Loserthink

loserthink

Dilbert creator, Scott Adam’s latest book Loserthink: How Untrained Brains are Ruining America, points out many of the irrational ways people think and shows us out of our muddle into the light of clear thinking. After you read Loserthink, with some disciple and practice you see when you fall back into the murk of confirmation bias, mind-reading, overly emotional thinking, couch lock or arrogance. By learning to think more like a leader, entrepreneur, historian and other experts, their methods will help you examine evidence and analyze it to think more effectively.

Adams writes with wit and includes plenty of examples from his own life. He humbly admits to having made every mistake in the book.

The book’s a fast read, but one I’ll return to as I check on my progress.

 

Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!

I’d tell you that I loved the Joffrey Ballet’s new version of The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky. The classic music still plays in my head and I still envision the brilliant sets of 1892 Chicago and the World’s Fair. I’d love to go back next year.

In my head I’m also hearing Irish accents as I’m watching the sitcom Derry Girls, which is set in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles.”  Who’d expect someone to set a hilarious comedy in a place that’s beset with bombings and violence? Yet Lisa McGee has done just that.

There is a lot of swearing, but if you can get past that, you’ll be treated to a fast-paced lampoon of teenage Catholic girls’ in 1990’s Londonderry.

I started working for the Census helping to recruit 1000 workers for this part of the county. Across the country, they’ll need 1,000,000 people to help finish the census. Something like 25% of people don’t complete the census so the government sends people out into the field to get everyone to finish it. My current position entails getting people to apply at 2020census.gov/jobs .

I’d also share the recipes I got at the Holiday Appetizer program at my library. Chef and instructor Susan Maddox returned with four recipes, which I’ll share soon.

I’ve started reading Scott Adams’ newest book Loserthink, which helps readers understand how slovenly thinking keeps you from seeing things clearly. We all have pet ways of looking at ideas or situations and some of those should be scrapped.

 

Mindshift

Mindshift cover 2017_0.jpg

I first encountered Barbara Oakley, PhD in the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Learning to Learn on Coursera.org. She taught the engaging course with Terrence Sejnowski, PhD.

To say Mindshift is mind-blowing is an understatement. The book explores how we can change our thinking to learn better and change the trajectory of our careers. Each chapter interviews a person who’s struggled and then implemented a new way of thinking to succeed in a career or career change. For example, one chapter follows a successful jazz musician who decided he wanted to do more for the children at the hospital where he volunteered. He wasn’t good at science or math in school, but after adopting new learning skills, he succeeded in the math and science classes he needed and got into med school. (By the way, studies have shown that music majors make better doctors than biology majors.)

Another chapter presents the importance of mentors through research as well as the life experience of a man who got off track and dropped out of high school. He had been ditching school and when his parents found out, he convinced them to let him quit. They did, but required him to get a job. When he did, he also started seeking out mentors. He didn’t join any organized programs, he just lined up people who were doing the work that he needed to learn or that fascinated him. He didn’t come to them expecting a one-way street. He figured out how he could offer them service of value so the relationship was balanced.

The only chapter I thought could be better was on career change. It did have some helpful tips, but as the man portrayed changed from one science (physics) to another (neurobiology) while the subject and types of experiments were different, he remained in academia where he could sit in on a college courses for free and get post doc jobs. Thus his change wasn’t as dramatic as other people’s. The industry he was in offered ways to retrain and respected his doctorate in physics so that his path wasn’t as bumpy as others.