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danz

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Reply with quote  #31 

Stephen,

I rarely encounter professional opinions or reasoning without being affected by emotions. My nature, my type of education, my professional ego or certain environment are sources of emotions that can affect my judgment. Controlling my own emotions or balancing them with the discernment it always provides a better analytic output. In terms of communication, perceiving my audience emotions, anticipating emotional development, I can better adapt my communication strategy. I've improved both analytical thinking and communication skills by being aware of emotional intelligence.

Ethical thinking on the other hand is related to what we perceive as moral or right or fair or ethic. Common sense, common values, virtues can be treated as well in this category.

In my opinion emotional intelligence and ethical thinking are different perspectives. So, yes, they should be treated separately.

Dan

sfew

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Reply with quote  #32 
Thanks Dan. I haven't read Emotional Intelligence, but I'll read it now.
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Stephen Few
barrymcconnell

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Reply with quote  #33 
Two more references I would add are "Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity" by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn, and "the War of Art" by Stephen Pressfield.

I can't count how many times I've seen clear, unambiguous results muddied by overly complex renditions. Simple helps cut through the nonsense.

War of Art is helpful in unlocking creativity which is an important aspect of good visual design.

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Barry
sfew

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Reply with quote  #34 
Barry,

Thanks for the book suggestions. Simple by Siegel and Etzkorn is a wonderful book, which I reviewed favorably in my blog. I certainly agree that every data sensemaker should read it, but I think it falls outside of this particular curriculum. As I see it, the ability to simplify content without oversimplifying it is a craft, not a type of thinking. I haven't read The War of Art by Pressfield. My favorite book about creativity is Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Seeing What Others Don't by Gary Klein, which are both deeply rooted in research. I'll take a look at Pressfield's book and consider adding a section to the curriculum about creative thinking.

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Stephen Few
sfew

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Reply with quote  #35 
Neil,

You make a good case for the addition of "design thinking" as a topic. It really does deserve separate treatment and there are several good books that could be used, including the Don Norman's classic, The Design of Everyday Things.

Subject matter about "what and how to measure" would be covered in the final "Data Sensemaking" section, which would focus on signal detection.

The "problem-based learning" approach would definitely be incorporated into the in-person workshop, which I'm now thinking could occur after all of the readings were done.

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Stephen Few
sfew

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Reply with quote  #36 
Janne,

I have read Plato's Dialogues--some, not all--and agree that his dialectical approach to learning could be a useful way to help people engage with this content.  If I ever decide to write a book that combines these topics, I'll consider this approach.

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Stephen Few
jefski78

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Reply with quote  #37 
Neil's comments on Design Thinking brought to mind the idea of Creative Thinking, as did another recent unrelated article.  I agree wholeheartedly with all of the recommendations you've made for this course and expect them to be immensely valuable.  Perhaps this is already included, but in case it's useful to you, here's a bit of what I mean:  the kind of thinking that leads to what some call "flashes of insight" or "leaps of the imagination."  Perhaps Whole Brain Thinking will cover this, although it seems worth maintaining a thread throughout the course.  For example, Systems Thinking can provide excellent triggers for creative ideas because it inherently brings a new viewpoint.  Scientific Thinking defines clear boundaries, so we should remember to question where those boundaries should be placed.  Logical Thinking can help identify possibilities that perhaps we wouldn't have considered otherwise.

Looking forward to seeing how this progresses.  Thanks for all you do!
Jeff

koalabearski

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Reply with quote  #38 
Thank you for creating a curriculum that is as complex as it should be.  It helps me understand how I can feel that I am still at a very basic level of understanding with statistical analysis and yet feel competent as an analyst given my wide interests that include philosophy, economics, and programming.  It's a little difficult to stay well rounded while avoiding becoming a dilettante.  My main concern is usually that I spread myself too thin when learning and I think this curriculum can help me tie everything together nicely.

My suggestion for the part on logic is to try either one of two books.  I really liked How to Win Every Argument: Uses and Abuses of Logic by Madsen Pirie.  It's irreverent and acknowledges the full spectrum of arguments people make, good and bad, better than other books I've seen.  My only critique is that it's structured alphabetically, so it's a reference first and a teaching tool second.  I don't have a title for the second book, but wanted to point to a type of book I've come across.  I've taken courses in formal logic, and more practical reasoning, and I've always thought that the practical reasoning course stayed with me longer since you can really get carried away manipulating symbols with formal courses.  I'd search for "critical reasoning" or "practical arguments" to get a sense of the books that helped me in those courses.  They usually have plenty of examples and are really eye-opening.
sfew

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Reply with quote  #39 
Koalaberski,

Thanks for the recommendations. I've now order Madsen Pirie's book. I wholeheartedly share your preference for books on logic that focus on practical argumentation rather than the use of formal logic symbols.

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Stephen Few
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