I hate to sound fatalistic but there’s actually quite a bit about the world that we just don’t know. It’s far too opaque, interconnected, random, and complex. That’s not to say we can’t know anything, but more that we need to proceed with caution any time we’re trying to figure out anything with more than a minimal degree of complexity to it.
Take, for obvious example, the current COVID-19 world. A certain portion of the population considers the virus to be an existential threat that could kill virtually anyone who comes into contact with it. Another portion of the population at large sees CV as a minor inconvenience, no more remarkable than a particularly bad flu season.
And here’s the rub: they can both cite data, statistics, experts, and so on to support their side! How is that possible?
One place to start looking is the way we’ve pursued research and data gathering around the novel coronavirus. … Read More
In her widely viewed TED Talk entitled The Power of Vulnerability (video and transcript available here) author Brené Brown makes the case that we are neurobiologically hardwired for connection with others. In order to thrive and succeed as humans we need to connect with others in the same way that we need air and water. If this connection is absent bad things happen.
This isn’t a new idea. Aristotle observed that “man is by nature a social animal” and many others have commented on this reality as well. But only recently have we begun understanding just how deeply this hardwiring goes.
In his book Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport summarizes neuroscientific research conducted at Washington University in St. Louis that gives us an interesting glimpse into just how central social interaction is to our neurological function. To summarize, our brains have what’s been labeled “the default network” that is turned off any time we focus on specific tasks but immediately kicks back on when we’re “thinking about nothing.” … Read More
I’ve realized that much of what I post to social media is really short-form blogging, something that I’m sure most of my “friends” would rather be spared from. So, until I decide otherwise, this is where I’ll do my thinking and writing and pot stirring.