Lessons from the book the intelligence trap

Category – nonfiction

Reading time – 2 minutes

How to take risks in your job and life – risk theory #sapiens #history #covid

Category- Science

Reading Time – 5 minutes

“All the risks your ancestors have taken from the big bang till COVID-19.”

We humans like the comfort zone. An imaginary blanket in our immediate surroundings, where we can switch off our alarms and finally consume more calories than we need.

We avoid risks at all the places at every cost. We keep cold away with heaters and clothes. We wash away majority of bacteria from our skin surface daily.

We freeze with fear when teacher asks a question, that we don’t know or our boss passes a bad look.

We avoid risks.

But you are unaware of all the risks that your father’s and forefathers took to bring you here.

Let’s examine this truth.

When you were planned there was one in three million chance, that you will be made as sperm started to dissolve wall of the egg that formed you.

Even after that sperm that made you had success, it still had 50% chance that your sex will be different.

Here a race of blind cells decided a large number of things.

Your country, your city, your religion, your culture, your staple food, your inheritable wealth and everything attached to these. Your president, your economy. It was all risk that you had to take involuntarily.

It was such a big risk that was taken to bring you to life. Then you stayed for 9 months protected inside the body of your mother.

Risk of still birth in normal pregnancy is 14 per thousand live births and risk to mother during normal birth is 0.001% ( maternal mortality rate). but you took both the risks to come to this beautiful world. Here without your knowledge.

You also survived infant period with mortality rate of 29 per 1000 live births. Thats why you are reading this article.

Then you came out and your parents don’t want to take any risk with you.

Ok let’s see a little farther back in time.

If you are born in India in 2010.

Let’s see

Your parents survived covid pandemic to be able to give birth to you. Your mom took risk of bearing a pregnancy which has a risk of but she loves you. So she undertook this risk without second thoughts.

They survived traveling on roads which has risk of dying. With 1% vehicles india account for 11% of global deaths in road traffic accidents.

They survived 2008 market crash and recession which deprived a lots of population from basic amenities.

You must remember that it is still not finalized that they will be your parents. But as we know future now as we are writing this fir this article, we know that they must survive to reach a stage when you will come.

They survive their own pregnancies and births.

Then we reach to their parents. And their parents who all survived countless risks that routine life brings about. All the risks that you undertook and many more.

It continued up all the generations. 1962 war with China. 1965 war with Pakistan. Struggle of independence. The Cuban missile crisis. The Cold war. World war one. World war two.

If any of your ancestors had suffered due to any of these,then your existence would not have been possible.

As you can see DNA that you share has been taking so many risks for so long to reach you.

Let’s see furthur back. Very long ago

Your ancestors survived plague and cholera epidemics. They survived British rule. They survived wars and famines and floods and roits that occured regularly.

They survived rule of Mughals and Maharajas. They survived invasions by foreign countries.

They survived five mass extinctions that earth has witnessed. Each wiped out almost 70% species from the face of the earth.

Yes you right. At that stage the ancestors that created your ancestors might have been a fish or tribolite or sponge. But they were necessary to carry your DNA to the year 2021. We still have 30% of our DNA matching with mushrooms.

But ancestors of your ancestors survived this risky proposition.

They survived at the floor of prehistoric seas; where volcanic activity poured minerals necessary for the first forms of life to flourish.

Then even before life has begun in the form of unicellular life; conditions had to exist for any possibility of the life.

Oxygen had to increase. Magnetic field had to form around earth. Atmosphere had to form. But all the atoms that form you took the risk to exist in the most hostile of the environments.

They fused in the stars and fissioned in nuclear activities but they travelled all the way to reach your ancestors.

Then further back. Mind-boggling pastof the universe.

Gravity and other forces of nature had to fine-tune to form galaxies and solar system and our star sun. Antimatter and matter had to settle their concentrations. A little imbalance in forces and their timings would have formed completely different universe. Or may be no universe.

Even back.

Inflation had to occur just after big bang to allow enough cooling so that atoms could form. These atoms will form everything; that you see around you along with fields that carry energies.

So any disturbance at any point along this cascade would have ultimately lead to failure of one of your ancestors to survive. And finally you.

But it happened that they took extreme risks but still survived to reach here to make you possible.

Things that make your existence possible, have always taken gigantic risks and still have survived.

Why then are you afraid of risks so much?

By further analysing these facts we can presume that unknown risks are always there.

Out of the known risks there are a few which can utterly ruin you. These are to be a avoided.

But all other risks which make up the majority of risks you have to take voluntarily, are nothing in front of all the risks and stakes that you have already survived.

Consciousness- A brief survey #brain #conscious

Category- psychology

Reading time – 4 minutes

According to Nagel, a being is conscious just if there is “something that it is like” to be that creature, i.e., some subjective way the world seems or appears from the creature’s mental or experiential point of view.

It sounds as complex as it appears. Consciousness is a tough nut to crack and till now no one has caught one of its fingers.

There are various questions which need an answer.

First we are a zygote. Or I must say. First we are atoms which form molecules which form organelles which organise inside a cell.

Then embryo. And at certain point this lump of cells becomes conscious.

When and how it is not clear. May be one day we could pin point the exact point at which zygote becomes conscious.

How to detect consciousness. How we say that a particular thing is conscious.

By observing behaviour of the organism. Or with our intuition.

But it is not foolproof.

A patient in, ‘locked in state’ is conscious but cannot show external behaviour to confirm it.

Few people with anaesthesia unawareness are conscious; but cannot show behaviour when under anaesthesia.

A starfish has no nervous system; but can evade obstacles.

A fly eating plant can differentiate between drops of rain and insects. It even remembers touch pattern on its hairs. It hence remembers events. Is it conscious like us

Plants show care of each other and effect of touch in subtle but definite ways.

Advanced AI and deep learning can show features of a thinking mind without being alive.

So question becomes sticky. What is consciousness?

Then there is one more problem.

Our consciousness is last to register a decision.

Intuition and our brainstem knows few milliseconds earlier about our next movement.

It has been shown repeatedly in scientific experiments in which scientists can guess the next movement even before the person performing the task becomes aware of this.

Benjamin liver showed that activity can be detected 300 milliseconds earlier in motor cortex before action occurs.

Our senses send signals at different speeds to our brain, which integrates them by the process of binding and creates a coherent and synchronous conscious feeling.

Hence what we see as present is actually a little distant past; which has happened few milliseconds earlier. We see a movie that whole subconscious has uploaded few milliseconds earlier after editing it expertly.

Hence we see the past and brain has already decided a particular thing few milliseconds before your consciousness knows it.

So is consciousness a driver or a observer?

It is likely that consciousness is last to know what brain intends to do and hence it cannot change thing which has already been decided before it knows.

It is a sort of spooky weird thing.

So where is the free will of an organism?

Can you decide to change a thing with consciousness . It looks like subconscious needs no direction from our consciousness to do most of the things.

You are not aware of automatic things like breathing or digestion or beating of the heart or secretions of liver, until something goes wrong.

When we die then also; consciousness leaves before life goes.

Various scientific views about consciousness.

Everythig is conscious. Thus is called Panpsychism.

Consciousness cannot be deciphered by our brain. This is hard problem of the consciousness.

Consciousness is an inherent property of the matter and is strange to understand.

Consciousness is an emergent phenomenon.

Still we are far from the right question about consciousness.

Inspiration – Conscious by Anaka Harris

As a man thinketh – A pictorial revisit #picturestory

Category – psychology

Reading time – 2 minutes

As a man thinketh, so is he.

Manifest personality is end result of all the thoughts.

Each thought has a certain end result on circumstances.

Thoughts finally reveal themselves.

Psychology is mixture of all your thoughts.

Habits are dependent on thoughts, which in turn affect the life.

Bad thoughts, bad outcomes.

Inner thoughts must be in harmony with outer behaviour for a happy life.

Bad thoughts end up in bad lives.

Our biggest superpower is that we can choose which thoughts to focus upon.

Lessons from the book think straight by Darius foroux – #dariusforoux #psychology

Category- psychology

Reading time -3 minutes

I wish to clarify one thing. This man is not the founder of these thoughts but only one of many bloggers writing about ideas of greats of past centuries.

He read all the books by William James and observed that even though we can’t control all our conscious thoughts, but we can very well decide which thoughts to focus upon.

This selection of thoughts will eventually lead to better habits and hence better actions.

Basically he is borrowing and editing ideas of James Allen and Victor frenkel for his book.

This school of thought is called pragmatism.

Or we can say practical approach to the life.

Few of thoughts in this small book.

Question the source of belief, not the belief itself.

Life is not linear. Path from idea to goal is tipsy turvy.

Filter good thoughts out of heap of millions of your thoughts.

Be aware of your thoughts with regular practice.

Don’t think more about things that you can’t control. You can’t change them anyway.

Always remain aware of unknown unknowns.

There is no truth but Intrepretations of facts by different minds.

Don’t trust first thoughts; that crop up in your mind. Take your time.

Don’t reply to everything immediately. Take some time.

Take breaks to start afresh; in between your endeavours.

Don’t overthink.

There is no absolute proof and all over decisions are bet on the workings of the universe.

Almanack of jay samit – his advice for young readers. #jaysamit

Reading time – 3 minutes

Category- business

Jay Samit is the former Independent Vice Chairman of Deloitte. An American digital media innovator, he has pioneered advancements in music and video distribution, social media, and ecommerce. He is the author of the bestselling book Disrupt You!

Here are few lessons that he shares in his latest book. Future proofing you.

1. You can’t get rich by saving, you get rich by creating money.

2. You can’t become super rich by working hard; but instead by working smart.

3. See your defeciencies as opportunity, not a pullback.

4. Next big thing is spatial computing that Integrates internet with immediate surroundings.

5. Money is not a good target, following a passion brings a lots of it.

6. You can’t grow without a growth mindset.

7. There are no lives free of obstacles. Leverage these obstacles for success.

8. Failure is not a zero sum game. It teaches a lot and prepares you for the next time.

9. Fear is natural and necessary; if within reasonable limits.

10. Insight and perseverance are the only two things; that you will need to succeed.

11. Finding a right mentor gives you wings

12. Fill the void created by any new technology to succeed quickly. Like accessories for phone.

Inspiration – future proofing you by jay samit

Testing your psychological safety. #psychology #personalgrowth

Category – psychology

Reading Time – 2 minutes

You have a particular type of psychology. You got it from society. From your genes. From interactions between you and your environment.

There are few questions; that you can ask yourself to find if you have a balanced psychology. Do you feel safe to navigate your world.

1. You see mistakes as opportunities to learn

2. You feel; it is ok to fail.

3. You speak your mind in meetings.

4. You are willing to take risks and fail.

5. You openly share your thoughts.

6. You believe in your collegues and seniors.

If your answer is yes to most of these questions; you feel psychologically safe in your surroundings.

Why looking like a fool may be good sometimes! #psychology #rethinking

Category – Psychology

Reading time – 5 minutes

Luca Parmitano is an astronaut. He is the youngest astronaut to go to International Space Station. He was given duty to do a spacewalk to repair a few things.

But that was not a normal day. There was something in his space suit. He felt there was liquid in his headpiece; mainly on back of the head. He was not sure what it was; when he reported this to the command in Houston.

He even tasted few drops to make sure if it was water ; it tasted metallic. Then suddenly liquid reached his nostrils and cut his communications from the space station.

With luck he reached the hatch. When he opened his halmet, water flew out. He survived; but it was close.

In his spacewalk one weak earlier; he had noted water droplets in his helmet. He and Crew in Houston had regarded it as a leak in water bottle without digging deep.

But it was due to leakage from fan pump separator. I don’t know what that means but it was part of the spacesuit.

So engineers in the Houston overlooked possible new reasons for a new observation and attributed this to their most visible belief. ( Availability bias)

They didn’t even think for a second that they may not know few of the things and they are not infinite in their intelligence.

Thay failed to rethink.

But there was one physicist who did the opposite. He had his reputation in the line. He was at centre stage of a big event of astronomists. In an important conference.

He was about to share an astounding discovery of a planet around a collapsed star; which is called PULSAR.

His research had shown a planet around a Pulsar; which was never believed earlier by physicists.

But he caught his mistake. In his calculations he had assumed orbit of earth around Sun to be circular in stead of elliptical.

When he corrected himself new planet vanished away.

He didn’t try to act smart or superhuman. He walked on podium and expected his mistake and retreated his paper from conference.

He got standing ovation. For saying that be was wrong thus time. For accepting with humility that he doesn’t know everything and he needed to work more.

We need more of such people.

Professor Andrew Lyne is a genius.

Everytime their is anomaly in observations try to find new insights.

Rethink everytime you think.

Inspiration – Think again by Adam Grant.

How giant companies fail with time. #business #money

Category – Business

Reading time – 5 minutes

A company starts as a little bud. Hopeful and energetic. Then it grows and adds layers of flab over itself. Then it looses it’s dream and it slowly looses out to itself.

Biggest enemy of a big company is the big company itself.

Various things that can go wrong are tubulated in this blog.

1. Deviation from brand mission

A brand gives immediate signal to customers about what to expect. A car rental can expand to fleet management business and it is good for its clients.

But if food snack brand like Cheetos starts selling lip balm or colgate tries selling utensils or motorbike starts selling perfumes it contradicts with their brand image.

2. Inability to attract top telent

Top talent wants innovative and free environment to thrive.

3. Getting complacent

As quaterly profits soar, company employees and CEOs get complacent. Company looses hunger to satisfy customers demands at the level they had done earlier.

4. Short term game mindset

They engage in shortcuts to create stellar quaterly results. Aquisitions. Hostile takeovers. Stock buybacks. Cost cutting in R and D. This all leads to slow decline in their brand value.

5. No differentiated products

As companies get fatter they sit and copy others in the marketplace. They lack ‘wow factor’ ; in their offerings. Copycat companies then engage in price war that sends them to mat.

US auto Industry was astonished by Japanese auto makers.

6. Ego

They fail to see advantages in partnerships with smaller firms. This leads to missed opportunities and leverage points.

So when a startup is small and has fire in its belly; it keeps marching and adjusting very fast before growing up into a lazy big giant.

That’s how big companies fall.

#jimcollins #simonsinek #thaler