📇 Index

Highlights

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More or less innocently, enchanted by what we could see through our new lens, we did what many discoverers do. We exaggerated our own ability to change the world. We did so not with any intent to deceive others, but in the expression of our own expectations and hopes.

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We can’t find a proper, sustainable relationship to nature, each other, or the institutions we create, if we try to do it from the role of omniscient conqueror. → You can’t predict life. Nor most systems inside it. There is more we don’t know than what we know and everything is way more complex than what we first make it out to be. So don’t fall in the trap.

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there is plenty to do, of a different sort of “doing.” The future can’t be predicted, but it can be envisioned and brought lovingly into being. Systems can’t be controlled, but they can be designed and redesigned.

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I had learned about dancing with great powers from whitewater kayaking, from gardening, from playing music, from skiing. All those endeavors require one to stay wide-awake, pay close attention, participate flat out, and respond to feedback. It had never occurred to me that those same requirements might apply to intellectual work → Apply your experience of unexpectedness to more areas of your life.

1. Get the beat.

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Before you disturb the system in any way, watch how it behaves.

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watch it work. Learn its history. Ask people

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make a time graph of actual data

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discourages the common and distracting tendency we all have to define a problem not by the system’s actual behavior, but by the lack of our favorite solution