Thursday, April 30, 2015

Elements of Trust

Words that used to mean something – ideals, character, self, soul – now mean nothing. The very idea of an inner life is passé at institutions of higher learning... Passe

“You read all those books?” The question occurs only to nonreaders. For bibliophiles, a personal library of unread books is a reminder that they will never be smart enough... Monographs of Wisdom

April 1961 versus April 2015 – David Petraeus and the demise of the “warrior” ethos Sic Semper Tyrannis. A must read. (Gabriel also recommends Passions of the MeritocracyBaffler

Trust increases with age, according to research, and we’re getting older on a population basis, meaning that the older world we live in is also a more trusting world.
Considering there’s a positive link between trust and well-being, this can only be a good thing. It’s the main finding of a study from the University of Buffalo and Northwestern University; that cynicism and distrust tends to decline with age. One of the researchers, Michael Poulin, contemplates this shift in attitude, suggesting that our life experiences ‘soften’ the sometimes cynical society in which we live.
Trust is critical. It helps societies function. It makes us happier as people and it promotes well-being. It’s also another positive thing about getting older Have a little faith

Kay Bell, Virginia dumps tax refund debit cards for paper checks. Fraud is part of the reason.

Russ Fox, No Discount for her Sentence. “Well, Ms. Morin operated Discount Tax Service. Her clients were very happy with her methods, as they received tax credits and itemized deductions on their returns whether or not they qualified for them.”

Robert Wood, IRS Paid $3 Billion In Tax Credit Mistakes Plus $5.8 Billion In Erroneous Refunds. That doesn’t count erroneous earned income tax credits — only corporate returns.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point he describes three types of people: Connectors, Mavens and Salesmen. ‘Connectors’ are people who connect other people together. ‘Mavens’ are people with information. ‘Salesmen’ are people with strong negotiation skills. The book was, and still is, credited with influencing how people think about sales and how ideas catch on.

The Tipping Point was first published in 2000. Since then technology has allowed us to connect in different ways at all times. But just because connections exists doesn’t mean that they are of value. I think most people will agree that it’s what we do with those connections that really matters. This is the thrust behind a new way of thinking about Connectional Intelligence is the book Get Big Things Done: The Power of Connectional Intelligence by Erica Dhawan and Saj-nicole Joni.

In an article in Fast Company, Dhawan describes Connectional Intelligence as “Sift(ing) through the noise of social media and technology to get big things done.” The notion harks back to the old adage ‘quality over quantity’. Dhawan poses three questions as a framework for challenging our traditional concept of networking in this way:

  1. What do you care about most?
  2. What do you already know?
  3. How can one problem solve another?
An article on Nautilus provides a fascinating birds-eye view of how we use language to express ourselves, and in turn, the role it plays in the way we use it to express ourselves. Confused? The article starts by pointing out that the English language is highly egocentric, particularly when you compare it to language used by the Guugu Ymithirr tribe in Australia. English speakers tend to orient themselves in the world according to, well, themselves. We talk about moving forward or backward according to the direction we’re facing. English speakers describe the world from the perspective of the self. Guugu Ymithirr speakers take a different approach, using their internal compass and the cardinal directions of east, west, north and south.