maybe go back and think about it. With kids, you get this sense that at every step of the way they’re trying to understand it. From the second they see it, they’re always coming up with theories

I think the general picture, when you talk about risks as adults, when we’re trying to decide on a course of action, we’re always balancing the risks and utilities. Whether that’s a risk to my reputation or my ego or my future interactions with other people or just a risk to my profit margin. And kids aren’t in that world of—or at least, if they’re being taken care of properly—they’re not in that world of risk and utility calculations. That liberates then, that frees them to, as we say, play.

Curiosity and play, something which we as adults seem to lose for many reason. Risk of being wrong in front of peers is a big one. This seems linked to the fear of rejection in my mind. But I guess risk is a better word for it in general.

The point I’m making is, a child like outlook isn’t a bad thing and actually we might be better off with child like thinking.

There is something about being a child, about having that particular childlike mind and brain, that is the thing that’s letting you explore more and, in some sense, be more creative. And that there are things that we could do even as adults that put us back into that kind of state.

America and the beautful game?

Canada vs Team USA Woman's Semi-Finals in Football

What is it with the United States of America and the “beautiful” game of Football?

I like many others always wondered why American’s just don’t get football. Interestingly on the eve of the World Cup, those freakonomics guys explores the issue with some substantial depth and some things I never really considered… Well worth a listen.

With the 2014 World Cup getting underway in Brazil, we’ve just released an episode called “Why America Doesn’t Love Soccer (Yet).”

A variety of TV networks now broadcast European club matches all year long. MLS, or Major League Soccer — the U.S. and Canadian professional league – continues to grow. Next year it will add a twentieth team,NYC-FC, or New York City Football Club, which is co-owned by the New York Yankees and Manchester City,which has won England’s Premier League two of the last three seasons.David Beckham, the sport’s biggest star of the past few generations, is trying to start another MLS team, in Miami.And indeed, if you take a look at a magazine rack this week, it’s hard to find a magazine without the World Cup on its cover. Every four years, we hear the same mantra: this time, soccer will really take root in the U.S., the way it’s taken root elsewhere in the world. But let’s be honest. It probably won’t. Many of the people who are most fanatical about the sport in the U.S. have some kind of ties to Europe or South America or Africa.

My own experience also has me puzzled.

When I first met Sarah, I went to the states in 2002 and besides the mild culture shock. The lack of news about Football was shocking. You got a major world wide event and there was little to no mainstream coverage! Heck the funny thing was, America actually made it to the quarter finals that world cup. But no one in America seemed to be aware or cared. I think I actually found out more about the American team in Wired magazine at the time.

Also during the London 2012 Olympics, there was very little interest. I think the female football may have gotten more support than the male one? Of course they then went on and won the female football competition… Will Football one day make up America’s top 5 sports? Maybe but its going to be a long while before I can see that happening. Which seem a bit of a shame…

The BBC a long while ago did some research into people and tv sport. There were a few different groups, and the group I recognized myself in was the ones who get caught up in big sporting events like the worldcup and olympics. I feel the universality of it really unites and ignites something in most people around the world. Even those who don’t normally follow sports.

Solomon DUBNER: Well, it definitely unites the whole world because it’s in some ways it’s a universal language. Almost everywhere in the world plays and follows football, in every country pretty much. And it just unites everyone somehow, it’s kind of crazy.

Scratching at the online dating bubble

Freakonomics recently put up a podcast about online dating. I love the it the show and you know your in for a good show when someone says…

…if only everybody approached it like an economist would…

Online dating through the eyes of an economist is a very intriguing world indeed. But unfortunately not everyone does. In actual fact theres a well known phenomenon which happens when faced with love.

…being attracted to a person is a lot like being on drugs. The release of chemicals into our brain and body creates an altered mental state in which we both perceive and behave differently than we normally would..

But back to the Freakonomics podcast. The bulk of the show was dedicated to AaronCarterFan, who I have written about before.

Theres some nice juicy parts in the show including,

OYER: Okay, so as I look at what you’ve got here, well, before we even look at it we have to stop and think about the first thing an economist is going to do is think about supply and demand. So I don’t know if you realize this, but you’re in a great position. New York City is demographically more female than male. I’m not entirely sure why that’s true. Out here in San Francisco it’s the opposite. We have an oversupply of men relative to women, at least compared to other cities. New York City and Washington D.C. tend to swing much more towards more available women. So you’re in a good position from a competitive point of view. You’re providing a good, single, straight male, which is in relatively high demand. Now the other thing to keep in mind here is time is very much on your side. So you’re in a good position for two other reasons, and that is the male/female differential I just mentioned is going to swing much more in your favor over the next 10 years. So you’re under no pressure to hook up for a long-term relationship right now. So that’s one thing that’s good. The other thing is just more generally, aside from your gender, the fact that you’re 28 years old from an economist point of view means that you should be very picky. So you should be picky, you should be looking for a really good match. And the reason for that is suppose you do find just the right person, and get married and live happily ever after, well you’re in no rush to do that because you have, let’s just say 50 more years in which to enjoy the relationship you find if it’s a successful one. So when I was on the online dating market recently, you know, I’m much older than you are, and from a rational economic perspective, I should be less picky than you. I should be searching a little less carefully. I should be settling, settling is an important idea, it’s a very important idea to economists because of what we call search theory suggests that at some point you should realize that  having what you have is better than expending more resources to try to do better. And that’s more true when you’re my age, I’m 50 now, than when you’re your age, which is 28.

And the guys are right… no rush, be a picky, nothing worst that rushing into something which isn’t going anywhere.

Justin WOLFERS: The Internet has turned matching upside down. It used to be that you would find compatibility first and then learn more about someone else’s attributes. And now you see all the attributes and then you learn about compatibility later.

This is something which certainly makes things very different. I always say to people who say, its easy. Go find someone and your done. Well here’s the big difference… Attributes before Chemistry. We’re still grappling with this major shift, and to be honest I hadn’t really thought about it in these terms before. This is the internet’s effect on the way we meet. We truly do live in the age of algorithms, like it or not!

Even the likes of Speed dating, Singles party’s, etc are holding to a somewhat dying tradition?

What you want to remember in your profile is that you want to be very upfront and forthcoming in anything that is what an economist would call a coordination game. It’s where our interests are aligned and as long as we have the right information we’re going to make the right decision. So in my case I was very upfront and forthcoming in my profile about the fact that I had a large and badly behaved golden retriever, and the fact that I have two teenaged children. Because if somebody was against those things, then those were deal breakers. And in your case, you want to be honest about the fact that you’re a public radio producer because on the one hand that’s very attractive to some people, but it also indicates that you’re not going to be rich, at least in the short term. You don’t want anybody who wants you just for your money, either because you don’t like those types of people or because even if you do you’re not going to get them once they have the information anyway.

This for me is an argument why you need to be honest on your profile. Its not about attracting everyone but the right people for you. Define your dealbreakers too. Although I joke I wouldn’t date someone who shopped in Aldi, its not really a deal breaker. I would have to wonder about their taste buds when it comes to fruit and veg, but its no deal breaker. A deal breaker is someone who drinks to get drunk all the time, dabbles with hard drugs, strong right wing views, can’t think deeper than what the soaps are showing.

Of course deal breakers can change, for example a while ago a deal breaker was having a child. Not because I have anything against kids, but I just wasn’t ready for that. And I’d rather be upfront about that. Hence on my profile it says…

I have little time for the mainstream garbage of pop music/fashion/celeb driven nonsense.

I removed the sorry if that winds you up part. As I’m not sorry, it was never going to be…

The podcast or the transcript is worth a listen/read, theres some great down to earth advice for online daters and all from people who look at the hidden side of everything. Of course I’m very tempted to write them a email asking them to look at other parts of the online dating world including the crack of the dating, the 3day trial.

Your name is so ghetto…

This is a great story about a lady who stood up to her colleagues when one of them over stepped the mark by calling up a person because she sounded ghetto

things were cool until I heard laughter followed by “Let me call Tanneisha and see how ghetto she is.”

This area of discrimination bugs the hell out of me. I was very lucky to have parents who used common English names but most of my cousins didn’t. Now I remember reading a chapter in freakonomics about how your name effects your chances in life.

there is some evidence that a name can influence how a child performs in school and even her career opportunities. There’s also the fact that different groups of parents — blacks and whites, for instance — have different naming preferences…

I wonder if/how this applies to eastern names too? Lots of eastern Asia’s and those born in Pan-Asia have names very difficult to say in the English language. Do they have the same chances or is it something else at play? My feelings is there is something else at play. I’ll call it ignorance

Anyone who says puff-what a load of crap… Should read the story of Keisha.

Remember that scene in the Oscar-winning “Crash,” when the disgruntled client asks the hard-as-nails supervisor of health insurance claims what her name is? She says “Shaniqua,” and he says, “Big surprise, that is.”

That’s the kind of stuff Keisha deals with. She didn’t grow up in a diverse community. She wasn’t surrounded by a lot of black people. And as she got older, her name started to become a source of jokes. Kids would ask her if there was a “La” or a “Sha” in front of her name. There was a hint of racism and ignorance embedded in their comments.

“It’s like they assumed that I must be a certain kind of girl,” she says. “Like, my name is Keisha so they think they know something about me, and it always felt negative.”

Even a teacher once asked if there was a dollar sign in her name, like the singer Ke$ha. If she couldn’t even get through a class without a teacher taking a cheap shot at her name, what would happen in a job interview?

Racism, ignorance whatever it is… Its going to lower her opportunities in life. How much different would my life be if my parents choose Tyrone, Willie or Jamal?

Do You Really Want to Know Your Future?

IMG_0908

I was listening to the Freakonomics podcast today and heard a interesting piece which reflects my thoughts on 23 and Me

Stephen Dubner talks to people who have a rare but terribly destructive neurological disease Huntington’s. And ask if children of the disease if given the opportunity would want to know if they were also at high risk or not.

As Stephen says…

If you could take a test that could foretell your future, at least your medical future, would you? Would it be valuable for you to know if something bad was going to happen? Or would it be more valuable to not know?

My post about 23 and Me, isn’t anywhere near like this question but has similar answers…

As one of the people asked on the podcast said…

I think this is something that is horrific information, very, very powerful information. If you’re somebody who has a 50 percent risk as most people at risk around the world there is nothing, nothing whatsoever that you can do that makes any difference whatsoever, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. There’s no treatment you can take. There’s nothing to forestall it. And if we actually had something that made a difference in treatment, I think that would make a huge difference.

Or another part…

DUBNER: Well here’s what I wanted to ask you. I mean, we do know that economists think about the world differently and we appreciate that, especially on this program. I mean, we love that. On the other hand, there is this assumption among economists and within economics that people do value information and that they eschew or try to get rid of uncertainty, because economists see that uncertainty brings about bad things. But I’m just curious if the rather strong evidence that so many people embrace uncertainty in their own private lives may have changed or nuanced a little bit the way that you as an economist think about the downsides of uncertainty and maybe there is something to be said for it.

OSTER: No, absolutely I think that I have come to think that in fact for a much larger share of the population than I would have expected it seems like this preference for living with uncertainty is quite strong. And I would have said some people have that preference. It seems surprising to learn that basically, at least in this population, it’s like the vast majority of people appear to be much more interested in living with uncertainty, which isn’t something that I think would be true for me, and I would not have thought would be true for some many people.

DUBNER: And it doesn’t weaken your preference for certainty at all.

OSTER: No, I don’t think so.

The answer is very tricky and not a simple one, but we already knew that…