#30DaysOfSummaries Reading Challenge

Stay tuned for the next challenge!


62 comments on “#30DaysOfSummaries Reading Challenge

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    The summary of David Levy’s, Mindful Tech, often states the obvious. Yet, it made me more aware of the way technology is obstructing my life and harming society. Perhaps, the greatest value of #30DaysOfSummaries to me personally is the realization that I have chosen to over-complicate my life. Chief weakness being multi-tasking! The concept of ‘mindful unplugging’ inspired me to encourage my family to try to unplug for 24 hours weekly (i.e., from 5pm Friday until 5pm Saturday). I have no illusions that this will be challenging for my wife and me, but worthy when considering the mental and emotional growth of our two youngest children. I have the distinction of having two adult children (29 and 32 from a previous marriage of 17 years) and two young boys ages 2 ad 5. When people learn this about me, their response is astonishment. After the pause, I am often asked, how different is parenting today versus yesteryear? My answer is always the advancement of technology. In my view, social media is not your ‘best friend’…it is your ‘worst enemy’!

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    My wife is a BIG fan of Andrew Sullivan. I too, have always appreciated Sulivan’s observations on politics and humanity. His perspective often enriches one’s intellectual curiosity. This summary impacted me, so much so that I forwarded getabstract to my wife, a therapist and frequent user of social media.

    Recently, I lost my cell phone and for a period of time used an old flip-phone. As a senior leader with a Ph.D. in Engineering, I was taken back by the overwhelming reaction to the replacement, a flip-phone; less about fashion than the pretense of judgement. The majority of people have become increasingly dependent on connecting to the internet, to the point of blind arrogance. One of my biggest resentments is a sidewalk full of pedestrians, head-down buried in their cell phones. Frankly, this zombie-like behavior makes me wonder if people are just sleepwalking through life? Is this thirst for electronic connectivity really necessary?

    For over a decade, I lead trading and sales operations at a major investment bank, where the ‘Alpha-Male’ typically ruled. However today, it is evident that the primary skill necessary to excel is ‘data mining’ i.e., the capacity to identify and analyze information most swiftly. No doubt, cutting-edge practices in data analysis offer competitive differential advantage. However, because this phenomenon today to leverage data collection is becoming increasingly common, those that strive to complement technology with a interpersonal skills will likely win!
    I still have faith in humanity. Here’s to flip phones .

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    Actions speak are louder than words! I truly enjoyed the #30daysofsummaries !

    Frankly, I would embrace another get abstract challenge. It has been said that it takes 30-40 days to develop a habit. I feel like the readings not only enlightened me, but disciplined me towards greater enrichment. In fact, I just bought an Echo Stereo from Amazon, perfect complement for reading sessions. Get abstract beats TV or internet surfing. I was a subscribed to get abstract in the 90s when six abstracts/month were mailed and filed into binders. Still have them!

    I have applied many of the learnings at work. My staff is revising operations, a small step towards reducing multitasking and the like. Hopefully, getabstract will foster collective ambition toward more efficient leadership. Proof-point will be increasing usage among the 26 licenses that I underwrote.

    Thank you Linda Wohlfarth, Jacqueline Cisneros and the rest of the get abstract TEAM!


    Rob Valli, Ph.D

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    Sparked by #30DaysofSummaries, I have been able to self-reflect more than I have in a long time. My focus has been sharpened, however in all honest not to the degree professed in Cal Newport’s Deep Work. I have marveled at the thought of Bill Gates, annual withdraw from the world. While this is not me, nor would it be practical, I applaud those who are able to practice Deep Work. For now, my family is committed to unplug one day a week. Let’s hope that this recalibration of time and effort will forge deeper intellectual curiosity and togetherness.

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