There is no single ‘root cause’ of poverty

I was asked to present an overview of Donella Meadow’s thesis on ‘leverage points’ for the Mayor’s Advisory Panel on Poverty. The given timeframe (15 minutes) was tight, but it was a fun challenge to squeeze as much of a ‘systems introduction’ as possible into this window (as much as I hate trying to talk this fast). It was also an opportunity to brush up on Prezi.

This presentation is an inadequate and (honestly) futile skimming of the surface of its topic. I’m posting it here in case it might serve to spark some curiosity. If you want to explore these ideas further, I highly recommend reading Meadow’s paper in its entirety.

The Question of Self-Efficacy

Podcast episode: Albert Bandura described self-efficacy as a person’s ability to believe in their own ability to succeed. How is this different from believing that the secret for getting what you want is simply wishing for it hard enough?

Is what we believe about our skills as important as our skills themselves?

Discussing White Privilege with Forrest Bivens

I recently sat down with my friend Forrest Bivens (@ForrestBivens) to chat about white privilege, class, and racism. This is one of those conversations that I wish I could have face-to-face with everyone. I’m very thankful to Forrest for taking the time to engage on this topic. I hope that our dialogue can play some small part in fostering further conversations, too. Your thoughts, reactions, and perspectives are welcome.

We Can’t All Be Above Average

Podcast episode: The “Dunning–Kruger effect” shows that people who are unskilled and incompetent often tend to overestimate their abilities. The problem with not being good at something is that you don’t know just how bad you really are. There’s something to be said for not thinking of yourself as “above average”… such people tend to be a bit more honest with themselves.