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What Book Are You Reading?

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On 6/28/2019 at 9:23 AM, Chris A said:

...Sources of Power--How People Make Decisions is yet another...with many later authors having ripped-off the ideas from this book, including Thinking, Fast and Slow (by a Nobel Prize winner...if you can believe it), Blink (a very poor ripoff) and The Tipping Point...[and Outliers]



I found a related article today that was a heavily redacted version of the following linked article that was related to the above subject.  The redacted article was way off the mark and IMO completely missed the author's intended punchline.  But I found the original article was very thought provoking and probably related to the recent incidents of US Navy cruisers and destroyers periodically running into tankers and other ships in crowded waterways over the past 3-4 years. This kind of thinking is extendable to commercial enterprises with their "high worker flexibility" ethos (commonly accused as a cover for age discrimination).  Here's a link to the original article.  Note that some of the references are directly addressed in the book above, albeit on the opposite side of the coin:




A quote from the article:



The people who did best [on a test to measure  “fluid intelligence”] tended to score high on “openness to new experience”—a personality trait that is normally not a major job-performance predictor and that, in certain contexts, roughly translates to “distractability.”


I once was treated to an airline flight scheduled from Dulles to Dallas/Fort Worth in the mid-80s where the emergency oxygen masks deployed at altitude...just as the flight attendants were serving meals.  They (i.e., all the flight attendants) didn't respond to the masks coming down and continued to serve meals...until the pilot rather violently nosed the aircraft down, and abruptly told the flight attendants to sit down, and told the passengers to put the O2 masks on...rather discourteously. 


After the initial event settled out and we limped back to Dulles at low altitude, it was revealed through talking to the very courteous but uncharacteristically quiet soldier that sat right next to the over-wing emergency exit door that was leaking cabin air so fast that the aircraft's air pressurization units couldn't keep up with the leak (and squealing unbearably loudly at a very high-frequency/high SPL) a mere two rows behind my seat, that the pilot mentioned to him in passing that "required maintenance was 'somewhat lacking' on that particular aircraft". 


If our lives had depended on the flight attendants knowing their jobs during an emergency evacuation...I think the outcome would have been much worse.  I can't say what the risk level actually was in terms of aircraft maintenance.  The courteous-but-quiet soldier said to me that "a particular sphincter muscle" was exercised quite well during the whole emergency-descent-from-altitude portion of the flight.


I believe that expertise is something that is necessary in most jobs--regardless of how much it affects the profits of those reaping the benefits to having a few more trained and experienced people around. 


I also find that the topics covered in Sources of Power to be overwhelmingly applicable to our lives.  Highly recommended.



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