Noise and Signal Edition
The three stories that caught my eye this week are:
At Farnam Street, in an excerpt from Nicholas Nassim Taleb book Antifragile, we learn about noise and signal:
In business and economic decision-making, data causes severe side effects —data is now plentiful thanks to connectivity; and the share of spuriousness in the data increases as one gets more immersed into it. A not well discussed property of data: it is toxic in large quantities —even in moderate quantities.
The previous two chapters showed how you can use and take advantage of noise and randomness; but noise and randomness can also use and take advantage of you, particularly when totally unnatural —the data you get on the web or thanks to the media.
The more frequently you look at data, the more noise you are disproportionally likely to get (rather than the valuable part called the signal); hence the higher the noise to signal ratio. And there is a confusion, that is not psychological at all, but inherent in the data itself.
How much noise do you consume every day? Are you or your organization paying attention to the plethora of explanations and theories inducing an illusion of understanding the world?
In a collection of thoughts penned by Giacomo Leopardi (1798-1837) and collected and published by a friend, the great Italian philosopher and poet says:
The common saying that life is a theatrical performance is verified above all in this: that the world constantly speaks in one way, and just as constantly acts in another.
Since nowadays all are actors in this comedy, because they all talk, and practically no one is a spectator, because the empty language of the world deceives only children and fools, it follows that this performance has become something completely inept, and effort that is boring and pointless.
Translated by J.G. Nichols, 2002. We study Leopardi in school at seventeen in Italy. It is the perfect time to engage with the rich topics he brings forth.
Gerald Baron is back to posting frequently at Crisis Blogger and if you'd like a solid resource to cut through the crisis advice clutter, subscribe to his RSS. In a recent post, her recommends two crisis communication books:
“Practice extreme honesty. We need to be as honest with ourselves as we demand others to be with us. How do we like to be treated when things go sour–when we get laid off, hear bad health news, or have a relationship broken off? We want to be told the truth. We reject people who shade a story…”
[...] While Jonathan is a true expert in media training and response, I also very much appreciate his oft-repeated theme of direct stakeholder communication. There are a great many crisis communication experts out there, but few who go beyond traditional media management to the degree that Jonathan does. In my view, this is probably the number one failing of many PR folks doing crisis communication.
It might be helpful to also revisit with understanding risk communication to avert a crisis in social.
Knowing how to listen to comprehend is an even more valuable skill today. The second part of this conversation is to hold your competitive edge by talking less and making what you say appropriate.
Are you hiring that way yet?
Follow the discussion over on Conversation Agent Google+ Page.
Have a great weekend everyone.
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.
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