Author Topic: You really don't know what you don't know  (Read 849 times)

PonoBill

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You really don't know what you don't know
« on: May 09, 2018, 09:47:08 AM »
I posted this elsewhere, but it deserves its own thread. I've recently read three books I consider really important. The first and third are important if you just want to understand the world. The second one is critical to being successful in business. It literally would have been worth millions to me when I was running my small business. I wrote this post speaking to Beasho, but these books are important for nearly everyone:

Here they are:

The first is obviously Hans Roseling's Factfulness. You'll love it. It's about using data intelligently and how far off common knowledge is from reality. Pretty much explains the entire Trump phenomenon and the polariation of America along lines of pure ignorance--on both sides. Might be worthwhile getting it as a paper book since the charts and graphs are bitchy in the ebook--they should be links, but they aren't. I think people would view this as a way to change how they look at the world from a humanitarian perspective, but really it's a competitive advantage book. If I'd had this when I was running my agency we would have ruled international marketing.

The second is "The Hard Thing About Hard Things". You might have already read it. It's another book that would have been worth almost any price to me when I was running my company. Talk about missed opportunities. I did well, no complaints, but another zero or two would have been nice. I certainly would have added at least one if I'd had this book. If you bump into a dumb or passive CEO or small business owner that doesn't know what he doesn't know, buy him/her this book.

And finally, "Reality is Not What It Seems. Yes, it's Physics, but it's also a transformation for thinking about reality. Brilliant book. I read it, then bought the audible version and listened to it. When I finished listening I started over again at the beginning. I already think I might loop it three times.
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all~wet

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2018, 10:53:02 AM »
Thank you Pono. Good stuff.

Hoping they are on Audible.  Lots of flight time for me. Audible books are a lifeline- help immensely to distract from the fact I'm compressed into a space way too small for me for way too long. If I can learn a little in the process.... all the better!

PonoBill

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2018, 11:38:13 AM »
They are all on Audible.
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Dusk Patrol

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 11:50:31 AM »
Here's another Bill's breezy recommendation of Roseling's 'Factfullness'.





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Biggreen

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 10:03:14 AM »
You got me. I'm leaving for Utah and a 7 day wilderness canoe trip this Fri morn. Amazon Prime is bringing me Factfulness on Thur.  I'm looking forward to both.

Beasho

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 11:00:24 AM »
My copy is coming today. 

What I have realized working with data professionally is that very, very few people can mentally accommodate data.  Fewer still can assimilate the data in some coherent medium (like Excel or a Database) and then fewer still can make any sense of it.  People then become defensive because the data comes from a realm they can not control and likely do not understand.  They respond with the medium they know better verbal assault and sabotage.

I have witnessed 'smart' people go all voodoo magic on data they don't like because it runs contrary to their professional experience or beliefs.  Unless there is a senior person who is 1) Impartial and 2) Motivated towards change the data likely gets skewered and left to die. 

This has happened throughout history, and will continue to happen.  Thank "GOD" for Google and some semblance of more scientific, as in reproducible results, trickling through the quagmire of canonical scripted beliefs. 

Here is a good TED Summery of Hans' work.  The conclusion is that the World is Better Off, People are Healthier and Life is Getting Better and Better and will continue to do so. 

https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_and_ola_rosling_how_not_to_be_ignorant_about_the_world#t-18419

SaMoSUP

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2018, 12:08:37 PM »
Good reference about sharks in the TED talk.


Beasho

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2018, 05:40:38 AM »
Just finished FACTFULNESS. 

Loved It!

Surprisingly it was MORE about the data and less about people's willingness to accept the data than I anticipated. 

I just gave my copy to 'Sky is Falling' family member to help lift spirits that The World is getting Better and Better.

One of my favorite anecdotes is below.  The Chinese famine of 1960.  And No-One knew for 36 years. 

This highlights 1) How gummed up Central Planning can be and 2) How much more free our information flows are today.

Think North Korea X 1 Billion people.  Bad-Bad-Bad.

He does however introduce the concept that central planning IS required for Security, Infrastructure, and the Environment among others.

PS:  I got into a verbal battle on an airplane last week.  Guy said he was a history major and claimed he know about the Chinese famine and that it was covered up by both the Chinese and US Governments to keep the peace.  Really!  He had a silver nose bone was all covered in tattoos and he started going off about how bad the world was.  He said he was partially Native American and therefore from the most persecuted sect in America.  When I mentioned the Spanish flu he said he was Dutch and that his ancestors barely survived.  World Bad, World Bad, World Bad. . .  I suggested he go back to brushing his teeth with his finger.  "The world is good when you're not sharing your toothbrush with your grandmother."  My daughter Ruby was in the middle seat, I was on the aisle and the guy against the window.  Ruby was horrified.  Meanwhile he was on his first flight to Vegas.  We were going to Minneapolis.  He comments how he once drove across the country and it took 20 days.  Now he was flying the same distance in a fraction of a day.  When things calmed down he ordered a coffee with whiskey and proceeded to fall asleep and spill the coffee on his and Ruby's lap.

There we were flying in a rocket ship at 550 miles per hour being served fresh hot coffee and spirits 6 miles in the air across a significant portion of the globe pitting 25 years of education from our air conditioned debate stage discussing the triumphs and evils of humanity.  

Serious Level 4 issues. 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 06:09:30 AM by Beasho »

SUPcheat

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Re: You really don't know what you don't know
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2018, 10:29:54 AM »
I have started reading this.  I am only partly into the beginning, but a few epistemological problems cropped up in my fevered brain.

I suppose the idea of factfulness bothers me.  I think he/she should call it 'statisticfulness' instead, because the notion of fact, itself, is a bit illusory and contaminated by the notion of assertion of an absolute truth without question.

Statistics can be 'statistics of convenience' that are manufactured rather than 'reflections of fact'. Why? They are often used as justifications for policy action by government agencies etc., the motives of whom are almost always suspect.

I have been watching some videos on Sweden, and the author is Swedish.  It seems that Sweden is an authoritarian socialist country that by all account is committing slow suicide through an enforced political correctness.  Swedes do not have free speech, as the government more or less persecutes it's citizens for speaking out in ways that do not reflect the party line, and a kind of insane PC dominates the public discourse.  With their immigration policy, they have put themselves in the strange predicament of displacing and persecuting their own citizens while turning a blind eye to the atrocities/failure to integrate of  immigrants, while coddling said immigrants with social services that by any stretch would be considered nearly luxurious.

I suppose it is interesting to read about 'statistics' that I know little about, and may challenge my prejudices in novel ways, but I also think the 'statistics' are not always above challenge.

Anyway, I will read more of the book and check things out to see if my personal epistemologies are rubbed or placated.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2018, 11:15:08 AM by SUPcheat »
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