Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights

Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights Hardcover

by Gary Klein (Author)

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Insights—like Darwin’s understanding of the way evolution actually works, and Watson and Crick’s breakthrough discoveries about the structure of DNA—can change the world. We also need insights into the everyday things that frustrate and confuse us so that we can more effectively solve problems and get things done. Yet we know very little about when, why, or how insights are formed—or what blocks them. In Seeing What Others Don’t, renowned cognitive psychologist Gary Klein unravels the mystery. Klein is a keen observer of people in their natural settings—scientists, businesspeople, firefighters, police officers, soldiers, family members, friends, himself—and uses a marvelous variety of stories to illuminate his research into what insights are and how they happen. What, for example, enabled Harry Markopolos to put the finger on Bernie Madoff? How did Dr. Michael Gottlieb make the connections between different patients that allowed him to publish the first announcement of the AIDS epidemic? What did Admiral Yamamoto see (and what did the Americans miss) in a 1940 British attack on the Italian fleet that enabled him to develop the strategy of attack at Pearl Harbor? How did a “smokejumper” see that setting another fire would save his life, while those who ignored his insight perished? How did Martin Chalfie come up with a million-dollar idea (and a Nobel Prize) for a natural flashlight that enabled researchers to look inside living organisms to watch biological processes in action? Klein also dissects impediments to insight, such as when organizations claim to value employee creativity and to encourage breakthroughs but in reality block disruptive ideas and prioritize avoidance of mistakes. Or when information technology systems are “dumb by design” and block potential discoveries. Both scientifically sophisticated and fun to read, Seeing What Others Don’t shows that insight is not just a “eureka!” moment but a whole new way of understanding.

A Technique for Producing Ideas

A Technique for Producing Ideas

by SHANE PARRISH on SEPTEMBER 4, 2013

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In the foreward to James Webb Young’s book, A Technique for Producing Ideas, Keith Reinhard asks “How can a book first published in the 1940′s be important to today’s creative people on the cutting edge?” The answer lies in the question that inspired Webb’s book, “How do you get ideas?” The book is a concise description of the creative process. Young offers both guidance and assures that coming up with an idea is a process, not an accident.

The production of ideas.

[T]he production of ideas is just as definite a process as the production of Fords; that the production of ideas, too, runs on an assembly line; that in this production the mind follows an operative technique which can be learned and controlled; and that its effective use is just as much a matter of practice in the technique as is the effective use of any tool. Read more of this post

Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio: We are “going to have the emerging market crisis”; EMs face “a major balance of payments problem” that will eventually lead to significant problems; “I want no one in the audience to be polite with me. Let’s have a thoughtful disagreement.”

Hedge fund chief says Japan needs another ‘big round’ of stimulus

Filed Fri Sep 6, 2013 5:02pm EDT

By Katya Wachtel and Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK – Hedge fund titan Ray Dalio said on Friday the Japanese economy will need another big round of stimulus to boost sluggish growth, and some emerging markets are on the path to crisis. Dalio, chairman and chief investment officer of $150 billion firm Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, was speaking at the Japan Society in midtown Manhattan. In April the Bank of Japan pledged to inject about $1.4 trillion into its flagging economy in an effort to end two decades of stagnation. The monetary easing, coupled with reflationary, pro-growth policies championed by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, sent stocks rallying and the yen tumbling. Japan emerged from recession in 2012. “The effects are going to wear off,” Dalio said, referring to prior stimulus measures. Japan’s central bank is “going to have to do another big round of purchases,” he said. In a thirty-minute talk, Dalio addressed trouble in economies from China to France. He sounded a cautious note about investing in emerging markets, especially in equities, which have plunged in value this year. Emerging markets will not be an “an attractive place” to invest in the near future “given flows and pricing.” He said emerging markets face “a major balance of payments problem” that will eventually lead to significant problems. We are “going to have the emerging market crisis,” Dalio said during a question and answer period. India should “prepare for the worst” since it has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of foreign capital flows that are already bypassing emerging market equities, he added. As for Europe, Dalio said that France is of particular concern to him since “it has not dealt properly with debt to income ratios rising.” Dalio is one of the $2.25 trillion hedge fund industry’s best known managers, known not only for his solid long-term returns but also for a unique culture at his Stamford, CT-based firm, where employees are encouraged to challenge each others’ and their bosses’ ideas publicly.

“I want no one in the audience to be polite with me,” Dalio said during the question and answer segment. “Let’s have a thoughtful disagreement.”

Finding Time to Read

Finding Time to Read

by SHANE PARRISH on SEPTEMBER 2, 2013

“The rich invest in time, the poor invest in money.” — Warren Buffett

Charlie Munger, voracious reader, billionaire, and vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, one commented “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time – none, zero.” Read more of this post

The Surprisingly Simple Mix Of Qualities That Make People Influential

The Surprisingly Simple Mix Of Qualities That Make People Influential

JENNA GOUDREAU SEP. 6, 2013, 11:31 AM 4,610 3

How does Oprah Winfrey captivate millions? What’s the secret behind Bill Clinton’s infectious charisma or Richard Branson’s powerful charm?  According to one new book, “Compelling People: The Hidden Qualities That Make Us Influential” by John Neffinger and Matthew Kohut, the art and science of influencing people comes down to a surprisingly simple combination: seeming at once strong and warm. “When you meet someone, they’re sizing you up on two fundamental qualities: strength and warmth,” says Kohut, a founding partner of Washington, D.C.-based KNP Communications, which specializes in preparing public figures for speaking events. “Strength measures how much people can affect the world, and warmth shows how much people are concerned about our interests.”  Read more of this post

The Art of Thinking Clearly: Guard Against Chauffeur Knowledge; Guarding Against Survivorship Bias

The Art of Thinking Clearly

by SHANE PARRISH on SEPTEMBER 6, 2013

Rolf Dobelli’s book, The Art of Thinking Clearly, is a compendium of systematic errors in decision making. While the list of fallacies is not complete, it’s a great launching pad into the best of what others have already figured out.

To avoid frivolous gambles with the wealth I had accumulated over the course of my literary career, I began to put together a list of … systematic cognitive errors, complete with notes and personal anecdotes — with no intention of ever publishing them. The list was originally designed to be used by me alone. Some of these thinking errors have been known for centuries; others have been discovered in the last few years. Some came with two or three names attached to them. … Soon I realized that such a compilation of pitfalls was not only useful for making investing decisions but also for business and personal matters. Once I had prepared the list, I felt calmer and more levelheaded. I began to recognize my own errors sooner and was able to change course before any lasting damage was done. And, for the first time in my life, I was able to recognize when others might be in the thrall of these very same systematic errors. Armed with my list, I could now resist their pull — and perhaps even gain an upper hand in my dealings. Read more of this post

The Value of Suffering? Calamity cracks you open, moves you to change your ways. Sometimes.

September 7, 2013

The Value of Suffering

By PICO IYER

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NARA, Japan — Hundreds of Syrians are apparently killed by chemical weapons, and the attempt to protect others from that fate threatens to kill many more. A child perishes with her mother in a tornado in Oklahoma, the month after an 8-year-old is slain by a bomb in Boston. Runaway trains claim dozens of lives in otherwise placid Canada and Spain. At least 46 people are killed in a string of coordinated bombings aimed at an ice cream shop, bus station and famous restaurant in Baghdad. Does the torrent of suffering ever abate — and can one possibly find any point in suffering?

Read more of this post

Find the Loan Behind the Loans; dubious actors can’t operate without the help of their financiers. Investigators should follow the money

September 7, 2013

Find the Loan Behind the Loans

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

ONLINE lenders who charge borrowers stratospheric interest rates are coming under pressure from state regulators — and it’s about time. But to get at the root of the problem, the regulators may need to dig much deeper. Last month, for example, the New York attorney general followed other states’ regulators in suing Western Sky Financial and its affiliate Cash Call Inc. The lawsuit contended that rates charged to borrowers by the companies — from 89 to 343 percent, depending on loan size — far exceed the caps determined by the state’s civil and criminal usury laws. A borrower receiving $1,000 could wind up owing almost $5,000 in finance charges, fees and principal over two years, the complaint said. Read more of this post

A better understanding of the workings of the brain means that psychiatric disorders are increasingly seen as being based in biology

September 6, 2013

The New Science of Mind

By ERIC R. KANDEL

THESE days it is easy to get irritated with the exaggerated interpretations of brain imaging — for example, that a single fMRI scan can reveal our innermost feelings — and with inflated claims about our understanding of the biological basis of our higher mental processes. Such irritation has led a number of thoughtful people to declare that we can never achieve a truly sophisticated understanding of the biological foundation of complex mental activity. Read more of this post

Alexandre Ricard, the heir to the Pernod Ricard empire talks about his unusual path to the top, how it has influenced his leadership and what’s next for the business

Pernod Ricard’s chief-in-waiting toasts a deal-filled decade

Alexandre Ricard, the heir to the Pernod Ricard empire talks about his unusual path to the top, how it has influenced his leadership and what’s next for the business .

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Alexandre Ricard will take over from the current boss in January 2015 Photo: David Rose

By Nathalie Thomas

9:10PM BST 07 Sep 2013

As the grandson of one of Pernod Ricard’s founders, Alexandre Ricard always knew there would be a role for him at the world’s second biggest drinks company. He was told as much when he turned up, fresh from being a student, for his first interview at the group in 1996 – despite a somewhat disastrous performance. “That interview with Pernod Ricard was bad,” says the 41-year-old Frenchman in a soft American accent, gained during his studies at the University of Pennsylvania. “The HR director basically looked at me and said: ‘Listen, given your name, obviously we’re going to find a position for you’.” Ricard could have been forgiven for taking the easy route and accepting the – albeit lacklustre – offer. But he had different ideas. Read more of this post

Attack of the Giant Art Galleries; Driven by a booming art market and demand for oversize ‘trophy’ works, the world’s top art galleries are opening vast new spaces, upending the economics of the business

August 29, 2013, 8:31 p.m. ET

Attack of the Giant Art Galleries

Driven by a booming art market and demand for oversize ‘trophy’ works, the world’s top art galleries are opening vast new spaces, upending the economics of the business

KELLY CROW

As artists and wealthy collectors have gravitated toward ever-bigger art trophies, the galleries that serve them both have ballooned in size well beyond their typical townhouse proportions to something entirely more vast. Kelly Crow explains. Photo: Sarah Morris/White Cube Bermondsey.

This fall, New York artist Roxy Paine is heading to Chicago to exhibit his life-size diorama of a fast-food restaurant carved from birch wood, down to the straws. In Paris, German artist Georg Baselitz is about to unveil his show of 12-foot-tall bronze women. Next week in New York, Matthew Day Jackson will roll out his latest creation—a 13-foot-long roadster designed by his uncle, built by his cousin and wrecked, temporarily, by his crew on a New Jersey track. Just don’t look for any of this art in a museum—yet. Thanks to a resurgent global-art market, some of the world’s top dealers are feeling flush and fueling a new gallery building boom—transforming factories, roller rinks and airplane hangars into showrooms for contemporary art. As a result, some of the most highly anticipated shows of the season are set to open in galleries, not museums. Read more of this post

Gold, silver mooncakes enjoying hot sales in Beijing

Gold, silver mooncakes enjoying hot sales in Beijing

Staff Reporter

2013-09-08

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Silver mooncakes are a hot item leading up to the Mid-Autumn Festival this year. (Photo/CNS)

Mooncakes made of gold and silver are selling like crazy in Beijing as gifts for the Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Sept. 19, the website of the state-owned China News Service reports. Several banks were selling various types of heavy metal mooncakes as collectible gifts, the report stated. The Agricultural Bank of China launched a silver mooncake weighing 16 grams for 248 yuan (US$40), a 32g set for 480 yuan (US$80) and another for 628 yuan (US$100). A silver mooncake gift package being sold by another bank is priced at 398 yuan (US$65), while a gold gift package is priced at 3,380 yuan (US$550). In addition to metal cakes, crabs made of gold and walnuts made of silver have also appeared on the gift market. Only a limited number of walnut products are available, with a pair of silver walnuts priced at 1,500 yuan (US$250), a banker said. Read more of this post

New 3D camera technology could boost China’s anti-stealth capabilities

New 3D camera technology could boost China’s anti-stealth capabilities

Staff Reporter

2013-09-08

The stealth capabilities of the F-35 could become less effective with the development of the single pixel 3D imaging device created by China. (Internet photo)

China has developed the world’s first single-pixel three-dimensional imaging camera, reports Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese. The prototype of the single-pixel device, capable of recording 3D images, was built at the Shanghai Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics. Single-pixel cameras are already capable of generating 2D pictures through a lens-free process known as ghost imaging, but the team at the institute has added a timed laser pulse to allow the system to detect spatial arrangements and create a 3D layered series of 2D images. The new technology has the potential to help hospitals use ordinary X-rays to detect hard-to-spot soft tissue damage. In terms of military applications, the technology could allow radar surveillance to easily distinguish between birds and planes, making it difficult for stealth bombers to remain undetected. The breakthrough device could represent a huge step forward for China’s anti-stealth capabilities. The US military is regarded as the world leader in stealth technology with the development of the F-22, F-35 and B-2 stealth jets, while China is still some way from bringing its own J-20 and J-31 jets into service.

More Data Can Mean Less Guessing About the Economy

September 7, 2013

More Data Can Mean Less Guessing About the Economy

By STEVE LOHR

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DAVID TABOR, 37 and a civil engineer, runs an eight-person home-inspection company in Hurricane, W.Va. Other than their owners, most small businesses have no employees. His is one of the 4.3 million that do have them, and that employ fewer than 20 people each. And while these companies collectively produce roughly 15 percent of the nation’s economic output, their activities aren’t captured by the official numbers in a timely or detailed way. Yet this measurement shortfall in the small-business sector, and a series of other information gaps in the economy, may be overcome by what experts say is an emerging data revolution — Big Data, in the current catchphrase. The ever-expanding universe of digital signals of behavior, from browsing and buying on the Web to cellphone location data, is grist for potential breakthroughs in economic measurement. It could produce more accurate forecasting and more informed policy-making — more science and less guesswork. Read more of this post

Google Introduces New Desktop Apps

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013, 10:59 AM

Google Introduces New Desktop Apps

By CLAIRE CAIN MILLER

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Even if Google is ready to live entirely online, everyone else might not be. To celebrate the Google Chrome browser’s fifth birthday on Thursday, the company expanded its ambitions in computing by introducing a new kind of Chrome app that runs offline and on other operating systems besides Google’s. If trying to figure out what that means makes your head spin, you’re not alone. Until now, Google’s Chrome Web apps worked only online. The new apps combine the best of online and offline apps, the company says, similar to the apps on a smartphone. For instance, they allow people to work without an Internet connection and plug in hardware like digital cameras. But since they are written in Web programming languages, they can sync across devices, back up to the cloud and receive automatic security updates. Read more of this post

From Myspace’s Ashes, Silicon Start-Ups Rise; Many founders and former executives of Myspace have found new entrepreneurial life in the blossoming tech industry of Los Angeles

September 7, 2013

From Myspace’s Ashes, Silicon Start-Ups Rise

By EILENE ZIMMERMAN

IT is hardly uncommon for founders and employees of successful companies to cash in their chips and go on to start other successful companies. Perhaps the best-known example is PayPal, the Web payment service whose leaders went on to found and invest in a bunch of other companies — YouTube, LinkedIn, Yelp, Tesla — and to earn the nickname the PayPal mafia. More recently, the alumni of another Internet company — a social network based in California — have generated an impressive number of spinoffs. But what is notable about these spinoffs is that they have been generated not by a spectacular success, like PayPal or Facebook, but by a distant also-ran: Myspace. Read more of this post

“How can they be so good?”: The strange story of Skype. As Skype turns ten, a look back at how six Europeans changed the world

“How can they be so good?”: The strange story of Skype

As Skype turns ten, a look back at how six Europeans changed the world.

by Toivo Tänavsuu Sept 3 2013, 4:00am MPST

“I don’t care about Skype!” millionaire Jaan Tallinn tells me, taking off his blue sunglasses and finding a seat at a cozy open-air restaurant in the old town of Tallinn, Estonia. “The technology is 10 years old—that’s an eternity when it comes to the Internet Age. Besides, I have more important things going on now.”

Tallinn has five children, and he calls Skype his sixth. So why does he no longer care about his creation?

On August 29, 2003, Skype went live for the first time. By 2012, according to Telegeography, Skype accounted for a whopping 167 billion minutes of cross-border voice and video calling in a year—which itself was a stunning 44 percent growth over 2011. That increase in minutes was “more than twice that achieved by all international carriers in the world, combined.” That is to say, Skype today poses a serious threat to the largest telcos on the planet. It also made Jaan Tallinn and other early Skypers rich. Read more of this post

Lenovo came out of nowhere to become the global leader in PCs. Now it’s got its sights set on Samsung and Apple in smartphones and tablets

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2013

Lenovo Attacks

By LESLIE P. NORTON | MORE ARTICLES BY AUTHOR

Lenovo came out of nowhere to become the global leader in PCs. Now it’s got its sights set on Samsung and Apple in smartphones and tablets.

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Yang Yuanqing has succeeded where many others have tried and failed. In just eight years, the chairman and CEO of Beijing-based Lenovo Group has transformed the company from a little-known maker of personal computers into the No. 1 global PC brand, displacing a half-dozen would-be challengers along the way, including Acer,Asustek, Toshiba, and Sony . And even in a now-fading $200 billion PC industry, Lenovo (ticker: LNVGY) continues to gain market share at the expense of former leadersHewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Dell (DELL). Read more of this post

Widespread Brazil Protests Mark 191st Independence Day

Updated September 7, 2013, 7:10 p.m. ET

Widespread Brazil Protests Mark Independence Day

LORETTA CHAO in São Paulo and PAULO TREVISANI in Brasilia

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Dozens were arrested amid fresh protests that interrupted Independence Celebrations in Brazil’s major cities on Saturday. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff leads a parade to commemorate the 191st anniversary of the Independence Day of Brazil in Brasilia Saturday.

Demonstrators use pieces of wood to confront riot police at a protest in São Paulo Son Saturday. Police used tear gas to disperse crowds of at least hundreds of demonstrators who stormed a celebratory military parade in Rio de Janeiro and burned Brazilian flags. At least 24 people were detained by police and several were injured in the clash, but no serious injuries were reported by late afternoon. In Brasilia, 34 of about 1,000 protesters holding signs and chanting slogans demanding better public services and an end to corruption were detained. More were detained in Fortaleza, Curitiba and other cities. Thousands of marchers blocked São Paulo’s main avenue. Read more of this post

Psst…wanna buy a bit of Legoland and Madame Tussauds? Disney rival Merlin aims to conjure IPO for small investors

Disney rival Merlin aims to conjure IPO for small investors

Merlin Entertainments is planning to offer more than 10pc of its shares to retail investors as the world’s second biggest attractions owner behind Disney gears up for a £3bn-plus stock market listing before Christmas.

Annual Clean Up at Legoland Windsor Resort

The millions of visitors who go to Legoland and other attractions owned by Merlin Entertainments around the world – Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Centres, London Dungeon (and its spin-offs), London Eye (and spin-offs) – certainly appear to think so. Recent surveys put customer satisfaction at more than 90pc. Photo: Mikael Buck

By Nathalie Thomas

9:30PM BST 07 Sep 2013

The owner of Madame Tussauds and Legoland wants to offer a significant proportion of its shares at flotation to small investors, given the high profile of its brands among the general public. Nick Varney, Merlin Entertainments’ chief executive since 1999, is understood to feel particularly strongly about including a retail offer as part of the flotation, which could be launched before the end of the year. Although the exact percentage of shares for smaller investors is yet to be settled, it is believed to be more than 10pc. Merlin’s plans could be complicated, though, if the Government begins the Royal Mail’s initial public offering (IPO) at about the same time. Read more of this post

At Virgin America, a Fine Line Between Pizazz and Profit; An airline whose sleek style rates highly with its passengers is still struggling to make money for its investors, and has lost $675 million since 2007

September 7, 2013

At Virgin America, a Fine Line Between Pizazz and Profit

By MATT RICHTEL

ON Monday, June 17, at 6:30 a.m., Robin Wolaner boarded a flight from San Francisco to Seattle. An executive for a nonprofit organization, Ms. Wolaner was no mere traveler. She was bounty, the kind of frequent flier who makes or breaks airline profits, and she’d been snared by Virgin America. There were more convenient flights later that morning, but Ms. Wolaner’s affection for Virgin’s service, as well as for the Wi-Fi, leather seats and even what she called the “adorable” animated safety video, prompted her to get up earlier than was ideal. This despite the fact that she once flew American Airlines so often that she is “platinum for life.” Read more of this post

Car dealerships in China, formerly highly profitable, have been hit by tighter cash flow and the sales networks of many brands are deteriorating

China’s car dealers switch tack as cash flow tightens

Staff Reporter

2013-09-08

Car dealerships in China, formerly highly profitable, have been hit by tighter cash flow and the sales networks of many brands are deteriorating, reports the Guangzhou-based 21st Century Business Herald, citing Shen Jinjun, president of the China Automobile Dealers Association. According to a Sinotrust market survey of 109 car brands, in the first quarter of this year dealers withdrew from 764 sales networks, higher than the 386 in the previous quarter. They either cannot survive or are transferring to other businesses with higher profit returns, said Gasgoo CEO Chen Wenkai. Read more of this post

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