Monday, January 10, 2005

What Do You Believe? is otherwise known as the World Question Center. This year's big one is a question of faith: "What do you believe is true even though you cannot prove it?"

Daniel Goleman's answer talks about declining emotional well-being of kids over the last couple of decades and he advances many of the usual suspects: social isolation, technology dependence, decreased family support because of geographic mobility and overly regimented play. He also talks about the effects of economic progress:
"For one, the ratcheting upward of global competition means that over the last two decades or so each generation of parents has had to work longer to maintain the same standard of living that their own parents had —- virtually every family has two working parents today, while 50 years ago the norm was only one. It's not that today's parents love their children any less, but that they have less free time to spend with them than was true in their parents' day."
I also liked Roger Schank's take on how we make irrational (and important) decisions. If this is true, can decision-making be improved through learning and reflection?
"People believe that are behaving rationally and have thought things out, of course, but when major decisions are made—who to marry, where to live, what career to pursue, what college to attend, people's minds simply cannot cope with the complexity. When they try to rationally analyze potential options, their unconscious, emotional thoughts take over and make the choice for them."

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