24 October 2010

Learning, Adapting, & Acting

Someone I follow in the software space tweeted the question
Are you a first-rate noticer?
I responded
I notice so many things, sometimes I miss the most important!
The question was meant to reach out, and perhaps tweak, the sensory-challenged -- the people who don't seem to notice much. In the context of software teams, failing to notice, can be a detriment to the team and to the product.

I am an obsessive processor of new sensory information. My senses are turned up & mostly tuned in. Many people miss too much. Others fail to understand the most fundamental characteristic of perception (i.e., that perception is not always reality).

Still others fail to understand how they're influenced by knowledge, historical context, and comparative experience (or lack thereof).

In Intelligence & Uncertainty, I suggest there's a positive correlation between intelligence and uncertainty. I also mention a cognitive bias known as the Dunning-Kruger which says,
People who don't know much tend not to recognize their ignorance, so they fail to seek better information.
I am convinced my journey is an iterative process of learning, adapting, and acting. Rinse and repeat. I haven't a clue where this leads, but I'm programmed to do it.

In the documentary 180ยบ South, Patagonia's founder Yvon Chouinard says,

The whole purpose of climbing something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain. But if you compromise the process you’re an asshole when you start out and an asshole when you get back.
~ Yvon Chouinard

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