Issue# 5 – 09/05/2021
Five levels of remote work | Work smarter | Study habits for different types of learners | Religion and aliens | Cognitive Biases and Deep Learning | Water bodies on Mars | Increasing the noise by taking notes
It has been almost six months since the last issue of Yntro. Time goes fast! Fortunately, I’ve been busy with different types of projects. But I didn’t want to leave Yntro in a hiatus, I really enjoy doing research and writing for it, but mostly it motivates me to know that it provides value to its readers.
However, I will turn Yntro into a monthly newsletter to have time to gather enough information for each issue. Hope you enjoy it.
On to Yntro!
Five levels of remote work
The CEO of Automattic, the company that owns WordPress a popular tool for making websites, points out that there are five levels of remote work. In which level are you?
- Level 1: Non-Deliberate Action Nothing deliberate has been done by the company to support remote work. Employees can still keep the ball rolling somewhat if they’re at home for a day. They’ll put off most things until they’re back in the office.
- Level 2: Recreating the Office Online Teams ultimately end up recreating online, how they work in the office. Hyper-responsiveness is expected of all employees, leaving them wired to desktop. People are still expected to be online from 9 to 5.
- Level 3: Adapting to the medium The company starts to adapt and take advantage of the online medium. Effective written communication becomes critical to embrace remote work. Meetings are set to 15 minutes by default. They are never used just to communicate information.
- Level 4: Asynchronous Communication Asynchronous communication allow people to think and respond whenever works for them. It predisposes people to making better decisions. ‘I’ll get to it when it suits me.’ This is the nature of asynchronous communication.
- Level 5: ‘Nirvana’ This is where your distributed team works better than any in-person team ever could.
Working from home is, for the moment, a privilege and not a right for many, so let’s be more intentional about how we work. We should be able to show that we can be more productive away from the office, and earn the right to work from wherever we please more often.
You probably read or been told that to be productive you should organize all your tasks in a list, a to-do list. But if you want to learn a simple productivity hack instead of a to-do list, you need to have a success list. This is a list that is purposefully created to achieve extraordinary results. To-do lists tend to be long, full of unrelated tasks that pulls you in all directions; success lists are short and aims you in a specific direction. Productivity is not about how much you do, but rather, what you do. It’s about being clear of your intentions and taking deliberate steps towards something meaningful.
Study habits for different types of learners
Each person learns through a combination of seeing, hearing, and experiencing (kinesthetic). Research has shown that people who study in a way that supports their learning style can perform better.
- Visual learners are those who learn through seeing. They usually dream in color, understand visual elements and charts, and are able to learn sign easily.
- Auditory learners are those who learn best through hearing. They prefer to read out loud, are unafraid to speak in class, notice sound effects in movies, are able to follow spoken directions and struggle to stay quiet for long periods of time.
- Kinesthetic learners are those who learn through hands-on experience. They are good at sports, study with loud music and may have sloppy handwriting.
Religion and aliens
What happens to religion when we find aliens? Cosmic Pluralism, the belief that many worlds, planets, moons, and even the sun could contain life, is a centuries-old philosophical belief that appeared heavily in the medieval era. Currently, 84 percent of the world’s population believes in a God and subscribes to a religious belief. Trying to anticipate what people’s reactions to extraterrestrial life might look like; in 2016 the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton got a million dollar grant to thinking about how finding life could affect the ways that a majority of believers, will think about God. Nevertheless, they found that when this encounters happen, and if they do, they won’t create panic instead it will align with some affirmation and beliefs of some of the most numerous religions.
Cognitive biases and Deep Learning
The Barnum Effect in psychology is when an individual believes that personality descriptions apply specifically to them, for example, reading your horoscope in a newspaper and realizing it’s surprisingly accurate. This trick being used for years with psychics, magicians, palm readers, horoscopes and now on digital media platforms. Companies are becoming smarter with customer data and can easily create content that feels tailored for you, but instead sometimes it’s just a generic frame which is then filled with your data to make us feel special.
On the technological side, Deep Learning has become an inescapable part of our lives. From Netflix and YouTube recommendations to language translation engines, from facial recognition and medical diagnosing to self-driving cars, there is no sphere that Deep Learning has not touched. The Gaming market also played a significant role in this revolution, with companies like NVIDIA and AMD investing heavily in super computing to deliver a high-end virtual experience.
Water bodies on the surface of Mars
Several liquid bodies have been found under the south pole of Mars. The discovery was made using the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding, which is onboard the Mars Express spacecraft sent by the European Space Agency to orbit around Mars. The data appears to indicate that the bodies are “hypersaline solutions”, high concentrations of salt are dissolved in water, which is perhaps the reason they are able to stay liquid despite the very cold conditions of Mars’s south pole.
Increasing the noise by taking notes
Most of us are guilty of saving articles or videos to enjoy them later, or even highlighting paragraphs to save them in a Word document. But taking notes or saving information without a clear purpose is misunderstanding gathering with learning, at the end it will only increase the noise and decrease the signal; that means that you are filling up your digital library with garbage.
The closest invertebrate genetic relative of humans is a small creature known as the star ascidian or golden star tunicate. We have more in common, genetically speaking, with this tiny chordate than with a spider, octopus or cockroach.
I hope you found, at least, one of these ideas interesting or useful. Let me know if you have a topic in mind that I should look for and write about.
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You can read the past issues of Yntro here
Have a great week!