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Bounce! Conversations with Larry Weeks
63 minutes | 10 days ago
EP. 44: FREEDOM FROM RESULTS : MASSIMO PIGLIUCCI ON A REDEFINING SUCCESS
In this episode, my focus is on how to find peace of mind amidst turmoil and persistent uncertainty. So many things that are directly affecting our lives are also out of our direct control - and it can be maddening. Serenity now. The Ancient Greeks used the term ataraxia, which means a state of serene calmness. Steven Gambardella writes in the Sophist, "Ataraxia is not a positively-defined state such as "happy" or "excited" It was believed by the Hellenistic philosophies to be a "resting" state of serenity." To achieve this state, the Stoics taught the need to discern between "things not up to us" vs. "things up to us." "Some things are within our power, while others are not. Within our power are opinion, motivation, desire, aversion, and, in a word, whatever is of our own doing; not within our power are our body, our property, reputation, office, and, in a word, whatever is not of our own doing." - Epictetus in the Enchiridion Herein lies the key to much of our neurosis, not understanding what's in your control and what's not. Crazy is treating outcomes as objects; to paraphrase psychoanalyst Leslie Farber, where you can directly move an object, you cannot directly will an outcome - and your goals can distort your psyche when confusing the two. My guest is philosophy professor Massimo Pigliucci. Massimo has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Tennessee. He is currently the K.D. Irani Professor of Philosophy at the City College of New York. His research interests include the philosophy of science, the nature of pseudoscience, and the practical philosophy of Stoicism. He is also the author or editor of 14 books, including the bestselling How to Be A Stoic: Using Ancient Philosophy to Live a Modern Life. Other titles include Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk and his just published A Field Guide to a Happy Life. Some of or talking points on this episode How his life changed in 2014 Re-discovering Stoic philosophy Thoughts and suffering Stoicism 2.0 How stress is created The dichotomy of control Holding things lightly; loans from the bank of the universe Unhooking happiness from results Ambition, goals and the challenge of process orientation Pandemics, mask-wearing and citizenship Historical perspectives on crazy political seasons and unorthodox leaders On pacifism and civic engagement Massimo was great as usual so - take a break from the insanity out there, put your earphones on, go for a walk and listen. Enjoy! For show notes, resources and more of my content visit larryweeks.com
49 minutes | a month ago
EP. 43: MAKING BETTER DECISIONS: ANNIE DUKE ON CREATING YOUR OWN CRYSTAL BALL.
What do you do when you're faced with a big decision? If you're like most people, you might make a pro and con list, although many don't even do that - if you're like me, you might over-analyze and spend too much time searching for that extra data point that might make you sure. There is a better way to make quality decisions and minimize second-guessing. My guest is Annie Duke. Annie is an expert on decision fitness and is the author of two books on decision making, the bestseller Thinking In Bets, and her latest How To Decide, Simple Tools For Making Better Choices, is the topic of the show. Prior to the books, Annie used high stakes poker as her decision lab and became one of the world's top poker players, winning her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet in 2004. That same year, she won the $2 million winner-take-all, invitation-only Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Before professional poker, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. This is the second time I've had Annie as a guest (See Ep. 22) and the topic of this episode follows from the first except here we shift from highlighting causes of bad decisions to discussing in more detail the process for making better ones. We move to the more practical as she outlines the tools and heuristics we can use to make quality decisions and second-guess yourself less. Here are just some of our talking points. A review of "resulting" and why it's a problem What's wrong with pro-con lists - and what's better Assigning probability and forecasting The tree of possibility The decision multiverse The three-column decision map Why we should embrace educated guesses Factors leading up to election cycles and how predictions might be wrong yet correctly made before and much more Note Annie's audio is less than optimal but listen closely, it's a gold mine of decision-making wisdom you can use right away. Enjoy!
50 minutes | 3 months ago
EP. 42: HOW TO FEEL GREAT: DR. DAVID BURNS ON WHAT NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ARE TRYING TO TELL US
"It's like an aha moment when you suddenly see it, the moment you say, oh, all these negative feelings are awesome and wonderful, this is a positive deal. The moment you see that you suddenly won't want or need them anymore.” - Dr. David burns “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size” - Carl Jung This was recorded in late August and throughout much of the world, we are still dealing with the pandemic via restricted living. Our routines have been disrupted and our world of experiences narrowed, going on six months. Add to the mix all the negative news that precedes a national election, and you have a recipe for depression and anxiety. Enter my guest on this episode is Dr.David Burns, M.D. David was a previous guest back when I started the podcast (episode 5), and he is one of the pioneers in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) so very happy to have him back on. Dr. Burns is currently Adjunct Clinical Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is involved in research and teaching. He has received numerous awards, including the A. E. Bennett Award for his research on brain chemistry, the Distinguished Contribution to Psychology through the Media Award, and the Outstanding Contributions Award from the National Association of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapists. He has been named Teacher of the Year three times from the class of graduating residents at Stanford University School of Medicine, and his best-selling book, Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy, published over 40 years ago, is still in the #1 Amazon spot for books on depression. Now he has a new book that innovates on the methods in the first called Feeling Great – The Revolutionary New Treatment for Depression and Anxiety, which is based on more than 40,000 hours treating individuals with severe mood problems. Dr. Burns says that our negative moods do not result from what’s wrong with us, but rather - what’s right with us. And paradoxically, when you listen and “hear” what your negative thoughts and feelings are trying to say, you won’t need them anymore, and recovery follows. The goal, according to Dr. Burns, is not just complete elimination of negative feelings, but the development of joy and enlightenment. Some talking points from the show. A review of the origins and basics of CBT David's new treatment protocol - TEAM CBT A list of cognitive distortions Discerning healthy and unhealthy sadness On dealing with cancer Agenda setting How and why of honoring negative thoughts Case studies and patience response Read to investigate your feelings and experiment with how to change them? Enjoy! For resources and more visit larryweeks.com
53 minutes | 5 months ago
EP.41: MISTAKES WERE MADE: CAROL TAVRIS AND ELLIOT ARONSON ON LEARNING THE ERROR OF OUR WAYS
"The greater the mistake, the more foolish the belief, the more consequences of that belief...Then, the greater your need to reduce that dissonance in your favor because the gap is greater between yourself and feelings of self worth" - Carol Tavris On this podcast, we talk about what happens after we make a terrible mistake. What is our response to our mistakes? Do we try to brush it off? Do we say screw it and double down? Mistakes don't necessarily end with the mistake itself - it can get worse, much worse. It's akin to the axiom for failure testing software; Almost all catastrophic errors are the result of incorrect handling of non-fatal errors that are explicitly signaled. Consider Bill Clinton. It is arguable that had he admitted to his relationship with Monica Lewinsky early and contritely, he would have avoided a 4-month long impeachment process - and embarrassing testimony recorded for posterity. Or we can get better, we can learn and grow from our mistakes. But that takes admission along with taking responsibility so that we don't make the same mistake again. This podcast explains why that's so hard to do. My guests are Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. They co-authored the book "Mistakes Were Made (but Not by Me): Why We Justify Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions and Hurtful Acts" The book, and our conversation, is about cognitive dissonance theory applied to a wide variety of topics, including politics, religious belief, memory, criminal justice, and even family quarrels. Carol is an American social psychologist, public intellectual, well-known writer, and lecturer. She's devoted her career to the psychological sciences; the beliefs and practices that guide people's lives. Carol has a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Michigan, has taught psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles and the New School for Social Research. Carol is also a member of the editorial board of Psychological Science in the Public Interest. Her articles, book reviews, and op-eds have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Times Literary Supplement, Scientific American and other publications. Elliot Aronson is one of the most famous names in the discipline of social psychology due in no small part to his best book, The Social Animal. He is listed among the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Texas, and is currently professor emeritus of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. This was an easy conversation as Carol and Elliot are both so very likable. I told them that if I had to tell someone about my mistakes, it would be them, as they came across as genuinely caring. I think you'll agree. Our conversation covers these topics and more. Why people might justify bad decisions. Cognitive dissonance The pyramid of choice Faulty memory Keeping beliefs against revealed evidence Dealing with our bad memories How to learn from mistakes Cancel culture Partitioning mistakes from persons Anatomy of an apology Enjoy! For resources and more visit larryweeks.com
46 minutes | 6 months ago
EP. 40: HOW WILL WE BEHAVE? RORY SUTHERLAND ON THE NEW WORLD OF WORK AND CONSUMER BEHAVIOR POST COVID-19
Rory Sutherland is a best selling author, ad man being the Vice Chairman of Ogilvy and Mather and co-founder of Ogilvy Change, a behavioral science practice where they believe the greatest gains to be made in business and society are psychological, not technological. Rory is regarded as one of marketing and advertising's most original thinkers and inspirational speakers; a cumulative 7M viewers have seen his Ted Talks. This is Rory's second appearance on the podcast. The first episode 20, which is still very popular. Because Rory has his finger on the pulse of consumer psychology, I wanted his take on the impact of stay at home orders on our respective western consumers as the Coronavirus (hopefully) wanes. How will our consuming and workplace behavior change? So this is a wide-ranging conversation covering these topics and more... Speculating on permanent and temporary consumer behavior changes Behaviors that are inherently resilient Social norms The future of the workplace, commuting, public policy, travel, and movies Trends vs. vectors What does he think about marketing/advertising on the edge of a pandemic? What should brands do amidst all this change? Habits and social copying Enjoy! For resources and notes see larryweeks.com
76 minutes | 6 months ago
EP.39: CORONAVIRUS UPDATES: JAMES ALTUCHER, BOUNCE BACK PREDICTIONS
I'm never sure how to introduce James Altucher to anyone who might not have heard of him. He's a best selling author with a hugely successful podcast, investor, serial entrepreneur, former VC & hedge fund manager, computer programmer, and chess master. I'm sure I've left some out but just Google him, he's everywhere. Returning for his second appearance on the podcast (see more of his story here), James is one of the most interesting people I know. But his superpower and what I admire about him most is his vulnerability. He's an open book and not afraid to lean into controversy. To the point of this show, on his podcast, he's been talking with a wide variety of experts about the Coronavirus, everyone from an immunologist, physicians, geneticist, economist to policy experts and super forecasters in the form of regular updates starting in February. He also lives in Manhattan, which is ground zero for the epidemic here in the states, which gives him another perspective I don't have. Well, I thought I'd short cut my research and just call him for a distillation of what he's finding out; what after all these conversations has he concluded about what is happening now? So here are just some of the topics we cover Political risks for any opinion on what to do next The math used for Coronavirus spread / who got what wrong? Issues with flattening the curve Dividing the certain from the uncertain He view on when this will it effectively "end" Possible shape of the recovery - L,U,V,W? Economic impact and when he thinks the country should open up or could open How the future has been pulled forward Businesses that may never return to normal How to be an idea machine Business ideas that are favorable in this environment His personal practices for recovering from setback - as he's been through many Enjoy Seem more at larryweeks.com
42 minutes | 7 months ago
EP.38: HOW STOICS KEEP CALM: WILLIAM B. IRVINE ON PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMING
William B. Irvine is a professor of philosophy at Wright State University. The author of seven books, including The Stoic Challenge and A Guide to the Good Life, he has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Salon, Time, and the BBC. He lives in Dayton, Ohio For the context of the show I refer you to his latest, The Stoic Challenge: A Philosopher’s Guide to Becoming Tougher, Calmer and More Resilient Philosophy for William is not just an academic career; he actually lives it, having adopted Stoicism many years ago, making him an outlier in the academic community. In many ways, this ancient school of thought preempted many aspects of modern psychology and how to use some of its tenants to deal with setbacks. The Stoics’ realized that even though you have limited control over what setbacks you experience, you can develop considerable control over how you respond to them. One of the 1st century Stoics Seneca wrote about the differences between experiencing a setback and suffering from it, by changing the perspective of how one thinks of setbacks. You’ve probably read or heard of some form of this quote attributed to another Stoic, Epictetus “We suffer not from the events in our lives but from our judgment about them.” On this show, we explore that precept - with some helpful thought experiments that I encourage you to try Topics covered How he came to Stoicism Comparisons with Buddhism Psychology of a setback Stoic framing (the test frame, hero frame, target frame) Negative visualization “The last time” exercise and premature nostalgia Resetting hedonic standards The power of perspective Enjoy! For show notes and more see larryweeks.com
58 minutes | 7 months ago
EP. 37: THE WEDGE, SCOTT CARNEY ON STRESS AND HACKING THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
This episode is about trying to understand our true capacity to cope with stress and how to arouse the dormant resilience in all of us. My guest on this show seems to be proof there are benefits from extreme physical challenges. In his case, actually seeking out stressors and using them to hack the nervous system - reprogramming it's response to those stressors. Scott Carney is an investigative journalist who has worked in some of the most dangerous and unlikely corners of the world. His work has been the subject of a variety of radio and television programs, including NPR and National Geographic TV. Before writing what eventually became the New York Times bestseller, "What Doesn't Kill Us," Scott set out to prove that the now-famous "iceman" Wim Hoff was a charlatan and his workshop retreats destined to kill people. Instead, Scott winds up climbing Mount Kilimanjaro half-naked, submerging himself in ice water learning radical breathing techniques (see Episode 6 of this podcast). The experience gave Scott almost superhuman levels of endurance, and he says it quieted a persistent autoimmune illness. At the core of these methods is a technique Scott outlines in detail with his new book "The Wedge." In this episode, we talk about how it works, what he found on his search for other people who understood the language of the body's response to the environment. What other "wedges" did he discover? This chat with Scott helped me think of stress as something to use. Specific stressors can be opportunities to build a form of strength in the area where the stress is met, whether physical or mental. During the interview, Scott talks about the brain's ability to build "libraries of emotional experiences" tied to stressful events. He thinks you can hack the libraries by various means of exposure and or wedges dealing with the stress to change how you experience it, thus increasing your ability to cope. This chat will push you to reconsider how far out your limits may be. Some interesting sections of the conversation... What he learned from Wim Hoff The two way communication between the mind-body and body-mind Relationships between physiological and psychological stress Possibilities in reprogramming the nervous system Placebos How to use environment to increase resilience A new game of catch - with iron weights Confronting fear in a laboratory Enjoy! For show notes and more visit larryweeks.com
36 minutes | 8 months ago
EP. 36: CORONAVIRUS QA WITH DR. ALEX LICKERMAN, M.D.
At the moment as I publish this, there are 340,000 cases of the Coronavirus and over 9,700 deaths from it in the U.S. Over 70,000 deaths world wide. The amount and velocity of information on the pandemic is overwhelming and much of it conflicts. Do this - don't do that. I need help parsing all of it. Enter Dr. Alex Lickerman, M.D. Alex is a direct primary care physician at ImagineMD, spending the first 20 years of his career as a leader at the University of Chicago, where he ran primary care for seven years and taught generations of today’s leaders in medicine. There he enjoyed a reputation as “a doctor’s doctor,” caring for many physicians who are themselves today considered leaders in their fields. I wanted to talk with Alex about the Coronavirus because of his unique qualifications as a physician and his work in resilience. Alex is the author of, The Undefeated Mind: On the Science of Constructing an Indestructible Self that formed the basis of the landmark Resilience Project, which he began while at the University of Chicago. Short show (36 mins) but I get to ask a lot of questions that he kindly answers in detail Comparisons New York vs Chicago What's unique about the Coronavirus Current best treatments Separating fact from the news Symptoms and timeframes What should I do if I get sick? How long will this last? Tylenol, Advil - which ? The problem with hydroxychloroquine Percentages - sick or very sick Hospital capacity in the US On face masks How long will this last? Why and how we can be calm
41 minutes | 8 months ago
EP. 35: STRESS INOCULATION: STEVEN SOUTHWICK ON THE SCIENCE OF RESILIENCE AND COPING WITH EXTREMES
As I publish this (April 2020) the current Coronavirus pandemic has been a setback for all of us in various degrees, some worse than others. Hence, I would encourage you to listen to this episode and share with someone who could use it. My guest is Dr. Steven M. Southwick, who along with Dennis Charney are the co-authors of Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life's Greatest Challenges. The book summarizes research into the psychological, biological, and social impact of trauma, and it combines the latest scientific findings in the area of resilience drawing on two decades of work with trauma survivors “Resilient individuals resemble a twig with a fresh, green living core. When twisted out of shape, such a twig bends, but it does not break; instead, it springs back and continues growing” - George Vaillant Steven completed his psychiatry residency at Yale University School of Medicine. He is the Glenn H. Greenberg Professor of Psychiatry, PTSD and Resilience at Yale University Medical School and Yale Child Study Center. He is also the Medical Director of the Clinical Neuroscience of the Veterans Affairs National Center for PTSD. Steven has worked with a wide range of trauma survivors including combat veterans, civilian children and adults with PTSD, and very high functioning, former prisoners of war. There is a bit of irony in this episode based on the times we are living through in 2020. One, is my warning to those who were having an easy time of life that challenge would come so prepare now. The other is Steven's admonition for social connection. Harder now as we are all social distancing but even more important due to the stress many are going through. Hello Zoom. We also cover these topics on this episode His research into resilience and PTSD What led him to write the book How the brain may work against you in traumatic or challenging circumstances. Why and how each of us differ in our responses to stress The resilience factors Passive and active "toughening" Trauma and growth What survivors do to successfully cope with extreme circumstances. Active toughening and the importance of recovery Social pain and the importance of social networks. The “bleed” effect of exercise on emotion The power of “squads” What he asks someone who is suffering when they first come to him for help Much more here so please listen I write about all my shows, visit www.larryweeks.com
49 minutes | 9 months ago
EP. 34: THE MOTIVATION EQUATION: PIERS STEEL ON HOW TO STOP PUTTING THINGS OFF
Depending on the research, there are anywhere from 40% - 60% percent of us admitting we make New Year's resolutions, A study from the University of Scranton found that 23% of people quit their resolution after one week. And only 19% of individuals actually stick to the goals longer term. We put off starting a project we planned, or once started, we never finish. We swear to eat healthily, lose weight, or you name it, only to see ourselves defeated by what seems to be a lack of will. If we really want to do these things, why don't we do them? My guest on the show is Dr. Piers Steel. Piers is a Distinguished Research Chair at the University of Calgary, where he teaches human resources and organizational dynamics at the Haskayne School of Business. Piers is one of the world's leading researchers on the science of motivation and procrastination. He's also the inventor of the procrastination equation – an equation that can explain every scientific finding on procrastination ever and is laid out in his oft-cited book The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done. You're about to find out not only why you procrastinate, but the science around what works to overcome it, i.e., how to increase motivation. When you learn the equation, you can use it to diagnose where your lack of motivation might be coming from. And from there, you can increase your motivation on-command. Piers lays it out for us. On this show, some of the topics we cover include … Long-held myths on why people procrastinate The truth about why we procrastinate He breaks down each part of the motivation equation and talks through how to work with them The power of context The real problem with impulsiveness and some tricks to thwart temptation Sort ranking the motivation variables by impact THE #1 Reason people procrastinate What elevates motivation and what depresses it The problem with smart goals Enjoy! For resources, show notes and more visit larryweeks.com
52 minutes | a year ago
EP. 33: LIVING LIVES WE WANT: NIR EYAL ON ATTENTION AND BEING INDISTRACTABLE
M.I.T. Technology Review dubbed Nir Eyal, “The Prophet of Habit-Forming Technology” as he is the author of the bestselling book on building habit forming products (Hooked). So who better to help us understand the neuroscience of distraction. Nir's new book, "Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life" is the topic of this podcast. "In the future, there will be two kinds of people in the world: those who let their attention and lives be controlled and coerced by others and those who proudly call themselves 'indistractable." - Nir Eyal Saying this show is about distraction doesn't do it justice. This is probably just me, but distraction is so universal I think we minimize its impact in our lives. I think we hear about it all the time of late due to the onset of the smartphone. And if we don't have that problem, well, we think we have no problem. This is about your time and attention, why you lose control of it and how to get it back. It's about valuing your attention and we only have so much time left and we're not guaranteed whatever amount we think we have left. This episode is very quick listen in a sense that Nir gets right into it, I had to be very fast with my note taking. Some of the topics we cover include ... Technology and addiction On habit forming products Differences between addiction and distraction The psychology of distraction, causes etc. The psychology of email A 4-step framework for becoming indistractable The problem with to-do lists Time boxing and values On hyperbolic discounting There is a lot under these topic umbrellas and much of the episode is tactical. I took a ton of notes and have already seen the benefits of applying much of it. Fit this in, you should hear it. Nir's resources, show notes and more at larryweeks.com
59 minutes | a year ago
EP. 32: A FRAMEWORK FOR HUMAN EFFORT: J.J. SUTHERLAND
This is a podcast about results, getting things done. How to move past uncertainty and define the future. In this episode I talk with J.J. Sutherland. He is the CEO of Scrum Inc and is also the co-author of Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time, written with his father, Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum. His newest book The Scrum Fieldbook, A Master Class on Accelerating Performance, Getting Results, and Defining the Future, is the topic of this show. For those of you unfamiliar with the term Scrum, it's a framework originally used as a faster, more effective way to create software in the tech industry. The Scrum process is now being used successfully in general business practice all over the world in companies of all types, outside of pure tech. This chat is in part a discovery process as to why that is. J.J. says Scrum is the art of changing the possible or what is possible. And I think after listening to this episode, you might join him in that belief. Some great advice here on not only what Scrum really is or how it works but J.J offers some great insights on teamwork, why projects fail, how to use failure and fear as catalysts and how Scrum can be applied anywhere. Be prepared to be motivated to get stuff done after listening. Enjoy! I blog about all episodes, for more info visit larryweeks.com
61 minutes | 2 years ago
EP. 31: THE TECH FALLACY: GERALD KANE ON WHY PEOPLE ARE THE KEY TO DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
“…What it takes to keep up isn’t as much about coding, AI, algorithms… it’s about being change oriented, it’s about being forward thinking, and it’s about being willing to develop skills in this new world.” --Gerald Kane What allows some organizations and individuals to thrive in new world of rapid technology innovation and disruption while others fall behind or get stuck in obsolescence? Exploring these questions and more is an expert on digital disruption and my guest on the podcast, Gerald Kane, professor of Information Systems at Boston College, Carroll School of Management. After a major six-year study into how digital technologies have disrupted companies of all sizes, Kane talks with me about some of the key findings from his newly released book, “The Technology Fallacy: How People Are The Real Key To Digital Transformation.” Thousands of interviews with employers and employees went into his research, revealing some interesting findings outlined in the book. If your an executive running a company or a CDO or just in charge of digital transformation, listen up. And if you're just an employee who wants to keep pace with change and stay relevant in the workplace, I would listen to this show. On the show we talk about Why adapting to technological disruptions isn’t actually all about the technology - and why thinking it is could lead to failure What type of mindset makes a difference in the companies that succeed at dramatic change vs those that fail to adapt Defining will over skill The similar characteristics companies have that thrive in disruption The importance of culture and what that means really How to stay relevant in the modern workplace The age factor, why succeeding in the digital era is not about age - and what attribute IS important How to develop employees for long-term success through change and tech disruption with examples of how companies are doing that The digital maturity scorecard, what industries lead or lag Jerry was a great interview and not only generous with his findings but passionate about them. Enjoy! I write about all my shows at larryweeks.com
57 minutes | 2 years ago
EP.30 : ALGORITHMS AND AGENCY: KARTIK HOSANAGAR ON LEARNING TO LIVE WITH LEARNING MACHINES
"I'm focusing on making decisions through A.I. They're making so many choices for us, mostly in ways that allow us to be productive but the flip side is the extent to which we are fully in control of our decisions. It's not quite what it used to be. The algorithms are nudging us in different ways" - Kartik Hosanagar My guest on this episode is Kartik Hosanagar. Kartik is a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, one of the world's top 40 business professors under 40. He is a 10 time recipient of the MBA or undergraduate teaching excellence awards at the Wharton and his research has received several best paper awards. Kartik also co-founded and developed the core IP for Yodel and is involved with many other startups as either an investor or board member. Kartik's new book, A Human's Guide to Machine Intelligence: How Algorithms Are Shaping Our Lives and How We Can Stay in Control, is the topic of our discussion. This episode is a look into the brains of all of your devices, at least the software that's running them, and how those brains are learning and influencing you. You need very little technical knowledge to enjoy this episode. In fact the less you know technically the more it would behoove you to listen. Kartik does a masterful job not only explaining how algorithms work but how advances in A.I. are impacting your life - and what we can do about it personally as well as collectively. And if you're curious at all as to all the buzz about artificial intelligence, Kartik provides a short history lesson on it's origins and evolution from narrow automation to autonomous learning. There's also a great retelling of how the AlphaGo computer beat the world's best *human* Go professional. Some additional talking points in this episode ... Why algos matter and the risks associated with decisions Issues with data and data brokers Algorithmic bias On the evolution of A.I. A.I. similarities in human nature Black box problems - when we cannot know why a machine takes an action it takes The predictability-resilience paradox How to take control, the importance of agency His view of the future and how we can prepare for it And much more. Enjoy! If you like this episode, I write about all my podcasts at larryweeks.com
45 minutes | 2 years ago
EP.29: WORKING WITH A.I. : ROB MAY ON THE HYPE AND REALITY OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
The abbreviation A.I. along with its phrase “artificial intelligence” for many invokes fantasies of sentient overlord robots everywhere or benevolent machine assistants or sexy operating systems. It can be difficult to separate hype from reality. Newsfeed cycles don’t help either. Stories circulate with titillating headlines as to what A.I. has just done without context as to where it's failed. Regardless we should pay attention, because the ultimate goal of A.I. is to not only make machines intelligent - but as intelligent as humans. Hence my guest, Rob May. Rob is the CEO and Co-founder of Talla, a Boston-based company offering AI-Powered automation for service and support Teams. He is an angel investor in 50 A.I. companies and the Managing Director at Half Court Ventures. Rob also writes InsideAI, the world's most popular email newsletter on artificial intelligence. I wanted to have somebody like Rob on not only because of his deep expertise running his own company but his broad exposure to many different types of A.I. forward companies. Join us as we discuss these topics and more Defining and discerning A.I. and Machine Learning Hype and current reality Where is A.I. working Where and why companies fail with A.I. Perspective on the near and long term futures of A.I. How companies and people can prepare for broad adoption Where does he see most of A.I.'s value creation coming from How he evaluates companies to invest in who say they use AI and much more ... I write about my shows, visit www.larryweeks.com for more
39 minutes | 2 years ago
EP.28: MAKING CHANGE HAPPEN: SETH GODIN ON MODERN MARKETING
It seems like a waste of time to introduce Seth Godin. Just search his name, "Seth" to Google is Seth Godin. He's founded several companies including Yoyodyne and Squidoo. He is the author of 18 best-selling books that have been translated into more than 35 languages. They include perennial classics like Permission Marketing, written in 1999 that elucidated the [then] new idea of delivering relevant, personalized messages that people agreed to receive. Practiced everywhere now but in 1999 it was controversial, and it birthed the dollar permission-based email marketing industry. The book most of you probably know him by is Purple Cow, his thesis about attention being the game. He’s also the founder of the altMBA and The Marketing Seminar, online workshops that have transformed the work of thousands of people. In 2018, he was inducted into the Marketing Hall of Fame. His new book, This Is Marketing, which is more or less the focus of this episode is the first, in his words, "real book from a real publisher about marketing" that he's done in more than seven years. You don't have to be in business or into marketing to benefit from this episode. It's about how to make change happen or as Seth puts it, to cause a change you'd like to see in the world. I think work and business dilemmas usually focus on the tactical, what's step #1 step #2 which is also true personally and in relationships. How can I get Jim or Jane to do x? What's the technique? Seth proposes the answer to many questions we have about work - and I'll add life in general - is really the answer to "who can you help"? Answer all the who, what, where, why questions that way; who can I help, what can I help with, where can I help - and you win, no matter what happens with the business, the campaign, the interview. Seth exceeded my high expectations. I could write 50 things I learned from our chat, but I will spare you. So here are just a few highlights of what we talk about. How to make a change How to deal with resistance and fear What marketing has to do with culture What a brand really is Why he doesn't use Facebook and how to look at Social Media in regards to marketing Where optimization lives The long tail The biggest idea in his book It's well worth your time at approximately 38 minutes. Enjoy!
47 minutes | 2 years ago
EP. 27: THE WISDOM ASSET: CHIP CONLEY ON AIRBNB, AGE AND RELEVANCE IN THE TECH INDUSTRY
What do you do when you go from being the founder and CEO of your own line of successful hotels to the oldest guy at the tech startup surrounded by some of the brightest millennials in the country? Well, if you’re Chip Conley, Strategic Advisor for Hospitality and Leadership at Airbnb, you set aside your ego, reinvent yourself and make the situation work for you. It’s that kind of adaptation that makes it possible to find your place in this era of change, and Chip has dedicated much of his time to sharing the secret with others who are looking to find a meaningful identity in a new world. On this podcast I talk with Chip about his career, his books, philosophies about getting older and his newest project an academy for the Modern Elder. Chip Conley is a leader at the forefront of the sharing economy. At age 26 he founded Joie de Vivre Hospitality (JdV), transforming one inner-city motel into the second largest boutique hotel brand in America. Chip served as Airbnb’s Head of Global Hospitality and Strategy for four years. His five books include PEAK and EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS and are inspired by the theories of transformation and meaning by famed psychologists Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl. In his new book, WISDOM@WORK: The Making of a Modern Elder (September 2018), Chip shares his experiences – as both mentor and unexpected intern – at Airbnb. He is the founder of Fest300 (part of Everfest). Chip is a recipient of hospitality’s highest honor, the Pioneer Award, and holds a BA and MBA from Stanford University, and an honorary doctorate in psychology from Saybrook University. He serves on the boards of the Burning Man Project and the Esalen Institute, where the Conley Library bears his name. When reflecting on what it was like to go from being a seasoned CEO to a mentor at a startup tech company where every employee was at least 2 decades younger than him, Chip says that he had a ton of learning to do. No longer could he rely upon the traditional rules of business in which being “senior” or lets use the term “elder” in this context, meant you could expect reverence. In this new world of technology, relevance is much more revered than age. Lesson: If you can't offer much in terms of subject matter experience, instead of giving up on it - you figure out what you can offer. For those of us who aren’t part of the millennial generation, that might be sharing what we’ve learned about emotional intelligence, business strategy, and all of the other things that go into a successful company beyond just the ability to write code. The key, he says, is that you’ve got to be ready to learn as much as you’re ready to teach. That’s where the Modern Elder concept came from. Chip learned that in order to stay relevant in a field where technology had made him feel irrelevant, the best thing he could do was to form mutual mentorships with his younger coworkers. So, instead of barging into a room and forcing everyone to respect his wisdom, he made a greater impact by asking thoughtful questions and offering advice in more subtle ways. Eventually, the twenty-somethings started seeking Chip out for advice and guidance. It wasn’t what he envisioned going into the company, but it taught him a lot about what it meant to be an elder in the modern workplace. And that is the basis for his latest book Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder. It’s also why Chip spends a good chunk of his time in Baja California, Mexico, where he’s founded the very first ever Modern Elders Academy, where anyone from social workers to CEOs can come together to reinvent themselves as mid-lifers in the workplace. Enjoy!
72 minutes | 2 years ago
EP. 26: SECOND CHANCES: CATHERINE HOKE ON REDEMPTIVE ENTREPRENEURSHIP
“What would it be like if you were only known for the worst decision that you've made for the rest of your life?” I’m excited for you to hear this episode because I think it will challenge you as it did me. My guest is Catherine Hoke. “Cat” is a former venture capitalist who is using training in entrepreneurship to solve a very serious social problem, high recidivism rates in the US prison system. And to that end, founded two successful nonprofits; the Prison Entrepreneurship Program (PEP) and Defy Ventures. In 14 years over five thousand incarcerated people have graduated from these two programs and earning Baylor University MBA certificates and the programs have resulted in industry leading low recidivism rates of less than seven percent. Fast company named “Cat” one of the hundred most creative people in business. Forbes named her 40 women to watch over 40. She was also one of the first recipients of the MakeTechHuman Agents of Change award given to global influencers who are shaping how technology is expanding human possibility She has a new best selling book (published by Seth Godin BTW) called A Second Chance: For You, For Me, And For The Rest Of Us, about the struggles and triumphs of her journey and on her graduates journey, telling the stories of America's most unforgivable people redeeming their lives. This was an emotional interview - for me - in many levels. I was personally challenged by her vulnerability, as you will hear, she is incredibly brave. I was also humbled by her commitment to her mission as she did the interview despite very difficult circumstances. So many times I’ve been waylaid by something or some event and there goes the day. Not Cat. We all make stupid decision and mistakes that, on a continuum range from the benign bad to the life changing horrible. Cat will challenge you to ‘step to the line,’ forgive yourself and others then move forward in making a difference. ...and I challenge you to listen to what she has to say Enjoy!
63 minutes | 2 years ago
EP.25: MELTDOWNS: CHRIS CLEARFIELD ON PREVENTING SYSTEM FAILURES
What does the 2007 -2008 financial crisis, the Fukushima nuclear accident, Three Mile Island, and Deepwater Horizon all have in common? The small things. Or rather, lots of tightly coupled small things that are overlooked, ignored or covered up. Accidents waiting to happen. In Deep Survival, Lawrence Gonzalez, writes about the fact that accidents don’t just happen, they are assembled carefully, piece by piece. And if just one single piece is missing, the accident simply doesn’t happen. Risk is unavoidable but accidents aren't. Our world is filled with countless near-misses and close calls, and the truth is, most of the time we never even know how close we came to this or that accident or disaster. This is even truer at the organizational/institutional levels, where risk and complexity combine with organizational culture to increase both the likelihood and the impact of catastrophic failure. My guest on this podcast is Chris Clearfield. Chris brings a novel approach to the study of the challenges posed by risk and complexity. He’s a science geek and reformed derivatives trader, but more recently he’s the founder of System Logic, an independent research and consulting firm dedicated to understanding risk and its interaction with organizational factors. He’s also the co-author, with András Tilcsik, of Meltdown: Why Our Systems Fail, and What We Can do About it, which is the topic of our show today. This isn't a conversation just about system failures and why they happen; it's also about what we can do about those failures, about how we can better prepare for, and even prevent many such accidents and failures from happening. “The same kind of culture and decision making that led to the financial crisis also led to BP" - Chris Clearfield Complex systems generate risk (and fail) in ways that are fundamentally different from the kinds of risks and failures our species evolved to deal with over millions of years, and that the new risk landscape we face requires a new approach to risk management, and really, an entirely new organizational culture. Chris was very insightful during the conversation, as he discussed the emergent properties of many system-wide failures. Many of these disasters were emergent in those systems in the same way as the 2009 financial crisis was “of the system and not an anomaly.” “What would have to be in place for something really bad to happen?" Checklists and Pre-mortems After talking with Chris, I find myself thinking much more in terms of checklists and “pre-mortems” and the like. It’s like we spend most of our lives driving along a twisty mountain highway at night, totally clueless about just how close to the edge of the 500-foot cliff we really came around that last turn. I’m reflecting more and more on what would have to be in place for something bad to go wrong, say driving your car or in managing online bank accounts. What would have to be in place for something really bad to happen and then kind of going back and mentally reverse-engineering and mitigating those things, those pieces, one by one. I hope you find my conversation with Chris as interesting as I did. Some of the other subjects we discuss include: Why systems fail and how some of these companies handled or weathered different crises much better than others; Tight coupling—where connections come together in a way that’s very hard to stop The most prevalent cognitive biases associated with meltdowns Black Swan events—and how to find the feathers that predict such events Pre-established criteria in decision making The value of dissent Power cues—including a fascinating example Chris gives of a study they did with physicians’ around body language with patients; The S.P.I.E.S Tool, that goes hand in hand with the Annie Duke episode if you're curious and want to listen to that regarding Thinking in Bets. In other words, we talked about a ton of really interesting and useful subjects, and hopefully, I've “salted” this intro enough to make you thirsty for the whole episode.
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