Swimming in Money – 7 Takeaways No. 118
Critical Thinking, Feelings, Experience, Compassion, Banking, Woke, Corgis
1. “Critical thinking is not enough”
Critical thinking is great, but in a world full of information we need to learn ‘critical ignoring’ – Ralph Hertwig, Anastasia Kozyreva, Sam Wineburg, Stephan Lewandowsky – (The World Economic Forum blog)
The digital world contains more information than the world’s libraries combined. Much of it comes from unvetted sources and lacks reliable indicators of trustworthiness.
And there’s the conundrum: the time required to vet all that information is so overwhelming as to be completely impractical. What’s needed instead is the ability to know what to even pay attention to in the first place, often while facing the online flood of information. Crafting your digital world, not letting it be chosen for you by algorithms is a start, as is vetting sources before trying to consume or vet the content they produce.
Critical thinking is important, and we don’t stress that enough, but critical ignoring is perhaps even more so.
Do this: Vet your digital diet.
2. “Dare to feel the good, the bad, and the ugly”
The State of Today’s Male Psyche – Avrum Weiss – (Psychology Today)
I feel seen.
Through three essays, and a few companion snapshots, the article examines the male frame of mind, and it hits close to home.
They are afraid and hesitant to speak up about their needs in relationships because they worry that speaking up will make things worse, maybe even much worse.
It’s obviously much more complex than that, and, to use the somewhat controversial phrase, “not all men”. But there are some observations here that absolutely apply to many, if not most. Myself included.
Interestingly enough, the section at the end — “How to Help Your Partner Make a Friend” — feels almost inappropriate, or something. Most of the suggestions, if applied to me, would make me feel exceptionally uncomfortable (no matter how “correct” they may or may not be), and have me thinking “No. Just … no.” Besides, the issues are much deeper than that.
Do this: Feel.
3. “Acknowledge academic endeavours, but not require them”
Ask Richard: How does experience stack up against education, and how do we address ageism? – Richard Branson – (via LinkedIn)
This is about much, much more than agism. Consider large companies that never see 90% of the resumes sent to them because they don’t contain the right “keywords” (spoiler: the keywords are often related to education and degrees, not experience). And yet it’s experience that we’re told is also required to make the grade. The classic catch-22: you can’t get hired to get experience until after you’re hired and have gained some experience.
In my experience (no pun intended), experience counts much, much more than education. That’s, in part, a reflection on how poorly our “education system” prepares individuals for their chosen careers or even life itself. Our education system doesn’t prepare you to actually do something, it focuses on loading you with information, and maybe the ability to more effectively find more information. Experience doesn’t replace education, mostly because good experience is a more valuable form of education, but good experience is all about getting things done.
A career’s worth of experience is not something to be set aside lightly.
Do this: Gain experience.
4. “Compassionate people tended to be healthier”
10% Happier Revised Edition – Dan Harris – (ebook/audiobook)
The full quote:
Overall, compassionate people tended to be healthier, happier, more popular, and more successful at work.
Unfortunately, we have some amazingly brutal counter examples; seriously less than compassionate people who seem to be intent on living forever. Nonetheless, I still believe they’re in the minority. We can all think of negative examples, but they remain the exception rather than the rule.
Do this: Be compassionate. You’ll at least be happier.
5. “Tech companies were literally swimming in money.”
What’s Going On? The Silicon Valley Bank Collapse vs. the 2008 Financial Crisis – Anna Burgess Yang – (Medium)
Literally? I found no evidence of any companies literally swimming in money. I’m not even sure what that would look like. (Even Midjourney AI had trouble with the concept._
But I digress (and by the way, get off my lawn)…
I’ve been keeping an eye out for a reasonable write-up on exactly what’s been going on with the SVB collapse, and this, while lengthy, is a reasonable, readable summary.
The 2008 financial crisis was the result of loans that went bad. SVB failed because of the run on deposits.
It’s an interesting, and different scenario. Not a single cause, but a collection of situations that came together in an unfortunate way that could have had some major repercussions throughout the banking system. Fortunately, the Fed stepped in to prevent exactly that.
Do this: If it’s of interest, skim the article. It doesn’t require an MBA to understand.
6. “Actively attentive to important societal facts and issues”
You Can’t Define Woke – Thomas Chatterton Williams – (The Atlantic)
The word ‘woke’ has lost its meaning. To me it’s now a word that, particularly when used as a pejorative, signals that the person using it is close-minded and not open rational discussion about whatever topic is at hand. That’s unfortunate. It’s become an obstacle, and, even more unfortunately, a rallying cry and dog whistle amongst the closed minded.
they end up using this word as an epithet to refer—vaguely—to seemingly anything changing in the culture that they don’t like.
I say it’s unfortunate because there are issues, deep issues — on both sides — that warrant thoughtful discussion. In a world where we need more discussion, ‘woke’ has become a way to shut things down, quickly, and hard.
Do this: Discuss the issues without hiding behind the latest inaccurate codeword.
7. “If she farts the wrong way I take her to the vet.”
When Your Dog Pays the Mortgage – Noah Rinsky – (The Free Press newsletter)
I simply couldn’t pass up this behind-the-scenes look at two Corgi influencers(?) I follow on social media (and, apparently, some GoldenDoodle). I kid you not, Maxine the Fluffy Corgi, and Hammy and Olivia are Big Deals online, and amazing examples of grabbing opportunities as they present themselves. And while it’s clearly a LOT of work, it also looks like a ton of fun.
Anyway, I did say “Don’t be surprised if Corgis are mentioned occasionally as well.” on the 7 Takeaways homepage, so there ya go.
Do this: Hug your pets. They’re never with us long enough.
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More links & thoughts
New Evidence Supports Animal Origin of COVID Virus through Raccoon Dogs – Interesting. (Scientific American)
But Are You Satisfied? What matters most in life shifts as we age. – A different measure. (The Endgame)
What I’m Reading
Be Your Future Self Now: The Science of Intentional Transformation – Benjamin P. Hardy
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations for Clarity, Effectiveness, and Serenity – Ryan Holiday, Stephen Hanselman
Letters from a Stoic – Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Man... #1 is HUGE. I'm all about the need for more thinking, and thinking about what to ignore is a critical component.