5 meta-skills to supercharge every aspect of your life

Being a specialist used to be the way forward, but the future belongs to people who can adapt to any given scenario on a dime.

It used to be the case that learning a particular trade or skill meant you could land a reliable career. These days, however, constant learning is both expected and required to stay afloat. Rather than developing competency in, say, analysis or communication, modern life demands that we become more agile and able to shift on a dime towards the particular skills that challenges require.

That is why cultivating meta-skills is so important. Meta-skills are broad capabilities that help you to develop other skills and can be applied across a wide variety of domains. As more jobs become automated, possessing these skills will be more important than ever. 

Author Marty Neumeier makes the case for investing in five particular meta-skills in his book, Meta-skills: Five Talents for the Robotic Age: Feeling, Seeing, Dreaming, Making, and Learning.

1. FEELING

Just because the future of work lies in automation doesn’t mean that the human element will be taken out of the equation. Social intelligence is going to be an even more important skill than before — with technology outperforming our more analytical talents, individuals with more empathy and other uniquely human gifts are going to bring the most value to the table.

Feeling doesn’t just refer to interpersonal skills; it also covers qualities like intuition, or the ability to arrive at a conclusion without relying on conscious reasoning. The human mind wasn’t designed to do rigorous calculations. It was, however, designed to use heuristics to quickly arrive at likely solutions that serve us well enough most of the time. Learning to lean on this skill more will help you work with others and save time and effort when developing solutions.

2. SEEING

Computers are fantastic are addressing individual problems, but they don’t do so well at addressing the big picture. This meta-skill captures humanity’s ability to strategize, to understand how the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, and to escape biases.

It’s certainly easier to simplify things done to dichotomies, but the real world is complicated and multi-dimensional. Becoming better at seeing things isn’t quite so easy and can challenge your beliefs, but doing so provides a more accurate representation of the world. In turn, seeing better provides better information to act on when navigating the modern world.

3. DREAMING

Innovation, creativity, generative talent — these skills will always be in high demand. Once rigorous, linear work is outsourced to machines, the less precise and more fanciful talents of the human mind will become the primary characteristic that employers look for.

The antithesis of this meta-skill is the idea that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It’s true that being original and trying to innovate carries risk. Your innovation might fail, or it might make things worse, but nothing is going to be improved without taking that risk on. Settling for tried-and-true solutions also means settling for mediocrity.

4. MAKING

Neumeier characterizes this meta-skill as primarily being related to design and design thinking. “Design thinking is a generative approach to solving problems,” he says. “In other words, you create answers, you don’t find answers.”

Making overlaps with dreaming to a certain extent, but its key distinction lies in the prototyping and testing of generated solutions. Rather than seeking safety and assurance in pre-existing answers, talented makers are unafraid of the messy process of producing an original solution. It’s this ability to navigate uncertain scenarios and tolerate ambiguity that makes this such a valuable and powerful meta-skill.

5. LEARNING

Neumeier describes this as the “opposable thumb” of meta-skills. Learning how to learn enables you to improve every skill in your life. Gone are the days when a 4-year degree was all you needed to excel in the world. Nowadays, constant learning is a fact of life. This doesn’t have to be laborious — not only does learning lead to greater value, but learning itself can be an intrinsically rewarding activity.

Becoming better at this skill doesn’t mean that you have to learn a subject like mathematics, for example, if you hate it. Rather, talented learners find the subjects that bring them joy and dive into them. Doing this regularly will make you more curious and hungry to learn about other topics that you may not have cared for originally.

These five meta-skills inform nearly every talent and capacity that we exercise in our daily lives. Moreover, they aren’t going to be automated anytime soon. As rapidly as technology is advancing, it’s still a far cry from the curious abilities that millions of years of evolution have gifted us with. Taking advantage of these natural and uniquely human skills is the best way to stay relevant in the changing world.

Link Original: https://bigthink.com/smart-skills/5-meta-skills/#Echobox=1640843426


why writing by hand makes kids smarter

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Writing by hand creates much more activity in the sensorimotor parts of the brain, researchers found

October 1, 2020 / Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Summary:New brain research shows that writing by hand helps children learn more and remember better. At the same time, schools are going more and more digital, and a European survey shows that Norwegian children spend the most time online of 19 countries in the EU.

Professor Audrey van der Meer at NTNU believes that national guidelines should be put into place to ensure that children receive at least a minimum of handwriting training.

Results from several studies have shown that both children and adults learn more and remember better when writing by hand.

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«PRESENCIÉ UN ASOMOBRO MARAVILLOSO» – NIÑOS EN AFGANISTÁN RECIBEN LOS PRIMEROS LIBROS

“Sé que los libros, especialmente los libros para niños, imparten sabiduría, expanden la imaginación, fomentan la empatía y la aceptación y además inspiran. Quiero dar uno de los primeros grandes pasos en Afganistán para sustituir la cultura de las armas y la violencia con la cultura de los libros, los cuentos y el aprendizaje.»

https://idriesshahfoundation.org/…/presencie-un-asombro-mar…


The synchrony between neurons in different brain hemispheres could aid behavioral adaptation

In order to survive and thrive, humans and other living organisms must continuously acquire new strategies to adapt their behavior to changing environments. Past studies suggest that the synchronization between different brain cells could create flexible brain states that facilitate behavioral adaptation to different situations.

Organisms have often been found to exhibit rhythmic neural activity that simultaneously occurs in different parts of the brain in a synchronized fashion. However, neuroscientists have not yet been able to determine whether this synchronized activity is important for specific brain functions or is merely a by-product of the way in which brain circuits are organized.

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Uma criança saudável é espontânea, barulhenta, inquieta, emotiva e colorida

Elas são livres, almas puras que tentam voar, não ficar de canto, amarradas ou com algemas.

Uma criança não nasce para estar sentada, vendo televisão ou brincando com o tablet. Uma criança não quer estar calada o tempo todo.

Elas precisam se mexer, explorar, encontrar novidades, criar aventuras e descobrir o mundo que as rodeia. Elas estão aprendendo, são esponjas, brincalhonas natas, caçadoras de tesouros, terremotos em potencial.

Elas são livres, almas puras que tentam voar, não ficar de canto, amarradas ou com algemas. Não as façamos escravas da vida adulta, da pressa e da escassez de imaginação dos mais velhos.

Não as apressemos ao nosso mundo de desencanto, potencializemos a sua capacidade de se surpreender. Precisamos garantir que tenham uma vida emocional, social e cognitiva rica de conteúdos, de perfumes de flores, de expressão sensorial, de alegrias e de conhecimentos.

O que se passa no cérebro de uma criança quando brinca?

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Subhash Kak: ‘It is wrong to assume that consciousness is just a computation’

 

 

 

 

 

Subhash Kak, who was recently awarded the Padma Shri for science & engineering-technology, says India needs to move from rote learning to critical thinking. Each generation needs to reinvent itself, says the Regents professor emeritus, Oklahoma State University, US, whose research covers the fields of neural networks, cryptography and quantum computing.

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Artificial Intelligence System Learns the Fundamental Laws of Quantum Mechanics

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence can be used to predict molecular wave functions and the electronic properties of molecules. This innovative AI method developed by a team of researchers at the University of Warwick, the Technical University of Berlin and the University of Luxembourg, could be used to speed-up the design of drug molecules or new materials.

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