Dalton

Writer, thinker, video editor, and developer. I study history and science to understand how we got to now and write about what I learn.


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The Bookshelf is a weekly newsletter for the most thoughtful wonderers in the world. I share the the books, people, and ideas that made the world what it is today.

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Links: Week of 04-08-22
Published: 5/17/2022, 12:03:12 AM

The Kind of Smarts You Don't Find in Young People, The Atlantic

One of the main frustrations between the young people and older people in the workplace, that I've observed at least, is the dichotomy between trying new things/innovating and sticking to what has always been done. Young people, fresh out of college and with a lot of new ideas wants to try new things. People who are more experienced preach the benefits of "sticking to the method." Interestingly, most of the discourse I've seen on hiring explains the values of hiring young because of their skills for innovation. But this article from The Atlantic argues most companies don't just need more innovation, they also need more wisdom.

Researchers had long noted that some skills—analysis and innovation, for example—tend to rise quickly very early in life and then fall through one’s 30s and 40s. Meanwhile, one’s knack for combining complex ideas, understanding what they mean, and relating them to others rises throughout middle age and can stay high well into old age.


Create For Just One Hour Each Day, More to That

So the key is to continue cultivating the patience required to show up each day, knowing that the fruits of your labor will arrive long after you’ve sown the seeds.


One Parenting Decision That Really Matters, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, The Atlantic

I'm not close to the life stage of having kids, more just thinking about when and how I want to have kids. I've always wondered, as a parent, what really affects your kids life? I don't think it's academics or extra curricular. I've always hypothesizes that it's the friends your kids makes. The people who your kid spends time with really matters. This article doesn't prove that, but your could argue for that potentially. I really liked this one.

In fact, putting together the different numbers, I have estimated that some 25 percent—and possibly more—of the overall effects of a parent are driven by where that parent raises their child. In other words, this one parenting decision has much more impact than many thousands of others.


New Ways to Measure Science, Samuel Arbesman, Wired

The idea of measuring one's contribution to science or academics by the amount of academic papers published has never made sense to me. But honestly, most things in this world don't. That's why I was excited to see Arbesman argue for a different metric. Helpfulness. Or, as Jason Priem has coined, "altmetrics."

Political Parties. Interesting...
Published: 5/16/2022, 3:42:04 PM

Below is a bit of a political ramble as I'm trying to understand the political system (and Americans in general) more and more. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this lately and am trying to come to terms with a philosophy. Below is what I think are the roots of something important. I'm scared to hit publish on this because I'm not sure what the response will be. If you disagree, agree, or have thoughts, I'd love to hear them. Just please keep them rational and kind.


Political, what?

The last presidential election was the first one I was old enough to vote for. Before then, I wasn't much of a political person, and I'm still not, but I did want to educate myself a bit more on political parties and some common ideas before pledging my very important vote.

As I studied more and more, I could not understand the idea of a political parties. I find it very troublesome when anyone outsources their linking to someone else. Political parties, on the most basic level, seem to be exactly that. Someone has a few beliefs about something, looks at which party identifies with those beliefs the closest, and then assumes that identity. The practical next steps of this scenario is that the person who adopted this party based on a few things they actually believed now assumes they believe everything that party stands for, whether or not they've done the intellectual research to take a stand on that specific topic or not.

This kills any nuance in political conversations, and therefore ruins those fun family dinners around the holidays when people from opposing parties are forced to eat from the same turkey. And that's what bothers me. Someone on the left thinks everyone on the right are evil and someone on the right thinks everyone on the left are crazy. There is no nuance in political discussions.

The only ads I see during election season are bashing the opposer and not promoting the policies and ideas of the candidate the advertisement was made for. So now, instead of being influenced by what someone plans to do in office, people are influenced by whichever story they believe the most about the opposite person. This is not a good thing.

The biggest problem that I see nowadays is the lack of important, structured debate on important issues. When a culture lacks the ability to have mature conversations about hot-button topics, the only road that lies ahead leads to stupidity with a dash of ignorance.

I'm not arguing for one side or the other. I think people who are radical on both sides of the political spectrum are important to have in the American democracy, as long those people can keep an open mind, admit when they're wrong, and be honest about the fact that no one really knows the best path forward. We're all just taking bets and hoping we're in a better place in 100 years than we were 100 years ago. If we knew what the right answer is, I don't think we'd be arguing.