Unwisdom is a wicked problem, especially for the younger brain.
It is, in fact, a very serious cognitive deficit. It is a wicked problem because there is no real solution. Many young brains suffer from this problem because it is largely a predicament of the younger brain ipso facto, by virtue of the fact.
Unwisdom is a very old word because it is a very old problem. It’s a wicked paradox:
TO KNOW that one does not know something is a problem that can be solved. It can be solved by acquiring the knowledge and experience that is known to be missing.
But TO NOT KNOW that one does not know something is a wicked paradox that cannot be solved within the logic of the situation. This is the problem of unwisdom.
This is why it is a relatively simple thing for a young brain to become radicalised. Yet, it is a very difficult thing to radicalise a wise and experienced brain.
The internet is a particularly fertile environment for older brains to radicalise younger brains. There the manipulation of young brains is convenient because so many unwise young brains inhabit cyberspace without protection and are online 24/7/365.
Even before the internet my own brain, for example, was radicalised by much older brains when I was 20 years of age. I was infected with a meme called The Domino Theory which was, in simple terms, “the fear of China’s hegemony”. We were told thatÂ Australia was threatened by the ‘Domino Theory’ and that we were to stop it by fighting it in Indochina. History refers to this as the American War in Vietnam. It took two years out of my life to be trained to go and fight. Then, another ten years to be forgiven for going.
Today, I still see “the fear of China’s hegemony” being used to radicalise young unwise brains but my older and wiser brain is immune and is less likely to be radicalised by these subversive influences.Â
Larry Page lives by the gospel of 10x. Most companies would be happy to improve a product by 10 percent. Not the CEO and cofounder of Google. The way Page sees it, a 10 percent improvement means that you’re basically doing the same thing as everybody else. You probably won’t fail spectacularly, but you are guaranteed not to succeed wildly.
That’s why Page expects his employees to create products and services that are 10 times better than the competition. That means he isn’t satisfied with discovering a couple of hidden efficiencies or tweaking code to achieve modest gains. Thousand-percent improvement requires rethinking problems entirely, exploring the edges of what’s technically possible, and having a lot more fun in the process.
This regimen of cheeky aspiration has made Google an extraordinary success story, changing the lives of its users while fattening the wallets of its investors. But it has also accomplished something far beyond Google itself: In an industry rife with bandwagon-hopping and strategic positioning, Page’s approach is a beacon for those who want more from their CEOs than a bloated earnings statement. While Google has made some missteps in recent years, and while its power has deservedly drawn the scrutiny of regulators and critics, it remains a flagship for optimists who believe that innovation will provide us with not just delightful gadgetry but solutions to our problems and inspiration for our dreams. For those people–and maybe for the human enterprise itself–a car that drives itself (to name one of the company’s recent tech triumphs) is a much more valuable dividend than one calculated in cents per share. There’s no question which is more important to Larry Page.
Of course, it can be challenging working for a boss whose dominant trait is dissatisfaction with the pace of progress. Astro Teller, who oversees Google X, the company’s blue-sky skunkworks division, illustrates Page’s proclivities with a parable. Teller imagines wheeling a Dr. Who time machine into Page’s office. He plugs it in and–it works! But instead of being bowled over, Page asks why it needs a plug. Wouldn’t it be better if it didn’t use power at all? “It’s not because he’s not excited about time machines or he’s ungrateful that we built it,” Teller says. “It’s just core to who he is. There’s always more to do, and his focus is on where the next 10X will come from.”
Page thought big even when he was little–he has said he always wanted to be an inventor, not just to produce gadgetry but to change the world. As an undergrad at the University of Michigan, he found inspiration in a student leadership-training program called LeaderShape, which preached “a healthy disregard for the impossible.” By the time he got to grad school at Stanford, it was a natural step for him to 10X his potential thesis idea–a tool to annotate web pages–into a search engine that transformed the web and the world. And once Google’s riotously successful ad business provided a plump financial cushion, Page was free to push for innovations that bore only a passing relationship to his core business. Google would build an email service–with 100 times the storage of competitors. Google would provide translations–for the entire web, from any language to any other. Google would give readers instant access to a global library–by scanning nearly every book ever published and putting the contents in its indexes. More recently, Google launched its own version of an ISP service–laying its own fiber and providing broadband service to Kansas City customers at 100 times industry-standard speeds.
That moon-shot mentality is the basis of Google X, which the company established in early 2010 to identify and implement once-impossible sci-fi fantasies: Hail Mary projects like the self-driving car. Or Google Glass, a wearable computing system. Or an artificial brain, in which a cluster of computers running advanced algorithms learn from the world around them, much like humans do. (In one experiment, it took only three days for a digital colony of 1,000 machines, with a billion connections, to surpass previous benchmarks in identifying photos of faces and cats.)
Page was closely involved in establishing Google X, but since he has ascended to lead the company, he can’t spend as much time there. Some Googlers wonder if Page, clearly at his happiest working on moon shots, is essentially taking one for the team by assuming the sometimes prosaic tasks of a CEO. (Talking to bureaucrats about antitrust issues, for example, is probably not his idea of a good time.)
The evidence shows, however, that Page has attacked his role with full-hearted fervor, applying the same 10X mentality to the process of running the company.
He reorganized the management team around an “L-Team” of top aides, and he relentlessly rallied employees around a sweeping effort to integrate all of Google’s offerings into a seamlessly social whole. And in the boldest move in his tenure, he engineered the $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility, one of the world’s biggest handset companies.
In one of the rare interviews he has granted as CEO, Page recently discussed thinking big and other Googley issues with Wired at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. Later that same day, Page, who turns 40 in March, announced a new philanthropic venture. After observing epidemiological behavior via Google Search’s flu-tracking service, he decided to pay for free flu shots for kids in the entire Bay Area. How 10X of him.
L to R around the table: Mr Michael Taylor AO, Sir Gus Nossal AC, Dr Graham Mitchell AO, Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson, Professor David Penington AC, Dr John Stocker AO, Mr Peter Turvey, and Ms Maria Deveson Crabbe was out of shot because she thoughtfully took the picture!
A thinker is a sovereign individual who consciously values the natural rights of thinkers. The School of Thinking supports the natural rights of thinkers. Here are ten thinkers rights which are supported by the School of Thinking.
A Universal Declaration of Thinkers Rights
1. As thinkers, we have the right to use thinking in a quiet and confident manner.
2. As thinkers, we have the right to have pride in our thinking skill.
3. As thinkers, we have the right to use that skill and to consider a “thinking reaction” rather than a reaction based on emotion or experience alone. The thinking might make use of experience and emotion, but these would be part of the thinking instead of controlling it.
4. A thinker has the right to escape from current views of situations and to search for much better views of situations.
5. A thinker has the universal right to be wrong.
6. A thinker does not have to defend a point of view at all costs. There is the right to see other points of view and the right to design a much better decision.
7. A thinker has the right to acquire wisdom or to seek it out wherever it may be found. Wisdom is quite distinct from the sort of cleverness that is taught in school. Cleverness may be useful for dealing with set puzzles or defending local truths but wisdom is required for designing a safer future.
8. A thinker has the right to get on with his or her own work and to get along with other thinkers and if things go wrong a thinker has the right to think things through and to fix them without creating a fuss.
9. A thinker has the right to spell out the factors involved in a situation and also the reasons behind a decision.
10. Above all, a thinker has the right to be asked to think about something, to focus thinking in a deliberate manner upon any subject. Thinking can be used as a tool by the thinker at will. The use of this tool can be enjoyable whatever the outcome. This applied thinking is practical—the sort of thinking that is required to get things done.