28 July 2009

Video on the Difficulties of Success and Failure

TED Talk by Alain de Botton about key challenges in modern life in terms of success and failure, meritocracy and justice.

He seems keenly aware of the role of randomness, the arbitrariness of both succeeding and failing.

Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule

Here's an insightful article from Paul Graham that gets at a key problem that occasionally pops up in my world.

"There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour.

When you use time that way, it's merely a practical problem to meet with someone. Find an open slot in your schedule, book them, and you're done. ...

For someone on the maker's schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn't merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work.

I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there's sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I'm slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning. I know this may sound oversensitive, but if you're a maker, think of your own case. Don't your spirits rise at the thought of having an entire day free to work, with no appointments at all? Well, that means your spirits are correspondingly depressed when you don't. And ambitious projects are by definition close to the limits of your capacity. A small decrease in morale is enough to kill them off."

25 July 2009

Discussion of Morals in a Market Society

Here's a Fora.tv video of Harvard Professor Michael Sandel's Chautauqua talk on the morality of market mechanisms for solving social problems:

12 July 2009

The Problem With Infinite Possibilities

Here is a talk by Social Scientist Professor Barry Schwartz that points out the difficulty of having infinite choices.

11 July 2009

Why We Overeat

Here's an overview of the problem:

David Kessler, MD, served as commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Kessler, a pediatrician, has been dean of the medical schools at Yale and the UCSF. He has more detailed view of how we fall into the trap.

07 July 2009

Cognitive Cartography in 6 minutes

Here is a video that scratches the surface of what I mean by cognitive cartography:

Here's a link to an Australian news show video that presents a demonstration of cognitive body mapping and a syndrome of dysfunction to the brains mapping structures. (Hat tip to Mind Hacks) This is the basis for the cognitive cartography idea. What I posit is that the brain not only maps the body image, it also maps a social image. That mapping defines the extent of our capabilities in our social context in a similar way that our body image defines the extent of our capabilities. Just like when we extend our capabilities with tools, then the brain incorporates the tool into the image. So when we extend our social influence our brains incorporate the social context into our social image.

04 July 2009

Recent Geroge Lakoff Videos

Thom Hartmann Radio Show:

Commonwealth Club:

Derivative of Lakoff's work on health care:

03 July 2009

Primary Health Care Platform on the Web

Here's a new brilliant innovation for primary care doctors:

LINK to Hello Health