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    nmw 18:49:07 on 2016/06/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , advisors, , , , citation analysis, , , , , few, , , , , , , , many, , , sample, sampling, , , ,   

    Don’t Listen to One Single Piece of Good Advice — Listen to Many 

    Several months ago, I mentioned on one of my other blogs that I enjoy listening to Gretchen Rubin’s „Happier“ podcast. I still do, even though I think content sponsored by advertising is by and large fake.

    Recently, Gretchen (and Elizabeth) asked her (their) listeners what the best piece of advice was that they ever got. I responded (they asked for people to phone in their comments – I think my remarks may have arrived a little too late for episode 70, but perhaps they might appear in episode 71(?).

    This was the gist of my message: Don’t Listen to One Single Piece of Good Advice — Listen to Many!

    This is also something Jason Calacanis mentioned in a recent episode of his „This Week in Startups“ podcast, but I can’t remember which one – that you should never rely on just one source of information. I remember thinking as I listened to Jason (and of course I had heard such advice decades before from many of my school teachers): „does that mean if you search for information you will not only listen to Google?“ Stange as it may seem, my hunch is that for the vast majority of the population, this is not the case. Indeed, my experience has been that most people will only search for information using Google’s algorithms – if they do not see anything that appeals to them via Google, they will assume that no such thing exists.

    Incidentally, there is also another kind of parochialism that I feel is closely related to this fanatical belief in Google’s scoring algorithm. In a recent episode published by HBR’s „Ideacast” podcast, Todd Rose was interviewed about a book he had recently written (” The End of Average: How to Succeed in a World That Values Sameness”) about measurement and statistics. His argument echoes something I have long held to be true (and I think I recall that one of my comments regarding this matter also appeared on a German radio program – perhaps 5 or more years ago).

    Oddly, Google fan-boys (and fan-girls, too, of course) often overlook the fact that Google also ranks results according to such „cooked“ statistics. In fact the situation is even worse: when Google calculates its metrics for websites, then those metrics are applied regardless of how relevant they are (or aren’t). So while SAT scores attempt to measure both mathematical ability and verbal ability, Google’s statistical measurement for quality (which was shown to be totally bogus decades ago) is applied whether or not the source is reliable for the search query. It is essentially a „one-size fits-all“ metric (which also happens to be totally unreliable). Yet very few people really care, because most people use Google mainly to search for domain names anyways (in other words: they „search“ for ebay because they are too lazy to type in ebay.com. I bet if people stopped doing that, then the reduction in energy required might actually reduce global warming significantly! 😉

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    feedwordpress 15:38:17 on 2013/12/25 Permalink
    Tags: , , advisors, , , coach, coaches, coaching, , execution, executive, executives, , , , , , , , , , , , , podcast, podcasts, , purposes, , Ted Ernst Sarvata, , ,   

    Looking Back, Looking Forward 

    Listening to some Dire Straits, I figure I might as well go down to the water line… ;)

    This year has been tremendous! :D This year has been stupendous!! 8O This year has been a blast and a half!!!

    I won’t recount everything, mostly because I don’t want to embarrass everyone. :P I will stop with the stupid smileys, though — in case you’re almost ready to pull out all of your hair ;) )….

    I choose to highlight one thing in particular: My friend Ted Ernst Sarvata‘s new podcast, the Purpose Podcast. I’ve been listening since he started it this past summer, and now I think I’ve figured out one of my purposes in life: To get people out of the way — of each other, and also out of the way of other forms of life. I have been deeply influenced by very many very smart people in this… and it was not a completely straightforward insight (at least not for me), and so I’d like to explain my thinking at least a little bit… or at least I’d like to try to do that!

    So here goes: There are (surpise, surprise!) some people who are simply letting their badness run wild, they don’t seem to be able to reign it in, and they make life difficult for us nice guys! I simply want to get them out of the way.

    One of the people who has influenced my thinking is entirely unknown to me. This person wrote an article titled: “Why I’m Not a Leader (and Why You Shouldn’t Be Either)“. I hope Sean Werkema will get a trackback (and maybe even sign up / join TAGSEO — and I also think you should join, too!).

    I think Sean put it very well, and whatever school turned him down must have too many too conservative thinkers to be a place to learn some new tricks!

    For Ted, I would add that I now guess that the Wisdom of the Language is probably a tool to achieve this purpose — but I am not sure. Maybe someday we can chat on the phone, and if he can record it, he can ask me questions and I could try to give somewhat coherent answers and/or explain something that still seems to be stuck in my brain as if it were molasses or some other strange gooey syrup.

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