The dangers of apophenia: not everything happens for a reason

Humans love patterns. Sometimes that’s helpful, but other times… Not so much. Apophenia is the common tendency to detect patterns that do not exist. Also known as “patternicity”, apophenia occurs when we try to make predictions, or seek answers, based on unrelated events. Apophenia can lead to poor decision-making. For instance, many people choose their …

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Weak arguments and how to spot them

We consume an inordinate amount of information, whether it’s blog posts, podcasts, social media content, online videos — a constant stream of data and claims we need to process and assess. When you are pressed for time, how can you quickly tell the difference between a strong argument and a weak argument, and why does …

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The TEA framework of productivity: managing your time, energy, and attention

A few weeks ago, I was having dinner with fellow founders, and I learned about a productivity method that’s deceptively simple but incredibly powerful: the TEA framework, which stands for time, energy, and attention. This approach feels appealing because it is rooted in essential human principles, rather than creating the artificial need for a complex …

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How developing mental immunity can protect us from bad ideas

Every day, a new video goes “viral”, and an “infectious” idea starts spreading. Mental immunity is a psychological theory that is also known as cognitive immunology. With origins dating back 70 years, this field of research is based on the premise that not only is there an immune system for the body, but an immune …

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The emerging theory of authentic leadership

Being “authentic” has become a bit of an overused buzzword, and has lost some of its meaning. However, despite the concept not being fully mature in a theoretical or experimental sense, early research has shown that authentic leadership may improve team performance compared to traditional management. Authentic leadership is an emerging theory that encourages managers …

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Mae Jemison: the power of developing multifaceted skills

Mae Jemison is the first African American woman to orbit the earth. She knew that she wanted to be a scientist since kindergarten. Not only did she grow up reading books about space, but she also loved science fiction books where black women were the heroes of the story. At 16, Jemison graduated from high …

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Rosalind Franklin: the power of unbounded curiosity

Rosalind Franklin was a groundbreaking scientist whose story is tied to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA. Franklin and her Ph.D. student used x-ray technology to photograph DNA that showed the molecule’s structure. However, when two other well-known scientists published a paper about the double-helix findings, they never gave Franklin credit for her …

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Vera Rubin: The power of evidence-based visual thinking

Vera Rubin was a powerhouse in astrophysics, though she rarely gets the credit she deserves. Rubin is responsible for discovering dark matter, which makes up 84% of the material that exists in the universe. Born in 1928, a young Vera became enthralled with space while staring at the stars outside her bedroom window. After receiving …

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