My favorite part of being an independent writer and speaker is the freedom to follow a thread. The more you engage with your environment and expand your radius the more experiences you bring back to your writing, speaking engagements, or endeavors.
It isn't about only looking for confirmatory science or facts to reinforce your strongly held beliefs.
Think of your values and convictions as a rock. A large steadfast rock. Now pick up the rock and look underneath. Do you see all the squiggly bugs bursting with activity? That is where I am planting my flag.
Biases, heuristics, and subjective considerations are certainly not all wrong or bad. The trick is knowing when you may be unintentionally filtering out entire perspectives or opposing views.
Don't click if a few naughty words make you come unglued but one of my favorite songs by Gorillaz--Clint Eastwood-- has this lyric, "Y'all can see me now 'cause you don't see with your eye
You perceive with your mind". This reminds me of the importance of using all of your senses when making important determinations.
Sebastian Seung is mapping a massively ambitious new model of the brain that focuses on the connections between each neuron. He calls it our "connectome," and it's as individual as our genome — and understanding it could open a new way to understand our brains and our minds.--The Connectome
Synapses can be created, and they can be eliminated.And synapses can grow larger, and they can grow smaller. Second question: what causes these changes? Well, it's true. To some extent, they are programmed by your genes. But that's not the whole story, because there are signals, electrical signals, that travel along the branches of neurons and chemical signals that jump across from branch to branch. These signals are called neural activity.
And there's a lot of evidence that neural activity is encoding our thoughts, feelings and perceptions, our mental experiences. And there's a lot of evidence that neural activity can cause your connections to change. And if you put those two facts together, it means that your experiences can change your connectome. And that's why every connectome is unique, even those of genetically identical twins. The connectome is where nature meets nurture. And it might true that just the mere act of thinking can change your connectome -- an idea that you may find empowering.
The connectome of C. elegans...
Based on an analysis of prior research, the Johns Hopkins study estimates that more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical errors. On the CDC's official list, that would rank just behind heart disease and cancer, which each took about 600,000 lives in 2014, and in front of respiratory disease, which caused about 150,000 deaths.--NPR, Medical Errors Are No. 3 Cause Of U.S Deaths, Researchers Say
"There has just been a higher degree of tolerance for variability in practice than you would see in other industries"--Researchers: Medical errors now third leading cause of death in United States
Sharpen your perception, change your life (and opinions)
No surprise, diagnostic skills improved. Her book, Visual Intelligence, describes programs in medicine, law enforcement, and even the military. The title of this post originated from an alternative title for the book. If you are a stakeholder in the healthcare industry you have been bombarded about advances in healthcare technology. Therein may be the problem. Doctors are increasingly reliant on technology. Once laboratory values, imaging results, or data has been reviewed, the patient is often afforded only a quick confirmatory glance. In clinical education we were always taught "when you hear hoofbeats--think horses not zebras". A useful heuristic but the confirmatory biases can stack up at an alarming rate.
The truth of the matter? By the time our eyes perceive, our brains are already processing the information. Amy suggests, that a lack of visual intelligence is the biggest chasm between what we see and how we communicate what we see. It is possible to learn to frame questions to illicit the information that we need--be as specfic as possible and frame questions with objectivity and clarity. Because the brain is unable to handle the amount of information we encounter on a daily basis--we tend to filter out what we feel we don't need. The damage occurs when we are inert to conflicting information, details, or nuances.
Listen to the interview with Amy on The Leonard Lopate Show. She describes the William Eggleston photograph of a freezer as a compelling example of perception and inference. We have observations from all of our senses to inform our perceptions. It is those perceptions that inform inferences. Amy provides the line between our perception that the freezer has been neglected but cautions against the assumption--the owner is a slob. Does the information we are provided visually support the inference? Or are we bringing our own heuristics to the inference. We need more information.
"I envision a future in which educational expectations and professional competency obligations are aligned and integrated and in which all physicians have an educational “home” that helps them navigate their continuing growth — so that education is intertwined with practice throughout their careers."
"...we find only the world we look for" Henry David Thoreau