jaypcross + hunters   169

IQ is Largely a Psuedoscientific Swindle
Background : “IQ” is a stale test meant to measure mental capacity but in fact mostly measures extreme unintelligence (learning difficulties), as well as, to a lesser extent, a form of intelligence, stripped of 2nd order effects. It is meant to select exam-takers, paper shufflers, obedient IYIs (intellectuals yet idiots), ill adapted for “real life”.
intelligence  ecology  hunters 
january 2019 by jaypcross
Higher altitude means much lower death rates
Extremely compelling evidence for longevity by living in the mountains. Exciting!
december 2018 by jaypcross
Beef Tongue: A Hunter / Gatherer Delicacy
The archaeological record for virtually all stone age hominids and historically studied hunter gatherers demonstrates that tongue removal and consumption in prey mammals was a nearly universal practice.2-4 Similarly, modern humans living in 19th century America seemed to also have a great fondness for tongue. In just four short decades, American buffalo hunters slaughtered bison almost to the point of extinction, reducing their numbers from an estimated 30 million to less than 1,000 animals. The tongues were one of the only pieces of meat the hunters took.

To put it simply, tongue is one of the highest fat organs in mammals, and our hunter gatherer ancestors realized that tongue prevented symptoms of protein poisoning, was more satiating than muscle meat and simply made them feel good. If you can get over the western stigma of eating “tongue,” you will taste one of the ancient delicacies of humankind. Why does properly cooked tongue taste so delicious? Let me enlighten you with the very first study ever of tongue fatty acid composition."
hunters  nutrition 
november 2018 by jaypcross
Book snippet of Paul Erdos talking about amphetamines and creativity
"You've shown me I'm not an addict. But I didn't get any work done. I'd get up in the morning and stare at a blank sheet of paper. I'd have no ideas, just like an ordinary person. You've set mathematics back a month."

- Paul Erdos, on the 30 days he went without amphetamines to prove to a friend that he could. Quote came from the book "The Man Who Loved Only Numbers"
amphetamine  creativity  hunters 
september 2018 by jaypcross
Human vocal behavior within competitive and courtship contexts and its relation to mating success
"Men displaying faster articulation rate and louder voices reported significantly more sexual partners."

[MY NOTE: I don't doubt this. Although I must point that if any group of men were disproportionately more likely to inflate their partner count...]
july 2018 by jaypcross
To Make Sense of the Present, Brains May Predict the Future
Intro: A controversial theory suggests that perception, motor control, memory and other brain functions all depend on comparisons between ongoing actual experiences and the brain’s modeled expectations.

Gurwinder's summary tweet: "Human perception is like predictive text, filling in the unknown with what is already known, reshaping the foreign into the familiar, sacrificing fidelity for intelligibility."

[MY NOTE: This seems extremely relevant to my argument about school homogenizing the anchors we have access to in our minds and thus limiting creativity.]
anchors  creativity  hunters  to-read  perception-training  where-no-man-dares 
july 2018 by jaypcross
5 Cognitive Distortions of People Who Get Stuff Done
• Personal Exceptionalism
• Dichotomous Thinking
• Correct Overgeneralization
• Blank-Canvas Thinking
• Schumpeterianism

[MY NOTE: I love this list...but if these traits cause effectiveness, then how can you call them "distortions" in any meaningful sense?]
creativity  hunters 
july 2018 by jaypcross
Driven by Compression Progress: A Simple Principle Explains Essential Aspects of Subjective Beauty, Novelty, Surprise, Interestingness, Attention, Curiosity, Creativity, Art, Science, Music, Jokes
"I argue that data becomes temporarily interesting by itself to some self-improving, but computationally limited, subjective observer once he learns to predict or compress the data in a better way, thus making it subjectively simpler and more beautiful. Curiosity is the desire to create or discover more non-random, non-arbitrary, regular data that is novel and surprising not in the traditional sense of Boltzmann and Shannon but in the sense that it allows for compression progress because its regularity was not yet known. This drive maximizes interestingness, the first derivative of subjective beauty or compressibility, that is, the steepness of the learning curve. It motivates exploring infants, pure mathematicians, composers, artists, dancers, comedians, yourself, and (since 1990) artificial systems."

[MY NOTES: What a gem from 2008 that has not been appreciated or understood anywhere near enough in the decade since. Highly relevant to my work!]
anchors  creativity  hunters 
july 2018 by jaypcross
Treatment of ADHD with methylphenidate may sensitize brain substrates of desire: Implications for changes in drug abuse potential from an animal model
"Aims. Currently, methylphenidate (MPH, trade name Ritalin) is the most widely prescribed medication for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). We examined the ability of repeated MPH administration to produce a sensitized appetitive eagerness type response in laboratory rats, as indexed by 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (50-kHz USVs). We also examined the ability of MPH to reduce play behavior in rats which may be partially implicated in the clinical efficacy of MPH in ADHD.

Design. 56 adolescent rats received injections of either 5.0 mg/kg MPH, or vehicle each day for 8 consecutive days, and a week later received a challenge injection of either MPH or vehicle. Measurements. Both play behavior (pins) and 50-kHz USVs were recorded after each drug or vehicle administration.

Results. MPH challenge produced a substantial 73% reduction in play behavior during the initial treatment phase, and during the last test (1 week post drug), 50-kHz USVs were elevated approximately threefold only in animals with previous MPH experience.

Conclusions. These data suggest that MPH treatment may lead to psychostimulant sensitization in young animals, perhaps by increasing future drug-seeking tendencies due to an elevated eagerness for positive incentives. Further, we hypothesize that MPH may be reducing ADHD symptoms, in part, by blocking playful tendencies, whose neuro-maturational and psychological functions remain to be adequately characterized."

[MY NOTE: Jesus! A 73% reduction in play? So many lost anchors. So much squandered creativity.]
adhd  play  hunters  proof 
july 2018 by jaypcross
A Flash of Illumination on the Greyhound Bus: Physicist Freeman Dyson on Creative Breakthrough and the Unconscious Mind
"To arrive at the frontiers of physics is like breaking through a crust, after which one finds plenty of room to move in a lot of directions."
creativity  hunters  quotes 
june 2018 by jaypcross
OPINION: The Last of the Tiger Parents
Interesting NY Times op-ed about how highly-structured, extremely goal-oriented (i.e. non-ecological) parenting might be fading away.
june 2018 by jaypcross
Intermittent Fasting Confers Protection in CNS Autoimmunity by Altering the Gut Microbiota
"Intermittent fasting increased gut bacteria diversity, reduced inflammation, demyelination, and axonal damage in multiple sclerosis (MS) animal model.

A small pilot trial in humans with MS showed many similar changes to the gut microbiome & immune cells."
fasting  hunters  proof 
june 2018 by jaypcross
Is being agreeable a key to success or failure in the labor market?
Big 5 trait of agreeableness is highly correlated with career success in Japan, but negatively correlated with career success in the US.
ecology  hunters  proof 
may 2018 by jaypcross
New Study Says Ancient Humans Hunted Big Mammals To Extinction
"Taken as a whole, over 65 million years, being large did not increase mammals' extinction risk. But it did when humans were involved," Smith found.

Looking back over the most recent 125,000 years of the fossil record, Smith found that when humans arrived someplace, the rate of extinction for big mammals rose. She says it basically came down to hunger. "Certainly humans exploit large game," she says, "probably because they are tasty"—and because a bigger animal makes for a bigger meal.

But humans did other things besides hunting that hastened the disappearance of big mammals. They burned forests and grasslands that big mammals used. They competed with the big carnivores for game. They brought dogs with them that made them better hunters.
hunters  proof 
april 2018 by jaypcross
Introducing: Future Skills Podcast
We’ll do 3 types of episodes:

1) Short practical episodes (5-20 min) where we give you one big idea or practical tip that you can use right away. You’ll be able to listen to 2-3 of these episodes on your way to work, or while you are taking a walk, and get FRESH new inspiration for improving your life.

2) Expert cameo-appearances (15-30 min) where we have an expert thinker share one of their secrets (that they’ve used to become successful) and then walk you through how to use it.

3) Interviews with interesting and successful people (+40 min). These will be in-depth conversations with entrepreneurs, investors, authors, scientists, you name it–highly successful and interesting people!

Think of Future Skills as the university education or MBA that you never got…. where you’re actually taught useful stuff! 😃
influencers  to-contact  hunters 
march 2018 by jaypcross
In Praise of A.D.H.D
NY Times op-ed by Leonard Mlodinow (author of Subliminal) praising ADHD. Short but sweet. He's releasing a new book on creative thinking soon. I'll check it out.

[EDIT, JUNE 2018: Finished the book. Little particularly groundbreaking in it, but it was a great synthesis of existing research into fluid thinking, including some rich anecdotes. It emboldened me to push forward in writing about it on a societal level. Particularly, to use storytelling and emotion / drama to hammer home points that most wont have the patience to absorb in Mlodinow's cerebral style.]
adhd  hunters 
march 2018 by jaypcross
The Education of Playful Boys: Class Clowns in the Classroom
"Playful boys were increasingly negatively regarded as rebellious and intrusive and were labeled as the "class clown" by their teachers. These findings were in direct contrast with children's self-perceptions and those of their peers, who initially regarded more playful boys as appealing and engaging playmates.

The data further revealed that the playful boys were stigmatized by their teachers, and this was communicated through verbal and non-verbal reprimands, and classmates assimilated this message and became increasingly denigrating of the playful quality in the boys. In stark contrast, girls' playfulness levels were not a consideration in ratings by teachers or peers at any grade, nor did their classroom behaviors show significant variation. These negative perceptions were likely transferred by teachers to peers and to the children themselves, whereupon they changed their positive perceptions to be increasingly negative by third grade.

The results contribute to the literature by demonstrating that playfulness in boys (but not girls) is often associated with the "class clown" designation, and is viewed as an increasingly lethal characteristic in school classrooms, where compelling efforts are undertaken to discourage its expression and persistence."
hunters  proof 
march 2018 by jaypcross
Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions
Jordan Peterson tweeted, about this book: "The great neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp also pointed out that Ritalin was effective at suppressing, above all, the play impulse."
adhd  hunters  to-read 
march 2018 by jaypcross
Neural and genetic determinants of creativity.
"Creative thinking plays a vital role in almost all aspects of human life. However, little is known about the neural and genetic mechanisms underlying creative thinking.

Using the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking score, we found that high figural creativity is mainly related to high functional connectivity between the executive control, attention, and memory retrieval networks (strong top-down effects); and to low functional connectivity between the default mode network, the ventral attention network, and the subcortical and primary sensory networks (weak bottom-up processing) in the first dataset (consisting of 138 subjects). High creativity also correlates significantly with mutations of genes coding for both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters."

[MY NOTE: Could those "mutations of genes coding for both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters" have to do with ADHD? Or even, themselves, BE what we refer to as ADHD? I have emailed one of the researchers to ask.]
neuroscience  creativity  hunters 
march 2018 by jaypcross
If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich? Turns out it’s just chance.
When the team rank individuals by wealth, the distribution is exactly like that seen in real-world societies. “The ‘80-20’ rule is respected, since 80 percent of the population owns only 20 percent of the total capital, while the remaining 20 percent owns 80 percent of the same capital,” report Pluchino and co.

That may not be surprising or unfair if the wealthiest 20 percent turn out to be the most talented. But that isn’t what happens. The wealthiest individuals are typically not the most talented or anywhere near it. “The maximum success never coincides with the maximum talent, and vice-versa,” say the researchers.

So if not talent, what other factor causes this skewed wealth distribution? “Our simulation clearly shows that such a factor is just pure luck,” say Pluchino and co.
march 2018 by jaypcross
Steve Jobs and the One Trait All Innovative Leaders Share
"I watched a wonderful documentary, Steve Jobs: One Last Thing, and what struck me as the overarching secret to his success was his voracious curiosity. Jobs wasn’t curious about things that would make him successful. He was successful because he was so curious.

Strictly curiosity led him to the study of calligraphy that later produced all the fonts that made the original Apple computer so successful. His best friend from high school related how he and Jobs eschewed typical adolescent activities in favor of long walks pondering the mysteries of life. Later Jobs’ curiosity took him to India to study Eastern Mysticism, and later still to Zen Buddhism.

As more and more examples unfolded, I realized that this entire documentary, on perhaps the most innovative leader who ever lived, was little more than the story of one man’s omnivorous curiosity."
curiosity  adhd  hunters 
march 2018 by jaypcross
Creativity and Psychopathology: A Shared Vulnerability Model
Here is the academic paper described thusly in the Scientific American article I bookmarked below...

As Shelley Carson points out in her "Shared Vulnerability Model," vulnerable mental processes such as reduced latent inhibition, preference for novelty, hyperconnectivity, and perseveration can interact with protective factors, such as enhanced fluid reasoning, working memory, cognitive inhibition, and cognitive flexibility, to "enlarge the range and depth of stimuli available in conscious awareness to be manipulated and combined to form novel and original ideas."
creativity  hunters  fluidintelligence  memory  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
ADHD's Upside Is Creativity, Says New Study
"Until now the ADHD-creativity link has been an oft-repeated rumor, seen by some as something exhausted parents cling to for consolation. Dr. Holly White, then at the University of Memphis, and her colleague, Priti Shah of the University of Michigan, set out to find out how much truth there was to the supposed link, and discovered that their subjects with ADHD showed marked differences both in their creative abilities and their approaches to creative problem solving.

The other measure White used that differs from most past studies is called the FourSight Thinking Profile, developed by Gerard Puccio in 2002. This questionnaire—which, like the CAQ, depends on self-reporting by the subjects it’s administered to—is designed to explore “preference for each phase of creative problem solving.” The measure conceptualizes creative problem solving in four phases: clarification—“let’s look at this problem,” as White puts it; brainstorming; developing and refining of ideas; and implementing the arrived-at solutions.

For each phase, a name: the Clarifier, the Ideator, the Developer, and the Implementer.

Here, again, White came up with significant findings. Her ADHD subjects markedly gravitated toward the Ideator and Developer styles; her non-ADHD subjects toward the Clarifier role."
adhd  creativity  hunters  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
Creativity and schizotypy from the neuroscience perspective
PDF of one of the studies referred to in the Scientific American post below.
creativity  hunters  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
The Real Link Between Creativity and Mental Illness
The researchers found that the more creative the participant, the more they had difficulty suppressing the precuneus while engaging in an effortful working memory task.

The precuneus is the area of the Default Mode Network that typically displays the highest levels of activation during rest (when a person is not focusing on an external task). The precuneus has been linked to self-consciousness, self-related mental representations, and the retrieval of personal memories.

How is this conducive to creativity? According to the researchers, "Such an inability to suppress seemingly unnecessary cognitive activity may actually help creative subjects in associating two ideas represented in different networks."

[MY NOTE: This great post from Scientific American plays right into my thesis. People with ADHD are notoriously poor at suppressing activity in the Default Mode Network. That is one of the explicit goals of ADHD medication. Unfortunately, as reflected in the dwindling percentage of startups, it seems to be "working" too well.]
adhd  creativity  hunters  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
Why hiring the ‘best’ people produces the least creative results
When building a forest, you do not select the best trees as they tend to make similar classifications. You want diversity. Programmers achieve that diversity by training each tree on different data, a technique known as bagging. They also boost the forest ‘cognitively’ by training trees on the hardest cases – those that the current forest gets wrong. This ensures even more diversity and accurate forests.

Yet the fallacy of meritocracy persists. Corporations, non-profits, governments, universities and even preschools test, score and hire the ‘best’. This all but guarantees not creating the best team. Ranking people by common criteria produces homogeneity. And when biases creep in, it results in people who look like those making the decisions. That’s not likely to lead to breakthroughs. As Astro Teller, CEO of X, the ‘moonshoot factory’ at Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has said: ‘Having people who have different mental perspectives is what’s important. If you want to explore things you haven’t explored, having people who look just like you and think just like you is not the best way.’ We must see the forest.

[MY NOTE: This post approaches my point about schooling "homogenizing" the discovery and spread of new creative insights. It also mirrors Kapil Gupta's idea of competition producing mediocrity. Why focus on being "the best" at some pre-defined thing when you could push toward the ultimate heights of what's possible?]
anchors  creativity  hunters  kapil 
february 2018 by jaypcross
The Selling of Attention Deficit Disorder
After more than 50 years leading the fight to legitimize attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Keith Conners could be celebrating.

Severely hyperactive and impulsive children, once shunned as bad seeds, are now recognized as having a real neurological problem. Doctors and parents have largely accepted drugs like Adderall and Concerta to temper the traits of classic A.D.H.D., helping youngsters succeed in school and beyond.

But Dr. Conners did not feel triumphant this fall as he addressed a group of fellow A.D.H.D. specialists in Washington. He noted that recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the diagnosis had been made in 15 percent of high school-age children, and that the number of children on medication for the disorder had soared to 3.5 million from 600,000 in 1990. He questioned the rising rates of diagnosis and called them “a national disaster of dangerous proportions.”

[MY NOTE: Really damning quotes and data here about the marketing of ADHD to the public. Cite heavily.]
adhd  hunters 
february 2018 by jaypcross
A polymorphism associated with entrepreneurship: evidence from dopamine receptor candidate genes
"The tendency to be an entrepreneur may be influenced by genetic variation. Sensation seeking is more common among entrepreneurs than among the general population. Twin studies show that the tendency to be an entrepreneur is heritable and that common genes influence both sensation seeking and entrepreneurial tendency (Nicolaou et al. Manag Sci 54:167–179, 2008a; Strateg Entrep J 2:7–21, 2008b).

Since dopamine receptor genes have been associated with novelty seeking/sensation seeking (Benjamin et al. Nat Genet 12:81–84, 1996; Ebstein et al. Nat Genet 12:78–80, 1996; Noblett and Coccaro Curr Psychiatry Rep 7:73–80, 2005), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been reported to occur at greater rates among entrepreneurs, we examined the association between five dopamine receptor genes and four ADHD-associated genes, with the tendency to be an entrepreneur in a sample of 1,335 individuals from the UK. We found a single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1486011) of the DRD3 gene on chromosome 3 to be significantly associated with the tendency to be an entrepreneur.

This result is the first evidence of the association of a specific gene with entrepreneurship. Further studies are needed to replicate this association."
adhd  entrepreneurship  hunters  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
Entrepreneurial Tendencies Among People with ADHD
"This paper studies the impact of people having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) on their predisposition toward entrepreneurship. Our findings suggest that ADHD sufferers have a significantly higher marginal probability of being entrepreneurs, while ADHD does not affect the likelihood of being a wage earner or being unemployed. Moreover, people with ADHD exhibit significantly higher values in the entrepreneurial tendency measures relative to others. By exploring the determinants of entrepreneurial tendencies, we find that ADHD affection has a positive impact on many entrepreneurial characteristics.

Furthermore, we find that the significance of the ADHD variable maintains in the presence of entrepreneurship and demographic controls. Overall, these findings highlight the importance of the ADHD community as a rich source of entrepreneurs."

[MY NOTE: Viola! The first actual data I found supporting the idea that people with ADHD are more likely to become entrepreneurs. Get a hold of the actual paper. Consider contacting the researchers to dig deeper into their methodology.]
adhd  entrepreneurship  hunters  proof 
february 2018 by jaypcross
The Bias Against Creativity: Why People Desire But Reject Creative Ideas
"People often reject creative ideas even when espousing creativity as a desired goal. To explain this paradox, we propose that people can hold a bias against creativity that is not necessarily overt, and which is activated when people experience a motivation to reduce uncertainty. In two studies, we measure and manipulate uncertainty using different methods including: discrete uncertainty feelings, and an uncertainty reduction prime.

The results of both studies demonstrated a negative bias toward creativity (relative to practicality) when participants experienced uncertainty. Furthermore, the bias against creativity interfered with participants’ ability to recognize a creative idea. These results reveal a concealed barrier that creative actors may face as they attempt to gain acceptance for their novel ideas."

[MY NOTE: This paper from Cornell might be the one Gary Klein referenced in Seeing What Others Don't. Either way, it's a super powerful proof point for the arguments I am making. Unpack it. Especially when talking about why society continues to drug some of its most creative kids -- those with ADHD.]
creativity  hunters  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Why Creative People Are More Likely to Be Dishonest
"In our research, we’ve found that identifying as a creative person can also lead someone to be dishonest. This is because, at least in the U.S., creativity is often celebrated as a special attribute. The idea that creativity is rare leads to a sense of entitlement; if you are creative, you see yourself as more deserving than others. Leaders reinforce this when they don’t hold creative people to the same rules as those who are less creative, or when they give them special treatment. For example, in 1983, after their graphing calculator project was cancelled, two Apple programmers snuck onto Apple property and secretly used the company’s equipment to continue working on it for months. After their access badges were eventually confiscated, coworkers helped them sneak in through side doors. And Steve Jobs even had a habit of parking his Mercedes in handicap parking spots and driving it without a license plate.

Basically, it’s not just that creative people can think outside the box; it’s that people who see themselves as creative and see creativity as rare believe that they deserve a bigger box than others. And what is more troubling is that they might be willing to steal and lie as a result."

[MY NOTE: This analysis from Harvard Business Review is sharp, probably on point, and yet, not the deepest truth of the matter in my view. They come so close but fail to even explore the possible evolutionary basis! Use this post as my jumping off point in the essay I show Richard.]
creativity  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Why Problem Finders Are More Creative Than Problem Solvers
“It is in fact the discovery and creation of problems rather than any superior knowledge, technical skill, or craftsmanship that often sets the creative person apart.” —Jacob Getzels, social scientist

I know a handful of people who are natural problem-solvers—skilled at identifying the root of an issue and taking keenly selected, highly efficient steps to achieve a desired outcome or change—but who claim they “aren’t creative.” Such attitudes and statements stem from a couple of things, not least of which is the false but lingering notion that creativity is for artists or the artistically-minded (untrue, as we’ll see below), and also includes the less commonly examined myth that problem-solving happens in the sciences and not the arts.

While it wouldn’t be accurate or useful to conflate problem-solving and creativity, it could certainly help students, educators, and professionals understand their place in the world a little better if the relationship between the two were explored more thoroughly. There’s too much misapprehension surrounding creativity and problem-solving; it’s time to clear the muddied waters.

[MY NOTE: I was that person. In my 2012 employee check-in at Column Five, I began a sentence with "While I am not a very creative person, I blah blah blah." Many times since then, I have looked back on that comment with regret. I only said it because I committed the error this post talks about. We need to expand the definition of creativity to include people who apply 80/20 at work. This author's point about problem-solving versus problem-finding is worth fleshing out further in my work. Lends itself naturally to the hunter idea.]
creativity  hunters  80/20 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Scientists Show Human Consciousness Could Be a Side Effect of 'Entropy'
"After the Big Bang, the Universe has gradually been moving from a state of low entropy to high entropy, and because the second law of thermodynamics states that entropy can only increase in a system, it could explain why the arrow of time only ever moves forwards.

So researchers decided to apply the same thinking to the connections in our brains, and investigate whether they show any patterns in the way they choose to order themselves while we're conscious.

To figure this out, a team from the University of Toronto and Paris Descartes University used a type of probability theory called statistical mechanics to model the networks of neurons in nine people's brains - including seven who had epilepsy.

Specifically, they were looking at synchronisation of neurons - whether neurons were oscillating in phase with each other - to figure out whether brain cells were linked or not.

They looked at two datasets: first they compared the connectivity patterns when participants were asleep and awake; and then they looked at the difference when five of the epileptic patients were having seizures, and when their brains were in a normal, 'alert' state.

In both situations, they saw the same trend - the participants' brains displayed higher entropy when in a fully conscious state."

[MY NOTE: I admit this is a reach on my part, but when I read it, I couldn't help thinking of George Gilder's discussions of entropy in Knowledge & Power, his book on information theory. Keep it in mind. Maybe there's a connection. Maybe not.]
entropy  neuroscience  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
The Elephant in the Brain: Hidden Motives in Everyday Life
Human beings are primates, and primates are political animals. Our brains, therefore, are designed not just to hunt and gather, but also to help us get ahead socially, often via deception and self-deception. But while we may be self-interested schemers, we benefit by pretending otherwise.

The less we know about our own ugly motives, the better - and thus we don't like to talk or even think about the extent of our selfishness. This is "the elephant in the brain." Such an introspective taboo makes it hard for us to think clearly about our nature and the explanations for our behavior. The aim of this book, then, is to confront our hidden motives directly - to track down the darker, unexamined corners of our psyches and blast them with floodlights. Then, once everything is clearly visible, we can work to better understand ourselves: Why do we laugh? Why are artists sexy? Why do we brag about travel? Why do we prefer to speak rather than listen?

Our unconscious motives drive more than just our private behavior; they also infect our venerated social institutions such as Art, School, Charity, Medicine, Politics, and Religion. In fact, these institutions are in many ways designed to accommodate our hidden motives, to serve covert agendas alongside their "official" ones. The existence of big hidden motives can upend the usual political debates, leading one to question the legitimacy of these social institutions, and of standard policies designed to favor or discourage them. You won't see yourself - or the world - the same after confronting the elephant in the brain."

[MY NOTE: Top review on Amazon calls it "a non-fiction Catcher in the Rye." Also seems promising for exploring the creativity / dishonesty link. Definitely read this.]
evolution  hunters  to-read 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Jordan Peterson: "Weak Men Can't Be Virtuous"
Fascinating video about virtue, evil, and whether anyone can be good if they don't have the option to be (or perhaps even significant experience being) evil. For some reason, this makes me think about the creativity / dishonesty link even more. Watch this a few more times.
hunters  influencers 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Drug treatment of ADHD – tenuous scientific basis
"Despite the widespread pharmacological treatment of ADHD, the first comprehensive systematic review on the use of methylphenidate in children and adolescents was not published until 2015 (5). A Cochrane group examined 185 randomised controlled trials with more than 12 000 children and adolescents (3–18 years). They concluded that short-term use of methylphenidate may produce a clinically significant reduction in teacher-rated ADHD symptoms, teacher-rated behavioural problems and an improvement in parent-reported quality of life. While there was no increased risk of death or life-threatening adverse effects, there was a markedly increased risk of other adverse effects. Methylphenidate use, for example, was associated with a 60 % greater relative risk of sleep problems and 266 % greater risk of decreased appetite.

What made the Cochrane study most controversial, however, was its conclusion that the existing studies were of such low quality that it was not possible to say for certain whether methylphenidate is beneficial for children with an ADHD diagnosis. The group justified this statement on the grounds that all 185 studies were at high risk of bias – for example, because the pharmaceutical industry had financed many of them, or because their placebo controls were weak, since the known adverse effects of methylphenidate may have revealed who was receiving the active medication. Moreover, the duration of methylphenidate treatment in the studies was so short (1–425 days, average 75 days) that it was impossible to judge the efficacy of long-term medication use."

[MY NOTE: Lots of damning stuff in here. The worst, to me, is that we have been giving these drugs to kids since the early 1980's -- yet did not systematically review evidence of their effectiveness until fucking 2015.]
adhd  adderall  hunters  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Stanford study finds walking improves creativity
"Other research has focused on how aerobic exercise generally protects long-term cognitive function, but until now, there did not appear to be a study that specifically examined the effect of non-aerobic walking on the simultaneous creative generation of new ideas and then compared it against sitting, Oppezzo said.

A person walking indoors – on a treadmill in a room facing a blank wall – or walking outdoors in the fresh air produced twice as many creative responses compared to a person sitting down, one of the experiments found."

[MY NOTE: Gary Klein's caveats about laboratory measures of creativity apply. Still -- these results deserve serious attention. Especially this comment, which perfectly captures why sitting is the all-day norm in schools and many offices: "While the study showed that walking benefited creative brainstorming, it did not have a positive effect on the kind of focused thinking required for single, correct answers."]
creativity  hunters  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Creative thought has a pattern of its own, brain activity scans reveal
Donatella Versace finds it in the conflict of ideas, Jack White under pressure of deadlines. For William S Burroughs, an old Dadaist trick helped: cutting pages into pieces and rearranging the words.

Every artist has their own way of generating original ideas, but what is happening inside the brain might not be so individual. In new research, scientists report signature patterns of neural activity that mark out those who are most creative.

“We have identified a pattern of brain connectivity that varies across people, but is associated with the ability to come up with creative ideas,” said Roger Beaty, a psychologist at Harvard University. “It’s not like we can predict with perfect accuracy who’s going to be the next Einstein, but we can get a pretty good sense of how flexible a given person’s thinking is.”

[MY NOTE: This study was based on the common "come up with as many uses as possible for this everyday object" test. It is thus subject to every pitfall of laboratory research on creativity that Gary Klein talked about in Seeing What Others Don't. Still -- the findings are pretty fascinating! Especially their findings about the default mode network. These researchers don't talk about ADHD, but it seems to me that people with ADHD are highly likely to have the kinds of brains they are discussing.]
adhd  creativity  hunters  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
The hidden connection between risk and creativity
"The point here is that there is a deep and meaningful connection between risk taking and creativity and it’s one that’s often overlooked.

For starters, creativity is the act of making something from nothing. It requires making public those bets first placed by imagination. This is not a job for the timid. Time wasted, reputation tarnished, money not well spent—these are all by-products of creativity gone awry. And, for sure, creativity often goes awry.

This too is part of the process. Creatives fail and the really good ones fail often. In study after study after study, the most brilliantly creative people are also the ones with the most output. It isn’t that they have better creative ideas than the rest of us, it’s that they have more to choose from—by working at incredibly high volumes they are offsetting for a built in and extremely high error rate. So not only does creativity require courage in ones convictions (or imagination, as is probably more accurate), it requires a willingness to die for those convictions—over and over and over again.

But there’s an even tighter coupling at work here, and that’s my deeper point. From a neurological perspective, creativity is the product of long distance connections in the brain. When creative problem solve they don’t just search the familiar nearby databases, they stretch their brains hunting for dimmer connections, subtler connections, novel linkages."

[MY NOTE: Hunting indeed! There is a powerful parallel between "long distance connections in the brain" and the long physical distances actual hunters traverse while stalking prey. This article also shows why environments without meaningful personal stakes (school, many corporate jobs, etc.) fail to tap into people's fullest creativity. Risk is a huge part of the ecology of creativity and it is increasingly absent in our lives.]
creativity  ecology  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
The Next Big Idea Club
"What Is the Next Big Idea Club?

We select the most groundbreaking nonfiction, interview the authors, and share the essential insights with you. Are you ready for the Next Big Idea?"

[MY NOTE: High-end book of the month club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Dan Pink, and Adam Grant.]
hunters  influencers  to-contact 
january 2018 by jaypcross
The Science Of Tripping Balls, And Its Impact On Creativity
"Proponents of psychedelic drugs have long insisted substances like LSD and psilocybin–the compound found in magic mushrooms–expand the mind, provide novel insights, and boost creativity. But only recently has scientific evidence started to bolster these claims.

A new study in the journal, Human Brain Mapping and ongoing research into LSD at the Imperial College London, has begun to demonstrate that mind-altering substances increase communication between various regions in the brain, leading to mental states that are highly imaginative, sensorily vibrant, and emotionally intense.

But scientists aren’t merely confirming that hallucinogens are fun to do. If the effects of these drugs could be harnessed, then theoretically, they could be used to deliberately fuel creative output."
mushrooms  psilocybin  creativity  hunters  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Creative Genius Driven by Distraction
The literary great Marcel Proust wore ear-stoppers because he was unable to filter out irrelevant noise -- and lined his bedroom with cork to attenuate sound.

Now new Northwestern University research suggests why the inability to shut out competing sensory information while focusing on the creative project at hand might have been so acute for geniuses such as Proust, Franz Kafka, Charles Darwin, Anton Chekhov and many others.

The Northwestern research provides the first physiological evidence that real-world creativity may be associated with a reduced ability to filter “irrelevant” sensory information.

The research suggests that some people are more affected by the daily bombardment of sensory information -- or have “leakier” sensory filters.

“Leaky” sensory gating, the propensity to filter out “irrelevant” sensory information, happens early, and involuntarily, in brain processing and may help people integrate ideas that are outside of the focus of attention, leading to creativity in the real world, said Darya Zabelina, lead author of the study, calling the finding “impressive.”

[MY NOTE: This study -- unlike virtually all others I have seen -- distinguishes between laboratory measures of creativity and real-world creative achievement. Cite heavily!]
sensitivity  adhd  creativity  hunters  ecology  proof 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Shades of Sensitivity
"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, and create– so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating."

- Pearl S. Buck
sensitivity  creativity  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
The problem with personality types: testing yourself rarely works
"Self-administered personality tests yield inaccurate results.

Fortune 500 companies adore personality type tests, because they ensure only leaders get trained to lead. And entrepreneurs love personality type because one bad hire can kill an early-stage startup. So when I am coaching for $350, most people have taken a personality test through work, with some expensive consultant administering the test. And the test results are usually correct.

But at the $150 price point most people do not have the kind of job where your boss hires someone to give you the test. So they just give the test to yourself. This is when personality testing doesn’t quite work.

You have to know how to answer the quiz relative to everyone else in the world. So when you get the question: I am never late. True or false? If the person is a fanatic about being late and they were late once last year, they might say false. And if someone doesn’t really notice late or not late, they will think they are probably on time because no one has fired them for it yet, so they will say true.

Each decision point is just like this one. I know it’s an extreme example, but the same is true if you answer, on a scale of 1 -10 how true is the statement “I like social gatherings.” For questions like this ENFPs routinely give a low number, because ENFPs hate doing small talk. But actually, compared to other people, ENFPs love social gatherings because they always get excited about the possibility there will be someone good there.

You really have to have all 16 types in mind when you answer the questions so that you know where you fit relative to other people. Because understanding yourself relative to your surroundings forces the same question as the oversized chair on Swarthmore College’s main lawn: are you really small or does your context exaggerate how you appear? And questions on the personality test are not as simple as mentally adjusting to the size of the chair."

[MY NOTE: Fantastic post on the difference between rigid, academic interpretation of Myers-Briggs results and real-world understanding.]
ecology  penelope  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Vanity Fair article I have not read yet. What hooked me was the following description of it from Penelope, which seems to fit my creativity/dishonesty link:

"There’s a really dirty underbelly in Silicon Valley.

Asperger hot houses of IQ discrimination, sex slave enthusiasts with one or two startups under their belt, and Luddite / Mormon / Mennonites who work at Google but don’t let their wives leave home without complete body coverage. If you think I’m exaggerating, read this piece in Vanity Fair. If you want to coach the people in these cesspools of intellect, their sweet spot seems to be $150 an hour."

[UPDATE: After reading the article, I can say it has HUGE relevance to my hunch. In fact, I might want to lead with quotes from this post in my first creativity/dishonesty article.]
creativity  hunters  to-read 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Why everything might have taken so long
"Posing the question is a large part of the work. If you have never seen rope, it actually doesn’t occur to you that rope would come in handy, or to ask yourself how to make some."

[MY NOTE: This entire post underscores for the need for insight variation and creative evolution. The speed/power of 80/20 insights, too. The sudden appearance of unimaginably basic concepts (i.e. "changing the world around you to make it better") catapulted humanity by leaps and bounds -- more or less overnight. Also, stylistically, it's short yet insight-dense. A lot for me to learn there!]
creativity  cognition  business-genes  writing  80/20  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Reality has a surprising amount of detail
"My dad emigrated from Colombia to North America when he was 18 looking looking for a better life. For my brother and I that meant a lot of standing outside in the cold. My dad’s preferred method of improving his lot was improving lots, and my brother and I were “voluntarily” recruited to help working on the buildings we owned.

That’s how I came to spend a substantial part of my teenage years replacing fences, digging trenches, and building flooring and sheds. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned from all this building, it’s that reality has a surprising amount of detail.

This turns out to explain why its so easy for people to end up intellectually stuck. Even when they’re literally the best in the world in their field."
cognition  ecology  hunters  to-read 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Law of the dominant paradigm
"Given opposing opinions with equal evidence in their favor, the less popular opinion is more likely to be correct.

To see why this is so, consider how evidence -- facts, data, observations, etc. are obtained and transmitted by human culture. Each observer and transmitter passes on a filtered version of the evidence, either consiously or unconsiously, to fit a particular paradigm. If most of the information gatherers in a society -- journalists, academicians, writers, movie studios, etc. -- subscribe to one out of several possible opinions, it is natural to expect that more evidence will be gathered that supports that opinion than the others, even if the some of the other opinions have equal validity.

This does not mean that evidence is useless; it means that evidence is a function both of the reality and the paradigms held by the information gatherers. Evidence given in an argument must be adjusted by the resources devoted to gathering evidence in favor of each opinion. The amount of bias caused by the dominant paradigm effect is not well-defined, but an extremely new or unpopular opinion is likely to have little evidence in its favor, since little has been done to gather such evidence.

On the net, it is very easy to fall into the mindset of simply agreeing with and copying those already dominant on the net. Far more fruitful are original ideas, disagreements, and working to find evidence for unpopular and new opinions to determine their worth."
cognition  creativity  hunters  80/20  quotes 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Explore / Exploit
"Without going too much into the math, the solution to the bandit problem is easy to understand: the optimal strategy is to start with a period of exploration, where you pull levers at random and gather information. When you have more information about what works and what doesn’t, you shift to spending the majority of your time pulling the best lever (exploitation), but you keep exploring the other options in case your current best option isn’t the very best that exists.

Here’s the thing: the exploration phase never stops. Even if, in your heart of hearts, you’re positively certain you’ve found the best possible option, you never stop experimenting, because the information you gather by experimenting is still valuable.

The only way to beat the bandit is to keep trying new things."
cognition  antifragility  hunters 
january 2018 by jaypcross
Gresham’s Law: The Bad Drives Out the Good As Time Passes
"Something analogous to Gresham's Law will be found to obtain in the case of competing standards in Industry. Assuming there is indifference in the matter of choice between competing commodities or services, but that in the case of such commodities or services the labor standards involved vary, the inferior standard, if brought in this manner into competition with a higher standard, will drive it out, or drag the higher down to its level. This is effected by the opportunity of under-selling which comes, where in such cases human well-being is sacrificed to material ends. The superior standard, not being recognized or demanded, is unable to hold its own, and in time disappears.

This Law is just as real and relentless in its operation in Industry as Gresham's Law of the precious metals is with respect to money and the mechanism of exchange. Indeed, a more accurate exposition would describe both as manifestations of one and the same law, which I propose to call the Law of Competing Standards. I see no reason why economists should not recognize the existence of such a law, and incorporate it immediately in economic science as being quite as significant as the Law of Supply and Demand, the Law of Diminishing Returns, or any other Law accorded a place in its nomenclature."
psychology  hunters 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You
"More than six hundred developers from ninety-two different companies participated. Each designed, coded, and tested a program, working in his normal office space during business hours. Each participant was also assigned a partner from the same company. The partners worked separately, however, without any communication, a feature of the games that turned out to be critical.

When the results came in, they revealed an enormous performance gap. The best outperformed the worst by a 10:1 ratio. The top programmers were also about 2.5 times better than the median. When DeMarco and Lister tried to figure out what accounted for this astonishing range, the factors that you’d think would matter—such as years of experience, salary, even the time spent completing the work—had little correlation to outcome. Programmers with ten years’ experience did no better than those with two years. The half who performed above the median earned less than 10 percent more than the half below—even though they were almost twice as good. The programmers who turned in “zero-defect” work took slightly less, not more, time to complete the exercise than those who made mistakes.

It was a mystery with one intriguing clue: programmers from the same companies performed at more or less the same level, even though they hadn’t worked together. That’s because top performers overwhelmingly worked for companies that gave their workers the most privacy, personal space, control over their physical environments, and freedom from interruption. Sixty-two percent of the best performers said that their workspace was acceptably private, compared to only 19 percent of the worst performers; 76 percent of the worst performers but only 38 percent of the top performers said that people often interrupted them needlessly."

[MY NOTE: Susan Cain quote from Quiet, her book about introversion. Great example of 80/20 in action.]
creativity  80/20  hunters  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Why Happy People Cheat
As I listen to her, I start to suspect that her affair is about neither her husband nor their relationship. Her story echoes a theme that has come up repeatedly in my work: affairs as a form of self-discovery, a quest for a new (or lost) identity. For these seekers, infidelity is less likely to be a symptom of a problem, and more likely an expansive experience that involves growth, exploration, and transformation.

“Expansive?!,” I can hear some people exclaiming. “Self-discovery?! Cheating is cheating, whatever fancy New Age labels you want to put on it. It’s cruel, it’s selfish, it’s dishonest, and it’s abusive.” Indeed, to the one who has been betrayed, it can be all these things. Intimate betrayal feels intensely personal—a direct attack in the most vulnerable place. And yet I often find myself asking jilted lovers to consider a question that seems ludicrous to them: What if the affair had nothing to do with you?

Sometimes when we seek the gaze of another, it’s not our partner we are turning away from, but the person we have become. We are not looking for another lover so much as another version of ourselves. The Mexican essayist Octavio Paz described eroticism as a “thirst for otherness.” So often, the most intoxicating “other” that people discover in an affair is not a new partner; it’s a new self.

[MY NOTE: Article by Esther Perel, author of State of Affairs. I should reach out to her when investigating the creativity and dishonesty link. She might have strong insights here! In fact, one of them in this article: "Our creative imagination seems to be richer when it comes to our transgressions than to our commitments."]
cheating  creativity  hunters 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Turning Education Inside-Out: Confessions of a Montessori Principal
"Turning Education Inside-Out: Confessions of a Montessori Principal shows the impact that the Montessori experience has on the developing child, clears up misconceptions about exactly what Montessori is, and helps prospective parents determine if Montessori is right for their child. Montessori educators will also find the author's insights into the challenges of successfully implementing the Montessori philosophy into the classroom and school to be helpful in their own journey.

Despite the fact that Dr. Maria Montessori created this method over 100 years ago, most of her discoveries about how children learn and the effect of their environment on their developing brains have only recently been validated by current technology and specialists in brain development. These recent discoveries and the real-world success of numerous high-profile Montessori-educated entrepreneurs have helped the popularity of this educational philosophy."

[MY NOTE: Montessori is the epitome of ecological learning, at least in terms of formal education. In the past, I dismissed the lists of wealthy entrepreneurs who went to Montessori schools as selection bias. "Duh! Their parents had the money to send them to expensive private schools." Now, I think "Yeah -- because people who think ecologically are more successful, and they want their kids to think that way too."]
montessori  cognition  antifragility  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Study: Psilocybin Mushrooms Stimulate Growth Of New Brain Cells
"Psychedelic mushrooms already have a reputation for helping people open their minds and broaden their perspective on the world. They have shown an ability to combat mental disorders like depression and anxiety. Now, research is showing that the magic mushrooms can actually help physically rebuild a damaged brain.

In a study conducted by the University of South Florida and published in 2013 in the Experimental Brain Research journal, researchers measured the effects of mushrooms on mice that had been conditioned to fear certain stimuli.

The results were striking: Not only could psilocybin, the main active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, help them get over their fear, it promoted cell growth and regeneration in their brains."
drugs  psilocybin  neurogenesis  creativity  hunters  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Joe Rogan on Terence McKenna's Stoned Ape Theory
Joe Rogan breaking down the stoned ape theory into incredibly simple terms. He also talks about the "intense creativity" you awaken by eating psilocybin mushrooms, the "river of ideas" you tap into, and the possibility that it has long-term beneficial effects on the brain leading to "lots of innovation."
stoned-ape  creativity  hunters  drugs 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution
"An exploration of humans' symbiotic relationships with plants and chemicals presents information on prehistoric partnership societies, the roles of spices and spirits in the rise of dominator societies; and the politics of tobacco, tea, coffee, opium, and alcohol.

Why, as a species, are humans so fascinated by altered states of consciousness? Can altered states reveal something to us about our origins and our place in nature? In Food of the Gods, ethnobotanist Terence McKenna’s research on man’s ancient relationship with chemicals opens a doorway to the divine, and perhaps a solution for saving our troubled world.

McKenna provides a revisionist look at the historical role of drugs in the East and the West, from ancient spice, sugar, and rum trades to marijuana, cocaine, synthetics, and even television—illustrating the human desire for the “food of the gods” and the powerful potential to replace abuse of illegal drugs with a shamanic understanding, insistence on community, reverence for nature, and increased self-awareness."
cbd  drugs  creativity  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Does the ‘Stoned Ape’ Theory Explain Human Evolution?
McKenna came up with an interesting, albeit controversial theory, which was this: what enabled Homo erectus (our ancestors from 1.8 million years ago) to evolve into Homo sapiens (us now) had to do with their encounters with magic mushrooms and psilocybin, the psychedelic compound within them.

McKenna called this the “Stoned Ape Hypothesis” and posited that psilocybin caused the primitive brain’s information-processing capabilities to rapidly reorganize, which in turn kick-started an evolution of awareness that led to the early art, language and technology found in Homo sapiens’ archeological records.

McKenna once said that as early humans we “ate our way to higher consciousness” by consuming these mushrooms, which, he hypothesized, grew out of animal manure. Psilocybin, he said, brought us “out of the animal mind and into the world of articulated speech and imagination.”

[MY NOTE: This is a perfect tie-in to CBD in the book/blog. One fast way to get insight variation? Perception variation.]
cbd  stoned-ape  evolution  hunters  creativity 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links
"The practical guide to discovering the rules of our superconnected world through the science and sociology of networks.

In Superconnect, Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood show that success is less about who you are than how you connect―a chance meeting with an old colleague leads to a swanky new job; two businessmen collaborate online and cofound a successful start-up; a friend introduces a promising entrepreneur to a millionaire looking to invest. But why do these lucky breaks always happen to other people?

Personal and professional networks shape everything we do, but simply knowing that they exist won’t help you harness your connections for maximum success. With an eye toward business applications, Superconnect outlines the new rules of our densely linked society. At the core of the analysis are three simple network components―strong relationships, weak relationships, and hubs―that interact in surprising, counterintuitive ways. Understanding how these components mesh, and connecting unrelated people, is the way to achieve in today’s hyper-connected world."
business-genes  creativity  hunters  koch  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter
To stand out, my book must be the best vehicle for the genes (ideas) it contains. This book by Scott Adams (that Jackson recommended the hell out of) seems like it contains valuable insights on doing exactly that.

Read it.

[MY NOTE: Jesus constantly stressed that rich men cannot enter heaven. Perhaps he would have a similar disdain for extremely bright people who hoard their gifts. He would want the cognitively / creatively "rich" to bring more knowledge within reach of those less gifted, to enhance their capacity for understanding and action.]
hunters  business-genes  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Impro: Improvisation and the Theatre
"Impro ought to be required reading not only for theatre people generally but also for teachers, educators, and students of all kinds and persuassions. Readers of this book are not going to agree with everything in it; but if they are not challenged by it, if they do not ultimately succumb to its wisdom and whimsicality, they are in a very sad state indeed . . . .Johnstone seeks to liberate the imagination, to cultivate in the adult the creative power of the child . . . .Deserves to be widely read and tested in the classroom and rehearsal hall . . .Full of excellent good sense, actual observations and inspired assetions."

[MY NOTE: Jackson recommended this book strenuously.]
creativity  ecology  business-genes  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Taking the Mystery Out of How to Write a Mystery
"Let's start with the basics: what is a mystery? In simplest terms, it's a story about the disruption of the social order. A crime against society is committed: a man is murdered, a bank is robbed, whatever. We, the viewer, want to know two things: who did it, and why.

At least that's what we think we want.

What do we really want? We want order restored. We want the violator of the social compact - the killer, the thief, the blackmailer - caught, so that things in our world are set right once more. And who do we want to do this? Our surrogate, the smarter, wittier, and more doggedly determined version of ourselves: the detective hero. Whether a street wise cop like Popeye Doyle in the French Connection, a sloppy homicide detective like TV's Columbo, or a tea-drinking, sweater-knitting old lady like Miss Marple, we want this one thing from our mystery protagonist above all others: we want order restored.

But not just social order; the best mysteries, whether on Without A Trace or in Murder On the Orient Express, are also about the exploration and resolution of psychological tension. In other words, how do the characters interact? What do they want?

For example, in most mysteries, whether a suspect is guilty of the crime or not, he or she invariably has a secret. A clandestine relationship, a trauma from the past that haunts them still, perhaps even a connection with the killer (or the victim) that helps complete an entire mosaic of possible motives, entanglements and intrigue."

[MY NOTE: Keep this article's points in mind while reading mysteries. It will help immensely when writing the book.]
writing  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Entrepreneurship and psychological disorders: How ADHD can be productively harnessed
"Amidst predominant focus on positive traits for entrepreneurship, this paper explores how disorders such as ADHD influence the decision to engage in entrepreneurial action and the success of entrepreneurial action. Based on a multiple case study of fourteen entrepreneurs previously diagnosed with ADHD, our inductive model highlights impulsivity as a major driver of entrepreneurial action and hyperfocus as a major catalyst for its consequences, both positive and negative. By drawing attention to the positive implications of symptoms commonly seen as negative, the paper opens several major avenues for future theoretical development and empirical research."

[MY NOTE: The actual study bookmarked below. Grab the full text. This researcher could be a great ally!]
adhd  hunters  creativity  entrepreneurship  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
This Scientist Is Studying How ADHD Can Help Entrepreneurs Succeed
Wiklund says that in extremely uncertain environments, neurotypical entrepreneurs risk getting stuck trying to gather enough data, mitigate risk, and predict an ultimately unpredictable situation. As the stakes get higher, they often got locked into a mode of endlessly thinking without acting. Wiklund found that often ADHD entrepreneurs follow a “logic of impulsivity” in which they think more about how right an action feels internally.
adhd  creativity  hunters  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Social Conquest of Earth
"From the most celebrated heir to Darwin comes a groundbreaking book on evolution, the summa work of Edward O. Wilson's legendary career.

Sparking vigorous debate in the sciences, The Social Conquest of Earth upends “the famous theory that evolution naturally encourages creatures to put family first” (Discover). Refashioning the story of human evolution, Wilson draws on his remarkable knowledge of biology and social behavior to demonstrate that group selection, not kin selection, is the premier driving force of human evolution. In a work that James D. Watson calls “a monumental exploration of the biological origins of the human condition,” Wilson explains how our innate drive to belong to a group is both a “great blessing and a terrible curse” (Smithsonian).

Demonstrating that the sources of morality, religion, and the creative arts are fundamentally biological in nature, the renowned Harvard University biologist presents us with the clearest explanation ever produced as to the origin of the human condition and why it resulted in our domination of the Earth’s biosphere."

[MY NOTE: Wilson apparently disagrees with Dawkins about the gene being the basic level at which selection operates. This book puts forth his view that it operates at the group level. Curious how this book will square with Knowledge & Power.]
evolution  business-genes  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene
"Dawkins suggests that there are three forms of extended phenotype.

The first is the capacity of animals to modify their environment using architectural constructions. Dawkins cited as examples caddis houses and beaver dams.

The second is manipulating other organisms. Dawkins points out that animal morphology and ultimately animal behaviour, may be advantageous not to the animal itself, but, for instance, to a parasite which afflicts it – "parasite manipulation". This refers the capacity, found in several groups of parasites, to modify the host behaviour to increase their own fitness. One famous example of this second type of extended phenotype is the suicidal drowning of crickets infected by hairworm, a behaviour that is essential to the parasite's reproductive cycle. Another example of such behaviour is seen in female mosquitoes carrying malaria parasites. The mosquitoes are significantly more attracted to human breath and odours than uninfected mosquitoes. However, a recent study shows that an immune challenge with heat-killed Escherichia coli can generate the same changes in the behaviour as is seen in infection by Plasmodium yoelii. It raises an unanswered question: to what extent is the alteration of host behaviour due to active manipulation selected for in malaria parasites?

The third form of extended phenotype is action at a distance of the parasite on its host. A common example is the manipulation of host behaviour by cuckoo chicks, which elicit intensive feeding by the parasitized host birds. These behavioural modifications are not physically associated with the host but influence the expression of its behavioural phenotype."
business-genes  creativity  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Knowledge and Power: The Information Theory of Capitalism and How it is Revolutionizing our World
"Ignored in this luminous achievement, however, was the one unbridgeable gap between physics and any such science of human behavior: the surprises that arise from free will and human creativity. The miracles forbidden in deterministic physics are not only routine in economics; they constitute the most important economic events. For a miracle is simply an innovation, a sudden and bountiful addition of information to the system. Newtonian physics does not admit of new information of this kind -- describe a system and you are done. Describe an economic system and you have described only the circumstances -- favorable or unfavorable -- for future innovation.

In Newton's physics, the equations encompass and describe change, but there is no need to escribe the agent of this change, the creator of new information. (Newton was a devout Christian but his system relieved God or his angels of the need to steer the spheres.) In an economy, however, everything useful or interesting depends on agents of change called entrepreneurs. An economics of systems only -- of markets but not of men -- is fatally flawed."

[MY NOTE: Recommended by Perry in his review of The Natural Laws of Business. The snippet above bodes extremely well for my thesis! A paragraph later, he criticizes mainstream economic thinkers who "see their discipline as successful insofar as it eliminates surprises -- insofar, that is, as the inexorable workings of the machine override the initiatives of the human actors." That's about to change. You could describe my goal, at the highest level, as empowering the human actors to override the machine.]
business-genes  hunters  to-read  creativity  entrepreneurs 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Five Types of Underperformers Who Get an MBA
"An MBA gets you into middle management. If you’re a strong performer you get into middle management faster by working than you can by taking two years off of work to get an MBA.

If you want to be an entrepreneur then go be one. Entrepreneurship is about being scrappy, cutting corners, and figuring out new ways to do things. If you think you need to go to school for that then it’s a sign that you’re not cut out to do it." (Penelope Trunk)
ecology  entrepreneurship  hunters  quotes 
december 2017 by jaypcross
How To Make Wealth
"Startups are not magic. They don't change the laws of wealth creation. They just represent a point at the far end of the curve. There is a conservation law at work here: if you want to make a million dollars, you have to endure a million dollars' worth of pain. For example, one way to make a million dollars would be to work for the Post Office your whole life, and save every penny of your salary. Imagine the stress of working for the Post Office for fifty years. In a startup you compress all this stress into three or four years.

You do tend to get a certain bulk discount if you buy the economy-size pain, but you can't evade the fundamental conservation law. If starting a startup were easy, everyone would do it."

[MY NOTE: I wonder -- would dramatically speeding up insight and business variation, in fact, make it possible to escape the fundamental conservation law? Via some kind of nonlinear decrease in startup creation difficulty?]
cognition  creativity  hunters 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Why Smart People Have Bad Ideas
"As it turns out, VC-backed startups are not that fearsome. They're too busy trying to spend all that money to get software written. In 1995, the e-commerce business was very competitive as measured in press releases, but not as measured in software. And really it never was. The big fish like Open Market (rest their souls) were just consulting companies pretending to be product companies [5], and the offerings at our end of the market were a couple hundred lines of Perl scripts. Or could have been implemented as a couple hundred lines of Perl; in fact they were probably tens of thousands of lines of C++ or Java. Once we actually took the plunge into e-commerce, it turned out to be surprisingly easy to compete.

So why were we afraid? We felt we were good at programming, but we lacked confidence in our ability to do a mysterious, undifferentiated thing we called "business." In fact there is no such thing as "business." There's selling, promotion, figuring out what people want, deciding how much to charge, customer support, paying your bills, getting customers to pay you, getting incorporated, raising money, and so on. And the combination is not as hard as it seems, because some tasks (like raising money and getting incorporated) are a pain in the ass, whether you're big or small, and others (like selling and promotion) depend more on energy and imagination than any kind of special training."

[MY NOTE: This always, always, always stuck out to me. For YEARS it did. Now I see why. Business isn't ludic. It's ecological. Well, everything is, but business is FAR more fluid and wide-ranging than, say, school.]
ecology  creativity  hunters  quotes 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature
"Referring to Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Through the Looking-Glass, a character who has to keep running to stay in the same place, Matt Ridley demonstrates why sex is humanity's best strategy for outwitting its constantly mutating internal predators. The Red Queen answers dozens of other riddles of human nature and culture -- including why men propose marriage, the method behind our maddening notions of beauty, and the disquieting fact that a woman is more likely to conceive a child by an adulterous lover than by her husband. Brilliantly written, The Red Queen offers an extraordinary new way of interpreting the human condition and how it has evolved."
evolution  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Selfish Gene
"As influential today as when it was first published, The Selfish Gene has become a classic exposition of evolutionary thought. Professor Dawkins articulates a gene's eye view of evolution - a view giving centre stage to these persistent units of information, and in which organisms can be seen as vehicles for their replication. This imaginative, powerful, and stylistically brilliant work not only brought the insights of Neo-Darwinism to a wide audience, but galvanized the biology community, generating much debate and stimulating whole new areas of research. Forty years later, its insights remain as relevant today as on the day it was published."
evolution  business-genes  creativity  hunters  to-read 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Overcoming Bias : Chase Your Reading
"In searching mode, readers tend to be less critical. If a source came recommended, they tend to keep reading along even if they aren’t quite sure what the point is. Since authors tend to be more prestigious than readers, readers tend to feel reluctant to question or judge what they’ve read. They are more likely to talk about whether they enjoyed the read, than whether the author’s argument works. In chasing mode, readers are naturally more critical. When you are looking for something particular, it feels less presumptuous to stop reading when your source comes to seem irrelevant.

After all, the source might be good for some other purpose, even if not for your purpose. In chasing mode, you continually ask yourself whether what you are reading is relevant for your quest, or whether the author actually has anything new or interesting to say. You flip around seeking sections that might be more relevant, and you might even look up the references for an especially relevant section."

[MY NOTE: Could this shed light on the creativity/dishonesty connection, too? After all, SOMETHING has to make some people more willing to question or judge prestigious authors (or social institutions, business assumptions, etc.) than most people are. Perhaps it is their ADHD, or their narcissism, or their other "dark" traits?]
cognition  hunters  god 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Punk Manifesto by Greg Graffin
"Going with the prevailing notions and never expressing your own views is analogous to a premature death of the individual. Our species is unique in the ability to recognize and express the self, and not exercising this biological function goes against the natural selection gradient that created it in the first place. This complacency combats a fear of failure. It is easy to assume that if everyone else is doing something, then there is no way to fail if you just go along with it. Cattle and flocks of geese can probably recognize this advantage. But the entire human race could fail because of this mentality.

Thinking and acting in a direction against the current of popular opinion is critical to human advancement, and a potent manifestation of Punk. If an issue or phenomenon is found to be true only because other people say it is so, then it is a Punk’s job to look for a better solution, or at least find an independent variable that confirms the held view."
creativity  hunters 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Well-Prepared in Their Own Eyes
"Students consistently rank themselves as prepared in areas where employers do not agree. The area where students and employers are the closest to being aligned is in staying current with new technologies, where 37 percent of employers think students are well-prepared and 46 percent of students think that. But in a number of key areas (oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, being creative), students are more than twice as likely as employers to think that students are being well-prepared. And these are the kinds of qualities that many colleges say are hallmarks of a liberal education."

[MY NOTE: Of course. We wouldn't expect a boxer exclusively trained in the Marquess of Queensberry rules to survive a cage fight with a mixed martial artist. Yet we expect the cognitive / creative equivalent of that year after year when we send school graduates into the workplace.]
creativity  hunters  proof  ecology 
december 2017 by jaypcross
In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed
"Understanding comes from focusing, chewing, and relentlessly ragging on a problem. It comes with false starts, dead ends, and frustration. Thinking requires time and space. It’s slow. It means saying I don’t know. In short, thinking is everything the modern workplace is designed to eradicate. We’re expected to have an opinion about everything and yet our time to think is near zero. We hold more opinions than ever but have less understanding.

We don’t even understand ourselves. How could it be otherwise?"
creativity  cognition  hunters  quotes 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The decline of play in preschoolers — and the rise in sensory issues
"In fact, it is before the age of 7 years — ages traditionally known as “pre-academic” — when children desperately need to have a multitude of whole-body sensory experiences on a daily basis in order to develop strong bodies and minds. This is best done outside where the senses are fully ignited and young bodies are challenged by the uneven and unpredictable, ever-changing terrain. Preschool years are not only optimal for children to learn through play, but also a critical developmental period.

If children are not given enough natural movement and play experiences, they start their academic careers with a disadvantage. They are more likely to be clumsy, have difficulty paying attention, trouble controlling their emotions, utilize poor problem-solving methods, and demonstrate difficulties with social interactions. We are consistently seeing sensory, motor, and cognitive issues pop up more and more in later childhood, partly because of inadequate opportunities to move and play."

[MY NOTE: Tie this in with the importance of ecological learning/action. In fact, make it clear that action IS learning.]
play  hunters  cognition  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
Break The Mold
"You need hundreds of mental models to draw from and lay over each other to find breakthroughs at the intersections. You’ve got to wrestle with age old questions like how to have a good inner life, no matter what’s going on with your startup or job. These cannot be gained by hacks or tricks. They can only be gained by a ceaseless consumption of high quality ideas."

[MY NOTE: While I love the spirit of this quote from Issac, I think it's not quite right. It's not just that you need the mental models and cross-pollination of ideas. You need to then gain experience TESTING AND USING your mental models in the real world.

That is, you need exposure to ecology. School is the opposite of ecology. It is a self-organizing system with very FIRM boundaries. (Mandated schedules, bureaucratic rules, regulated curriculum, rigid sequencing, standardized tests.) Meaning there is little inspiration for, or payoff to, creative thought or action. As Paul Graham said, everything has at best at local effect. Real-life settings (such as business, the arts, or even minimum-wage retail employment) have FLUID boundaries. They reach customers, fans, journalists...the outside world. They inspire and reward creativity.

If we want more creativity, more progress, better living standards, more from less: we need to spend more time in fluid, adaptive settings (self-directed learning and projects) than in artificial, bounded worlds.

That's how we skyrocket the number of useful insights and the pace of business gene variation.]
creativity  hunters  ecology 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Rationality of Rage
We tend to associate anger with the loss of control, but anger has clear applications and obeys distinct rules. It may be blunt, but it has its own particular logic. And used judiciously, it can get us better deals, galvanize coalitions and improve all our lives.
evolution  hunters  emotion  proof 
december 2017 by jaypcross
The Interface Theory of Perception: The Future of the Science of the Mind?
"The critical perceptual strategies in the virtual test tube consisted of (1) those that represented truth about the nature of the (simulated) world, or (2) those that favored fitness payoffs over truth. For example, imagine a world in which physically red and green objects have the same positive fitness payoff (they are equally nutritious) while blue and orange objects have the same negative fitness payoff (they are equally toxic).

One can then ask, how often does a perceptual strategy evolve such that the organism perceives all four color categories veridically, i.e., they see the truth, versus another strategy in which the organism only sees two categories corresponding to fitness payoffs (red/green and blue/orange) rather than truth? The result of many such simulations under a range of scenarios is strikingly consistent: fitness wins every time and truth goes extinct. In fact, truth never gets on the evolutionary game board."

[MY NOTE: I had a hunch almost two full years ago that this weird finding had a connection to the creativity/dishonesty link. Now, I think I see it!

I'm certainly not ready to WRITE ABOUT this yet, but: what one of mankind's missions from God is to de-couple creativity from dishonesty? Maybe the more tightly coupled those are, the more suffering there is in the world. And maybe if humanity begins to cherish and treasure INSIGHTS (i.e. truth) we can take the next step forward in our evolution.

Maybe we can put truth on the evolutionary gameboard.

Who even am I? Seriously.]
evolution  hunters  god 
december 2017 by jaypcross
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