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Thought Stack: Design Principles, Mental Models, & Cognitive Biases
18 minutes | 3 years ago
TS 34: An Underutilized Super Power
Design Principle: Consistency. The usability of a system is improved when similar parts are expressed in similar ways. Thinking is energy. Good design reduces the amount of energy a person has to input to use the entity. That’s why consistency is so powerful. Little actions over time tend to amount to huge outcomes. For more resources on Consistency, visit http://thoughtstack.co/consistency If you'd rather listen to the audio, check out the podcast: → http://www.thoughtstack.co Reach me on Social Media: → Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jonstenstrom Have a Project You Need Help With? I Recommend Toptal: → https://www.toptal.com/#get-only-elit... Credits: → Book: Universal Principles of Design Stay Thought-Full, Jon
5 minutes | 3 years ago
TS 33: Why You CAN Compare Apples and Oranges
The next time someone says "you can't compare apples and oranges"...tell them you CAN. Design Principle: Comparison. A comparison is a method for understanding information in a controlled manner within a system. It's important to understand the variables you are comparing, how you are measuring the data, and how you're conveying the information to others. For more resources on Comparison, visit http://thoughtstack.co/comparison If you'd rather listen to the audio, check out the podcast: → http://www.thoughtstack.co Reach me on Social Media: → Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jonstenstrom ---- Credits: → Book: Universal Principles of Design → Music: Apples and Oranges - Pink Floyd, Dreams - Joakim Karud → Links and Videos: 1. More information about NASA scientist Scott Sandford: https://www.improbable.com/airchives/paperair/volume1/v1i3/air-1-3-apples.html 2. Funny bad visualizations of data: http://viz.wtf/ 3. Mass spec: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-wao0O0_qM Stay Thought-Full, Jon
5 minutes | 3 years ago
TS 32: 5 Ways to Increase Empathy for Better Accessible Design
5 Ways to Increase Empathy: Travel more Listen more Volunteer doing something you enjoy Stay curious (learn something new) Realize everyone is unique. Find those differences. For more resources on Accessibility, visit http://thoughtstack.co/accessiblity If you'd rather listen to the audio, check out the podcast: → http://www.thoughtstack.co Reach me on Social Media: → Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jonstenstrom Stay Thought-Full, Jon Credits: → Book: Universal Principles of Design → Music: Dreams - Joakim Karud
2 minutes | 3 years ago
TS 31: Thought Stack Is Now on YouTube
Watch the Podcast on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyo71bciLTsdRZsGNZhtkQQ Thought Stack's Mission While studying to be an engineer, we never seemed to learn about how humans think or interact with each other. After I realized my limited perspective, I started diving into the cognitive sciences, focusing on cognitive biases and mental models. It's a lifelong pursuit I want to share with you so we can learn them together and build upon each other's perspectives. Join me in exploring cognitive biases, mental models, and design principles. Together we can design an ethical and more robust world. Stay Thought-Full, Jon
9 minutes | 3 years ago
TS 30: The 80/20 to Not Killing Yourself Too Early
Podcast video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQRMLrHT8eU TL;DL: The 80/20 Principle means focusing on the small number of things that have the greatest impact on your life. Join me on a typical day in LA where I grab some coffee, hit the gym, play some volleyball and mess around with Crixus. 80/20 a Better Life: 1. Lift weights 3X/wk so you don't break a hip when old. 2. Sprint often 3. Sleep greater than 7.5 hours/night to have more productive awake time. 4. Meditate - Our ancestors were present. Driving: 1. Look L at intersections so you don't get T-boned. 2. Imagine 1 person trying to kill you on the freeway to stay aware. Products: 1. GUIs - Menus are set up in categories to make it easier for you to find what you're looking for, rather than display everything at once making things confusing. Design Principle 001: 80/20 Principle (Pareto Principle) Today's video kicks off my new design principles project. The goal is to share a principle with you each week to help us see the world from a new perspective. I want this to be more of a discussion. If you've seen this principle in your life, please share it in the comments. The more we're aware of these principles the better we'll able to navigate this complex system we call life. Patrick and Peter's podcast episode I referenced: → http://investorfieldguide.com/attialive/ If you'd rather listen to the audio, check out the podcast: → http://www.thoughtstack.co Reach me on Social Media: → Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jonstenstrom ---- Credits: → Book: Universal Principles of Design → Music: Rock Angel - Joakim Karud
31 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 28: Lessons in Creativity From an Underappreciated Genius
This podcast is about a genius reflecting on what it means to be a genius...that's pretty FREAKIN' cool! Hey Thought Stackers, you're in for a treat. Today we have Jimmy Soni, author of A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age, joining us on the cast. Today You'll Learn Five Things: Claude Shannon's unique approach to networking - More like Anti-Networking. Why you should start visualizing the end state of problems you're trying to solve BEFORE diving into the details. Claude's six step process to creative thinking. Our biggest take away: Avoiding over specialization. Why the connection between our hands and our minds is not valued enough in today's culture - we get into how Claude, who was a mathematical genius was also a tinkerer who enjoyed building and juggling. Be sure to follow Jimmy on Twitter: @jimmyasoni and pick up his book on Amazon. Stay Thought-Full.
46 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 27: How a Little Anarchy Can Revitalize Our Society
Hey Thought Stackers! We have a special episode, today we have one of the most inspiring people I’ve met, Mark Lakeman. I met Mark a few years ago at the Lightning in a Bottle festival where he covered many of the topics you’re about to hear on this cast. Portland has been in the midst of a total renaissance and that can be attributed to Mark and his team over at City Repair. If you make it to the end of this cast, you might just become an activist for a better community. In this episode you’ll learn three things: The big realization Mark discovered while traveling the world for 7 years. How colonialism has damaged our villager instincts and what we can do to fix it How you need to be slightly anarchist if you want to live in a better world. A full list of resources can be found at http://thoughtstack.co/mark-lakeman-interview
13 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 26: The Bible for Creating Intelligent Machines
When you hear the term Artificial Intelligence, what’s image pops in your mind? Is it a Terminator-style doomsday scenario or maybe a bit more optimistic? For this Book Short, we are covering The Essential Turing by Alan Turing. To help us make sense of the book, we've brought in AI expert, Dr. Shalini Ananda, who teaches us three things: Who is Alan Turing and why is he important for AI? What are some of the limitation in developing an AI platform? Where do you see AI benefiting our lives in the near future? Hopefully, this gives you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at companies such as Google, Facebook, and all of the startups pushing the boundaries of machine intelligence. Be sure to reach out to Dr. Ananda on twitter: @ShaliniAnanda1.
13 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 25: Level 9000 Personal Growth Hacking
Learn the secrets of personal growth hacking: Part One: The Experiment List - What do you want to achieve in the next five years? Part Two: The Pipeline - You list of experiments you're actively testing. Part Three: The Experiment Journal - Track what works and what doesn't. For a detailed breakdown of this episode visit: https://www.kevinespiritu.com/personal-growth-hacking/ Stay Thought-Full!
17 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 24: Why Being #2 Might Be Better Than Being #1
Scott Hartley [Author, VC, past Facebook & Google] shares why the liberal arts will rule the digital world. In this episode, you'll learn three things: Why being number 2 might be more valuable than being number 1. Why it's important to have a diversity of thought in the tech industry. Why we should be taking a more interdisciplinary approach to learning. BONUS: If you stay to the end, you'll hear in Scott's opinion, "the greatest Sand Hill Prank of all time." Check out his book: The Fuzzy and the Techie: Why the Liberal Arts Will Rule the Digital World Say hi to Scott at: @fuzzytechie and @scottehartley.
19 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 23: The Wolf of Fitness - Depression, Jail, and Books
In today’s episode, you’re going to meet Kane Sumabat. I found out about Kane when I realized I wanted to enter my thirties in my best physical shape, so I filled up my Instagram with tons of inspiring individuals. Kane is my favorite. At 49 years old his physique is impeccable. With someone with over 30 years of commitment and experience, Kevin and I had to see how his brain ticks… Kane took us on quite the journey and you have to give it up to him for being so open with his trials and tribulations. We learn about his battle over the years with depression, how the Great Gatsby showed him how to almost never miss a gym session in 30 years, and even what landed him in jail for a month and what he’d rather do than go back... Send him some love on Instagram: @timbahwolf
14 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 22: Asymmetric Information - Winning The War of Knowledge
The concept of information asymmetry seems fairly obvious from its name. However, as a mental model, it deserves deeper study to fully understand all of its nuances. At its most basic, information asymmetry describes a situation where two parties have different quantities or qualities of information. When one person has either more or better information than another, they have a massive advantage. This mental model shows up a lot in investing, but can be applied in many areas of life. For example, I remember being intuitively aware of information asymmetry during my poker days, despite not knowing the concept by name. Be sure to check out the in-depth article on ThoughtStack.co.
16 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 21: How To Lie With Statistics
We need to stop using statistics to communicate with the public. Don’t get me wrong, statistics is a valuable tool for certain applications. Informing the public is not one of those applications. You might be thinking, “That’s a little extreme...why?” Simple: The average (mode) of society is not statistically literate enough to avoid being manipulated. To combat this, I recommend you read How To Lie With Statistics to get a basic understanding of how people, organizations, and even governments use statistics to further their own agendas. Make sure you check out the full article at ThoughtStack.co
12 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 20: When "Good Enough" Is Better Than Perfect
How do we know when we should put in the effort to make the best choice, product, or decision, versus picking something that is simply “good enough?” The answer is the mental model of maximizing vs. satisficing. We Have Too Many Options for Unimportant Things In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz notes that as our options for every aspect of our lives have increased, so has the cognitive load of making decisions in everyday life. It wasn’t hard to choose a shampoo 100 years ago — there were probably 5 brands. Now, you have an aisle of 100+ options to choose from. If you’re a maximizer at heart (like me), this abundance of choice will prompt you to spend a great deal of time evaluating the best shampoo for you. Learn how to switch from over-analyzing all of your life decisions, which wastes mental energy, by satisficing those that aren't critical to your happiness. Read the complimentary article at ThoughtStack.co.
38 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 19: Lessons On Reading and Writing From Mr. 500 Books
I remember reading Othello back in high school… It was bound in a bright blue paperback sleeve with the word “Sparknotes” written above the title. I know. Sparknotes isn’t the same thing as reading the book. But I was young and at that time, Shakespeare didn’t interest me the way Final Fantasy VII did. Imagine my relief when I heard that our guest for today’s podcast — Roy Lotz, one of the top reviewers on Goodreads — also wasn’t into reading back in the day, I felt relieved. He’s since found a love of reading and has read over 550 books...cover to cover. He writes some of the best book reviews on Goodreads, which made me ask the question, “How can a guy go from reading Sparknotes in high school to reading 500+ books and becoming an amazing writer?” I decided to reach out to him. Thankfully, Roy took some time to talk with me. Here’s what I learned.
11 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 18: People Aren't Out To Get You...They're Just Dumb
I was biking to the grocery store a few days ago. As I was pedaling along happily, a bright-red car door materialized in front of my face… I swerved. I almost fell off my bike but was able to recover. As soon as I was stabilized, I looked back to yell at the man who’d opened the car door and almost killed me. “What a @#$%ing dick,” I muttered to myself as I pedaled into the parking lot of the grocery store. In that moment, this man was clearly an asshole. Or was he? As I walked through the grocery aisles, I realized that I’d failed to apply Hanlon’s Razor to the situation: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.” Read the full article at Thoughtstack.co.
15 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 17: Liberate Yourself Using Systems
I’m ashamed to admit it, but I used to despise people who planned. I felt they were missing out on life’s beauty by being so regimented in their routines. I was mistaken. It wasn’t until I read Work the System that I realized I had it backwards. By planning, you think through the way you want your life to go. After you plan, you have an opportunity to be truly spontaneous instead of having it thrust upon you. The spontaneity of missing a flight on your honeymoon because you didn’t plan for traffic isn’t a fun experience. Neither is the spontaneity of missing the gym for the 3rd week in a row because you’re “too busy.” Spontaneity is great, as long as you plan for it. Find out the reasons your goals won't succeed without designing and implementing proper systems. Learn how by reading the full article here.
13 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 16: Winning Is an Emotional Game
Tilt is a poker term for a state of mental or emotional confusion or frustration in which a player adopts a less than optimal strategy, usually resulting in the player becoming over-aggressive. – Wikipedia Tilting usually occurs when you get an outcome that you did not want or expect – for instance, losing an all-in with AA, the best pre-flop hand in No-Limit Texas Hold’Em. Statistically, you win that about 80% of the time, so the 20% of times that you do end up losing the hand can become emotionally frustrating. One of my favorite quotes about tilt comes from Gigabet, an old poster on an old poker forum that I used to frequent: “Everyone will eventually run worse [have worse luck] than they thought was possible. The difference between a winner and a loser is the latter thinks he doesn’t deserve it.” Read the full article here.
8 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 15: Why We All Need To Be More Curious
We’re far less important than we think we are. And yet... Everything had to work out exactly the way it did for us to come into existence. The Milky Way had to form ~12.21 billion years ago and the Earth had to form ~4.43 billion years ago. Our species, Homo sapiens, had to survive countless threats to pop up ~160,000 years ago, which is but a minor blip on the vast cosmic timeline. What makes us significant is that we’re the first species to realize all of this. That’s what makes us matter — we’re the species that was curious enough to ask questions and develop cognitive tools to help discover the answers. Today's Actionable Book Short is on A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. For the corresponding article, be sure to read it on our site. Stay Thought-Full.
4 minutes | 4 years ago
TS 14: Do You Believe All Life Is One?
I usually call these mini episodes Thought-Full Thursdays, but I’m changing them to Pattern Breakers. The purpose of these shorts is to allow you a few moments to ponder and reflect on a few questions that relate to the week’s Actionable Book Short, and hopefully get you thinking in new ways and enhance your typical daily patterns … That brings us to this week’s Pattern Breaker on A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. First question: It’s been said that 99.99 percent of all species that have ever lived are no longer with us. What makes you think things will be different for the future of our species? Second question: Over 60 percent of human genes are fundamentally the same as those found in fruit flies and at least 90 percent correlate at some level to those found in mice. Do you think humans are equivalent to other animals or superior? Third question: Since DNA is the common connector between all animals, do you feel that all life is one? Be sure to Join the Tribe by signing for the Weekly Thought-Full Newsletter. It’s a short email the covers the past week’s episodes, articles, and randomness you’d find worthwhile. Tune in this weekend for the Weekly Actionable Book Short a Short History of Nearly Everything. You’re going to love it. Thanks for listening. Stay Thought-Full.
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