How Falling Behind Can Get You Ahead

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Photo by Joshua Golde on Unsplash

 📹  15 minutes TEDx talk from Manchester 2020 How falling behind can get you ahead some highlights: 

  • “Jack of all trades, master of none,” the saying goes. But it is culturally telling that we have chopped off the ending: “…but oftentimes better than master of one.”
  • In a society hyperfocused on headstarts, we are told to choose our paths early, focus narrowly, and start racking up our 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. But a mountain of research shows that, among people who end up fulfilled and successful, early specialization is the exception, not the rule.
  • Winding paths and mental meandering can be sources of power, not disadvantages, but we rarely hear those stories. David is trying to change this.

Specialising may not be such a great thing and references an interesting theory  Kind and Wicked Learning environments. 

Kind Learning environments  

  • Kind give lots of feedback as you progress which aid deliberate learning 
  • The rule of the system don’t change either so what it is today is the same tomorrow 
  • Golf and chess are such environments 

Wicked learning environments  

  • Mixed levels of feedback as you progress
  • Rules of the system keep changing 
  • I think software engineering maybe a wicked environment
  • But need to do more research  

The biases called out in the paper could be really helpful when thinking about decision making that affect learning in these environments. I’m also certain I’ve been influenced by survivorship, censorship, selection and the ‘hot stove’ biases.  

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