The Power of Multi-Disciplinary Thinking

  • How can we make better decisions?
    • One needs to take control of their own life and put time into self-learning.
  • How can we take a more multi-disciplinary approach to making decisions?
    • The world has to be multi-disciplinary, especially when it comes to making decisions.
    • You can't think about one specific domain when making a decision: you need to be a generalist and a specialist at the same time.
    • It's helpful to have a formal process while making decisions.
    • We value the information that we're getting- as if we have some special insights. Google offers a lot more confidence because we think we understand a lot more than we do. The easily accessible information is "priced in", it's a baseline knowledge. So to learn more, we need to go above just a couple of Google searches.
  • How can we practice linking ideas from one discipline to another so we get out of this "domain dependence"?
    • Often we see a problem in a certain context and therefore we can't recognize it outside of the context it is in.
    • Building a repository of such multi-disciplinary examples in our head is extremely important when it comes to innovating and solving those problems.
    • The best way to invent, create and learn is to make connections. [[Curators are the New Creators]]
  • System of checks and balances in place to ensure we don't repeat mistakes in the future.
    • Organizations are doomed to make the same mistakes because they're not encouraging people to learn.
    • If we don't have a structured process to get feedback from our decisions, then we will continue to make those same mistakes.
  • You need to take what other people do and chew on it, and make it your own. It's not about copying people - it's about modifying processes to work for you.
    • This could be a mental checklist.
    • It could be a conversation with someone, especially if they're issues or decisions that deal with other people.
  • What can we do to become more aware of our decision making process and the forces that drive our behaviour?
    • Consciousness about how we make decisions and how we repeatedly make decisions.
    • When you're faced with a decision, take a piece of paper and write them down: what do I think the range of outcomes are? probabilities and key variables?
    • You can see gaps in the information you have - and then you can seek out counseling from other people/places, and get the missing information.
    • Decisions of consequence need a structure, you can't afford to make mistakes while moving fast. Investing in a decision making process is going to effect your future in large magnitudes.
  • The worst is when the outcome is good, but it doesn't happen for the reasons you thought it happened. You aren't just wrong but you're rewarded for being wrong.
    • This is where a [[feedback loop]] is important to get better.
    • Shane keeps a decision journal he reviews every few months to understand these successes and failures in the decision making process.
    • Direct learning, and then reflection are two important processes.
  • What is a good process for selecting books we read?
    • We learn from experience, ours or others. Talking to people is one way to learn from their experience. Experiencing things is another way to learn from ourselves.
    • When we read books, we experience other people's views as well as our own. This is a process by which we can improve our experiences in total, learn about things, develop empathy for other people's processes and put that information into our "learning bucket".
    • Follow your curiosity.: read the books you want to read, follow a path of curiosity based on what you want to learn and the things that are interesting.
    • [[don't read what everyone else is reading]]
      • As we read more and more, we get less inclined to pick up the books that everyone else is buying. A lot of what are best sellers today are going to disappear in 10 or 20 years, thought they may be relevant today. They don't contain real nuggets of knowledge.
      • There's a reason books from the 80s and 90s are still in print, because they've stood the test of time. If you're going to invest time in learning, the way to do that is to think about what makes the most sense for us.
    • It is tricky to build a general repository of knowledge.
    • Study things that have stood the test of time. What stands the test of time?
      • Human nature hasn't really changed much, even if it does, it changes very slowly. Gravity hasn't change, and it isn't going to change any time soon - so it's worth learning.
      • You don't want to spend time on things that don't withstand the change of time, or replicate in a few years. It's not optimal learning, even if it isn't a waste.
    • Be conscious about what you're reading, and what you want to learn. We get into a groove and have all this inertia - we don't step out of the frame to think of why we're doing something or whether we're actually getting better.
    • What are some big-ideas that connect between multiple disciplines? How do we fool ourselves with information and processes and the biases that are inherent in human nature? How do we learn from history?
    • All ideas are old ideas reframed, so if we learn about the old ideas, the new ways to frame the old ideas hone and deepen our fluency of those ideas.
    • If you see the same idea in different contexts, it's easier to internalize and understand everything. It's easier to make connections and see things three-dimensionally.
    • It's unfair to force people to read, because you're not interested in from within. So how can we find books that speak to us, and our journeys?
    • Reference to [[Meditations - Marcus Aurelius]]
      • The book doesn't change, but we do between the times that we read the same thing. It speaks to us in different stages of our lives.
    • The book is mainly about dealing with adversity, but if you're not dealing with adversity, it doesn't have the same meaning. It's important to have knowledge from books that are dealing with what you're struggling with so that you recognize that these problems are complex and can gain wisdom from people who already have dealt with this.
    • Instead of running out and getting what is popular on Amazon, we should think about a general topic, and then look up what's been written and what's stood the test of time.
    • Develop a filter for your books. It's okay if the filter evolves, and the system evolves to finding books. We can wait for the time we're ready to learn about the thing the book talks about and then proceed to read it, it doesn't have to be immediate. You need to be in a place where you want to read the thing you're reading.
    • [[Charlie Munger]]
      • Thinking at things in a different level from most people. Mastering the best that other people have figured out?
      • "Let's copy models of success but modify it for ourselves specifically."
    • Mixing business and psychology and doing better than either would be individually.
    • By mixing them together, you get a result that's non-linear to each thing individually.
      • The world is multi-disciplinary: understanding things and mixing them together, and feeling the weights of what matters and what doesn't is incredibly important. If you don't know those disciplines, you're going to be a "one legged man in an ass kicking contest".
  • [[The Importance of Reflection]] in our daily lives - we need a [[feedback loop]] to make rational decisions. We need to reflect on the successes and failures in the things we do to do them better in the future.
  • Reference to [[Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl]]
    • The last of your freedoms is the freedom to choose how you respond any situation.
    • Life is variable, there's nobody who doesn't go through ups and downs. But if you have the knowledge of other people, it allows you the ability to live a better life.
  • How do you navigate the challenge of putting work online without losing the essence of what is being said?
    • Cover evergreen things- it should withstand the test of time. Don't talk about things that are going viral. People don't need more of what's being shared already, because then it becomes less relevant.
    • Checks and balances to make sure we're not going astray from what we wanted in the first place.
    • Word of mouth is important, it's less about advertising than making sure the knowledge that's put out is worth listening to.
    • Deal with problems you are attracted to.
    • The people you're working with are extremely important, because they too bring different approaches into thinking.
    • Follow your curiosity, follow the things you want to do and then you'll be able to combine those disciplines.
    • It can be challenging to be around people who know different things than you but it is worth the challenge later.
  • How can we change the educational system? What is the future of learning?
    • Mixing disciplines together instead of teaching them so separately.
    • We learn things in silos and then have a hard time applying them. If you learn them in a more connected way, then it'll vastly help our learning process.
    • Apply the lessons you're learning in other things.
  • Shane Parrish on Meta Learn