Jack Uldrich
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An Antidisciplinary Approach to Learning — and Unlearning

Posted in Ask a New Question, Assumptions, Business, Creativity, Future, Innovation, Lessons Unlearned, Management, Problems into Opportunities, Robotics, Science, See What Isn't There, The Way We See the Problem, Unlearn Strategy

“One of the most important disciplines in the twenty-first will be no discipline at all,” writes Frank Moss in his new book, The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices—a new book about MIT’s Media Lab. So does this mean the hard disciplines of physics, mathematics, chemistry, and engineering can be abandoned? Absolutely not. Instead, the school—whose stated mission…

Seeing What Isn’t There Can Change Your Thinking

Posted in Curiosity, Education, See What Isn't There

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting article entitled Under the Influence: How the Group Changes What We Think. It reported that one reason college-age students drink more than they should is because "they don't see the behavior of the students who aren't drinking." For example, they don't see the kids who are studying…

Osama Bin Laden and the Curious Case of Seeing What Isn’t There

Posted in Defense, See What Isn't There

The big breakthrough in finding Osama Bin Laden came when intelligence analysts first noticed the million dollar compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan didn't have internet access. Next, the analysts observed the occupants never took their garbage to the street (like the other neighbors did) and instead preferred to burn it inside the compound. Finally, they knew…

Step Up to The Counter of Unlearning

Posted in Ask a New Question, Assumptions, Beliefs, Books, Business, Curiosity, Intuition, Lessons Unlearned, New Cards, Opposite May Also be True, Questions, See What Isn't There, The Way We See the Problem

I enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, which discusses the value of heeding your intuition. It's a powerful idea. Unfortunately, it is incomplete. Often our intuition is wrong. The problem with Gladwell's book is that it never provides a counter narrative. That is he never tells those stories of people who trusted…

I’m Being Followed by a Moon … Illusion

Posted in Assumptions, Education, Example, Illusion, Lessons Unlearned, Metaphor, New Cards, Paradox, See What Isn't There, The Way We See the Problem, Wisdom

By sheer luck, my family and I walked up the steps of the Eiffel Tower on the evening of March 19, 2011 — the night of the "Super Moon." The view was spectacular as a large red orb arose over the Parisian skyline. If you would have asked me whether the moon was closer to…

A Turn-a-Round Question

Posted in Assumptions, Change, General, Innovation, Lessons Unlearned, New Cards, One minute unlearning, Questions, See What Isn't There, Unlearn Strategy, Wisdom

"Do you have any other questions?" It is a common question. Usually, many of us answer "no." Sometimes this is because we really don't have any other questions but, other times, it is because we don't want to display our ignorance. In my quest to unlearn, however, I have recently been turning around the question…

Test the Limits of Tests

Posted in Assumptions, Creativity, Education, Parenting, See What Isn't There

The IQ test, the SAT, the LSAT and countless other tests all serve a limited purpose but each is a remarkably poor predictor of long-term success. Why? It is not because of what they measure, it is because of what they don't measure–and they don't measure characteristics such as curiosity, self-control, grit, and risk-taking. Remember,…

Non-Pleasure for Pleasure’s Sake

Posted in Analogy, Behavior, Books, Change, Food, Less is More, New Cards, One minute unlearning, Opposite May Also be True, Paradox, Psychology, See What Isn't There, Wisdom

I am currently reading William Irvine's book, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy and stumbled across this paradoxical — or, at least, counter-intuitive — idea: Denying yourself pleasure can lead to pleasure. How? Consider eating an ice cream cone or, perhaps, a pleasant dessert. Undoubtedly, such an experience would…

Danger: Prevention Has Risks of Its Own

Posted in Assumptions, Children, Education, Lessons Unlearned, New Cards, Paradox, Quiz, Quotes, Risk, See What Isn't There

Did you know that after childproof lids on medicine bottles were introduced, it led to a significant increase in the number of child poisonings? The reason is because parents became less careful about keeping the bottles away from their children. I am all for taking preventative action — especially to protect kids — but we…

Underground Unlearning

Posted in Assumptions, Energy, General, Metaphor, Quiz, Science, See What Isn't There, Wisdom

"Clearly there is a lot going on deep in the Earth that is completely unknown to science." So concludes this fascinating article in The Economist on, of all things, carbon. Did you know, for example, that although carbon is critical to life on earth the scientific community has no idea of how much of the…


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