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We Seek Newsletter No.46

Hyper-Meritocracy • MIT Media Lab • Literature • Squiggles • Airbnb

Overall a quicker read this month, all articles but one are 5 minute reads and under. Good occasion to read the whole thing!

Welcome to the Hyper-Meritocracy

The Mission • 5 min read

Interesting framing; “the new wage gap is between computers and humans. Every day it costs technology less and less to do the same task a person is doing.” What is scarce and not scarce skills wise, where opportunities will be and the author’s approach to acquiring the right “foundational skills that underpin adaptability.”

More than these skills, however, I need to find a personal operating system that helps me overcome adversity and reduce my ego.

MIT Media Lab’s 4Ps of Learning

Faris • 3 min read

The playful learning at MIT’s Media Lab, how play changes our brains and the Lab’s 4Ps; Projects: learn by doing, Peers: learn from others and by teaching others, Passion: do things you are interested in, Play: make it fun and make time to play.

How games are the only medium that require you to make decisions, which makes them ideal for learning, since you are constantly making predictions and then testing them.

The straight road or the squiggly path? Choose the right one.

Ian Sanders • 3 min read

Are you following a set career path or your interests? Sanders advocates for the “squiggly” lines of curiosity, experimentation, randomness and serendipity.

On my road-trip-career, curiosity has been my compass. It’s allowed me to take those random left turns, to go where the water flows, to follow unplanned opportunities. And in that ball of spaghetti, I’ve added new strings to my bow, I’ve experimented, I’ve reinvented myself, I’ve tried my hand at new things.

Stories for Cultural Change

E-180 • 7 min read

“As a business anthropologist, I’ve heard a good many stories over the years. While some might consider stories an occupational hazard, I think about their potential in strengthening organizations. Whether a story sheds light on an organizational success or a perennial problem, it can be a valuable source of cultural insight.”

What We Can Learn From The Laboratory of Literature

Farnam Street Blog • 5 min read

Weaving works by Eco and Sartre; on the extraordinary value of literature, how it extends what we can feel, what we can experience and the conditions we can empathize with.

Literature opens us up to a wider range of emotions. We learn to shift our perspective by putting ourselves in the shoes of others. We learn about who we are and who we want to be. And we experience the second order consequences of choices without having to live them ourselves.

Digital Literacy is about power

literacies • 3 min read

There is power in defining a literacy, and a digital literacy framework. Who makes the decisions, the context, what the framework privileges, etc. all need to be taken into account. Reminds me of some debates around AI and algorithms in general; they are not neutral, we need to know what/who went in their definition so we can properly understand them.

Every time we say someone is ‘literate’, we’re making a value judgement, and betraying a particular way of viewing the world. As we append literacy to all kinds of domains and use it in a metaphorical sense — health literacy, financial literacy, digital literacy — this becomes ever more problematic. We privilege certain types of knowledge, skills, and behaviours, and simultaneously (perhaps without realising it) deprecate others.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Self-Directed Learning

Write Learning • 4 min read

This one might be a bit more for parents as it relates to how kids are already self-directed learners and the author’s view of how this works but it’s also a good refresher for anyone, reminding us we are born learners. And hey, he ends with a Neil deGrasse Tyson video so all good!

However, natural learning (another label!) is in reality much more spontaneous, random, and purposeless (in the best possible sense of that word). The term “self-directed learning” is, on one level, a ridiculous attempt to convey the process by which human beings naturally live and grow.

Further Reading


Photo by Diego de Los Campos in the IDEO article on being obsessively organized.

Patrick Tanguay

Editor-in-Chief for E-180 Publications. Obsessively curious transdisciplinary thinker and learner. I help connect people and ideas.