Pragmatic Thinking and Learning: Refactor Your Wetware, Andy Hunt [1]

  • Ссылка на mind map: [2]
  • Ссылка на конспект: [3]


Dreufus model

Stages

  • Novices
    • want to know exactly how smth is done
    • little/no experience
    • not sure of the outcome
    • don't want to learn
    • want to accomplish an immediate goal
  • Advanced beginners
    • no holistic understanding
    • little context
  • Competent
    • develop conceptual model
    • plan deliberately
    • base on past experience
    • have troubles to decide what to focus on
  • Proficient
    • need big picture
    • learn on expertise of others
    • learn on how they've done and revise
    • know where to stop following rules
  • Experts
    • primary source of knowledge
    • apply it in the right context
    • work from intuituion
    • have problems to articulate expertise
    • rules ruin them

Become an expert

  • Deliberate practice
    • 10 years
    • challenging but doable tasks
    • with feedback
    • with ability to repeat and correct errors
  • 3 phases of learning
    • Imitate (Shu)
      • without modification
    • Assimilate (Ha)
      • reflect
    • Innovate (Ri)
      • transcend


Brain

L-mode

  • what like
    • von Neumann-like
    • linear
    • slow
  • characteristics
    • verbal
    • analytic
    • symbolic
    • abstract
    • temporal
    • rational
    • digital
    • logical
    • linear
  • for
    • working through details
    • for white-collar information-based workers

R-mode

  • what like
    • non-linear
    • fast
    • pattern-matching
  • characteristics
    • needs whole picture
    • intuitive
    • makes insights
    • non-verbal
    • non-rational
    • synthetic
    • analogic
    • intuitive
    • hollistic
    • non-linear
  • for
    • intuition
    • problem solving
    • creativity
    • long term memory
    • relating things together
  • not controllable directly
  • stores everything, but not everything is indexed
    • you can recall when needed
  • works asynchronously
  • needed for becoming an expert


 only one has the access to the CPU (brain)


Right Mind

Capture insights

  • capture all ideas to get more of them
  • how
    • pen and notepad
    • index cards
    • smartphones
    • voice memos

add sensory activities

  • activates more neural pathways
  • engages more of your brain
  • use cross-sensory feedback
    • write down in usual form
    • draw a visual metaphor
    • describe it verbally
  • your mind is hungry for these stimuli

R-to-L flow

  • ideas
    • R-mode - source of ideas
    • L-mode - verification
  • Metaphor
    • act of creating analogies
    • where L and R meet
    • links abstract notions to concrete
    • random juxtaposition
      • take a word and connect it to unrelated one
      • the further ideas are, the harder to join them
    • cultivate humor
      • have you seen my fishbowl?
      • yes, it's just got a strike!

learn to be comfortable with uncertainty

  • perfectionism may be dangerous

Think outside the box


Harvest R-mode clues

ideas from R-mode are hard to verbalize

Image Streaming

  • pose a problem/ask a question
  • close your eyes ~10 mins
  • for each image that you see
    • try to see as many details as you can
    • describe it out loud

Free-Form Journalism

  • write as much as possible
  • blog posts/letters/everything

The morning pages technique

  • first thing in the morning
  • while L is still sleeping
    • unguarded brain dump
  • write 3 pages
  • by hand, no computer
  • do not censor it
  • do not skip a day

Fieldstone Method

  • don't plan ahead
  • just walk around and pick up good-looking stones
  • eventually you'll collect a pile
  • when it's time, find in the pile ones you like
  • and use them
  • once you have a pile, it's easy to build a wall

Harvesting by Walking

  • do something that bores L-mode
  • so R-mode frees up
  • dump everything on paper
  • free up your mind
  • walk and don't think
    • as soon as you focus, L-mode dominates
    • you don't want it
  • so, step away from the keyboard to solve hard problems

change your viewpoint

  • look at smth in reverse
  • turn the problem around
    • instead of debugging for problems
    • try to cause the bug
  • exaggerate

reconcile unlike patterns

  • 100 oblique strategies
    • statements that force you to draw analogies
    • "what else is this like?"
  • Shakespeare's Brain Teaser
    • new words, phrases
    • unusual context for words
    • unusual part of speech
    • fundamental shift - makes you think


Debug

cognitive biases

  • anchoring
  • fundamental attribution error
    • "rarely" doesn't mean never
    • Black Swans
  • need for closure
    • closure: we need to eliminate uncertainty
    • defer closure
    • the more you know - the better
    • be comfortable with uncertainty
  • confirmation bias
  • exposure effect
  • hawthorne effect
  • false memory
    • memory is unreliable

general affinity

  • types
    • risk taker vs rick adverse
    • individualism vs teamwork
    • stability vs freedom
    • family vs work
  • Mayer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
    • Extravert (E) vs Introvert (I)
    • Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N)
      • how do you obtain information?
      • S - based on the details at the moment
      • N - imagination, intuition
    • Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
      • how do you make decisions?
      • T - based on rules
      • F - base on emotional impact
    • Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P)
      • J - early closure
      • P - don't like making decisions
    • The combination defines your temperament

personal tendencies

  • trust intuition, but verify
  • if you feel smth, prove it
    • create a prototype
    • run unit tests
    • benchmarks
    • get the feedback!
  • unittest your intuition
    • how do you know?
    • says who?
    • how specifically?
    • how does what I'm doing cause you to ... ?
    • compared to what/whom?
    • does it always happen? are there exceptions?
    • what would happen if I did (didn't) ...?
    • what stops you from ... ?
  • get statistics
  • expect better
  • "it's by logic we prove, it's by intuition we discover"

hardware bugs

  • most of out brain is primitive
  • knee-jerk reaction - faster than brain
  • let yourself think before act


Learn

Learning

  • ability to learn - most important element of success
  • random approach without goals and feedbacks tends to random results
  • "the body of knowledge" isn't the most important part
  • more relevant
    • models you build
    • questions you ask
    • your experience and practice

Setting goals

  • "I want to be fit" - vision, not a goal
  • a goal needs a series of objectives
  • goal - desired state
  • objective - smth you do to get closer to your goal

SMART

  • (S)pecific
    • narrow down to something concrete
    • "I want to be able to write a webserver in Erlang that dynamically generates content"
  • (M)easurable
    • how do you know when you done?
    • take small bites and measure steady, incremental progress
    • you have to see only 2/3 feet ahead
  • (A)chievable
    • need to be realistic
    • attainable from where you are _now_
  • (R)elevant
    • are you passionate about it?
    • it needs to matter
  • (T)ime-boxed
    • needs a deadline

Pragmatic Investment Plan

  • knowledge portfolio - your skills and talents
  • manage it as you would manage your financial portfolio
  • relating learning to "free" time is a recipe for failure
  • be deliberate about it
  • allocate appropriate time
  • use this time wisely
  • be more effective in learning
  • PIP
    • have a concrete plan
      • be SMART
      • different goals over time
        • now
          • buy a book
        • next year
          • be proficient
        • 3 years
          • write a book
      • planning is important
        • "The planning is more important than the plan. The plan will change." Eisenhower.
    • diversify
      • don't put all eggs into one basket
      • consider risk vs return value
        • eg. .NET - low risk (mainstream technology), but low return on investment
        • Haskell - high risk (not mainstream), but may be the next language, and may go nowhere
      • always valuable
        • but knowledge investment always brings value
        • it may impact the way you think
        • how you solve problems
        • so everything you learn is valuable
    • make active (not passive) investments
      • have feedback
      • ensure you can evaluate your plan
      • you may want to revise your plan as you go
    • make regular investments
      • dollar-cost averaging
        • sometimes you pay too much
        • sometimes you get a great deal
        • it smoothes over time
      • invest a minimal amount or time
      • on regular basis
      • on average it will bring good results
  • reevaluate your plan periodically
    • what changed?
    • what doesn't work?
    • what will you do?

Learning modes

  • how _you_ can learn?
  • types of perception
    • Visual
      • need to see material
      • picture, graphs
    • Auditory
      • have to hear
      • lectures, seminars, podcasts
    • Kinesthic
      • learn by moving and touching
      • need to physically experience the material
  • Three-part mind
    • meta-level component
      • manages thought process
    • performance-based component
      • for making associations
    • knowledge-acquisition component
      • assimilating new information
    • each component is independent
  • Frames of Mind
    • Intelligence is a combination of
    • Kinesthetic
      • sports
      • do-it-yourself projects
    • Linguistic
      • storytelling
      • reading
      • writing
    • Logical/Mathematical
      • math
      • numbers
      • science
    • Visual/Spatial
      • diagrams
      • plans
      • sketching
      • paintings
    • Musical
    • Interpersonal
      • motivation of others
    • Intrapersonal
      • self-reflectoin
      • dreams
      • relationships with others

Enhance

  • Study groups
    • informal
      • just agree to read through a book
      • and discuss
    • formal
      • deliberate steps:
      • select a proposal and its leader
      • buy books
      • schedule meetings
  • SQ3R
    • Survey
      • scan the table of contents
      • see for overview
    • Question
      • note every question you have
      • will I learn technology X?
    • Read
      • read entirely
    • Recite
      • summarize
      • take notes
      • rephrase
      • invent acronyms to help you remember
    • Review
      • reread
      • expand notes
      • discuss with colleagues
  • Mind maps
    • diagrams that shows topics and how they are connected
    • notetaking
      • raw notes - while listening
      • then transfer to "official" notes
    • should be hand-written
      • start with messy mind-map
      • then reorganize and redraw
    • exercise
      • take 4-5 items bullet list
      • draw a mind map
      • wait a day
      • enhance it with colors
      • review a week later
    • good for
      • brainstorming
      • exploring
      • collaboration
  • Documentation
    • documenting may be more important than documentation
    • mental preparation
      • turns on your attention
      • gets insight
    • you may take time to create a screen cast
  • Learn by teaching
    • clarifies your own understanding
    • try to explain it to smb
    • even if it's an yellow rubber duck
    • constant retrieval of information is very effective for learning
    • preparation is also very important (see documentation)


Experience

you have to learn by doing

play in order to learn

  • explore and build mental models
  • constructivism
    • we build to learn
    • not learn to build
  • don't be afraid of mistakes
    • they provide feedback
  • make a game out of learning
    • flashcards
    • lego blocks

problem?

  • can you break it down into smaller meaningful parts?
  • is it like others?
  • can you adapt other situations to match it?
    • i.e. leverage existent knowledge
    • danger: beware of differences

failures

  • after a failure
    • we study what happened
    • what went wrong
    • learn how to fix it
  • it's important to get it right _last_ time (first is not that important)
  • ensure safety
    • freedom to experiment
    • ability to backtrack to a stable state
    • ability to demonstrate progress
  • 2 types of failures
    • we can learn from them
    • we cannot learn from them
  • allow failures
    • pressure shuts your mind down
    • your vision narrows
    • so give yourself permission to fail
    • you don't necessarily have to make errors
    • create "failure permitted" zones

Imagination overrides senses

  • that can improve your perfomance
  • always be the worst
    • be in the company with smarter people
    • you'll mimic others
  • groove your mind for success
  • scaffolding
    • make smth help you do smth
      • swimmers + rope
    • you'll adjust to higher speed/etc
    • unscaffolding
      • then it'll be easier to handle under usual circumstances
      • work in C++ after ruby and then get back


Focus

focus and attention

  • attention - act of focusing in
  • your attention - a short supply
  • when we say "we don't have time" we mean "we're running out of attention"
  • meditation
    • allocates attention
    • Vipassana meditaion
      • you're aware
      • but don't render judgements
      • and don't making responses
    • technique
      • find a quiet spot
      • sit in a comfortable posture, with a straight back
      • become aware of any tension and let it go
      • close eyes and focus on breath
      • be aware of the rhythm of your breath
        • don't try to change it
      • focus on nothing else but breath
      • if you wander off, let thoughts go and focus back
  • learn to pay attention

knowledge

  • information - raw data
  • knowledge - meaning for the information
  • manage your knowledge
    • input (raw data)
      • ideas
      • insights
    • processing
    • output
      • processed and transcended
  • you need to work with the material
    • organize
    • develop
    • coalesce disparate
    • refine
    • from general to specific
  • exocortex (external support)
    • book collection
    • notes
    • etc
  • personal wiki
    • knowledge and information management
    • good wiki feels like a mind map
    • by organizing your ideas you'll get more of them
    • wiki gardening
      • rearranging/refactoring your wiki

optimizing the context

  • context - things you're focusing on at the moment
  • context switching is very expensive!
    • 20-40% of productivity eaten by switching contexts
  • manage interruptions deliberately
    • use virtual desktops


To do

Effective change

  • convince your brain that it's important and do it
  • you have to care
  • practice makes permanent
  • keep a beginner's brain

Possible actions

  • Keep something with you for notetaking
  • Make more metaphors
    • how can you describe your current project?
  • See connections between unconnected things
    • 100 oblique strategies
  • Do morning pages (at least for 2 weeks) Утренние страницы
  • Write down concrete goals, long-term and short-term
  • Add 2 new areas into your portfolio, diversify
  • Experiment with different learning models
  • Next time you read, use mind maps
  • Start a study group
  • Experiment with meditation, 20 mins a day
  • Use virtual desktops

approach

  • start with a plan
  • keep track on what's done
  • retrospect
  • take some steps
  • cultivate new habbits
  • just start!

Books

  • Tools of critical thinking: Metathoughts for Psychology
  • Dan Pink, A whole new mind
  • Drawing on the right side of the brain, B. Edwards
  • The Einstein Factor: A proven new method for increasing you intelligence
  • Process Patterns for Personal Practice: How to succeed in developing without really trying
  • Relating Work and Education, VF72
  • Knowledge and Competence, BW90
  • Knowledge Hydrant: a pattern language for study groups
  • Effective Study, Rob70
  • Beyond Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management
  • How to Solve It: a new aspect of mathematical method; How to solve problems
  • Consciousness explained: David Dennett
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