Big Think

The guy makes sense.

“It is very REASONED with compassion too.”  Some might say he is Rational in his thinking.

And people are slowly, but surely realizing this.

Charlie Munger for one.  Even John Stewart has caught on. 😉  And me too, even though I thought his fantastic idea about fast and slow ideas was the only article I would read of his.

openquoteThere are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.closedquote — Hannah Arendt


“And one of the things they showed us was how to really focus on making it swift and usable. We made a two-minute surgery checklist; it had just 19 items. Some of them were just make sure you don’t forget dumb stuff: make sure you gave antibiotics, make sure you have blood ready for a high-blood-loss case. And then there were other interesting parts: make sure everybody in the room has been introduced by name and role; make sure the surgeon actually explained to the team what their goals for the operation are; make sure the anesthesiologist and nurses had a chance to explain their plans for the operation. We put that checklist in eight hospitals around the world, ranging from rural Tanzania to Toronto and Seattle, and every single hospital we put it in had a double-digit reduction in complications. The average reduction in death was 46 percent. That made me realize there was something much deeper and more important going on here about this set of problems we’re grappling with in the modern world.

You see, his main ideas are Slow Ideas.  Complex ideas: hard to take hold in the general public zeitgeist.

“Why do some innovations spread so swiftly and others so slowly?”

Atul Gawande, Inventor Rational, M.D., M.P.H., is an American surgeon, author, and public health researcher. He is a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, professor in both the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation and also chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit reducing deaths in surgery globally. [Wikipedia,revised]

Author of Slow Ideas, an article in the New Yorker magazine, Atul Gawande made a significant conceptual advance in understanding how the world works.

Atul was obviously a smart kid, and got a good education in school … and politics.

Inventors are keenly pragmatic, and often become expert at devising the most effective means to accomplish their ends. They are the most reluctant of all the types to do things in a particular manner just because that’s the way they have been done. As a result, they often bring fresh, new approaches to their work and play. They are intensely curious and continuously probe for possibilities, especially when trying to solve complex problems. [Please Understand Me II]

The American “health care system” — certainly is a Complex Problem.

Gawande was born in Brooklyn, New York to Indian immigrants to the United States, both doctors. The family soon moved to Athens, Ohio, where he and his sister grew up. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Stanford University in 1987. He was a Rhodes scholar, earning a degree in Philosophy, Politics & Economics from Balliol College, Oxford in 1989. Gawande graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1995. He also has a Master of Public Health degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, earned in 1999.

As a student, Gawande was a volunteer for Gary Hart’s campaign. As a Rhodes Scholar, he spent one year at Oxford University. After graduation, he joined Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign. He worked as a health-care researcher for Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), who was author of a “managed competition” health care proposal for the Conservative Democratic Forum. After two years he left medical school to become Bill Clinton’s health care lieutenant during the 1992 campaign and became a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services after Clinton’s inauguration. He directed one of the three committees of the Clinton Health Care Task Force, supervising 75 people and defined the benefits packages for Americans and subsidies and requirements for employers. He returned to medical school in 1993 and earned a medical degree in 1994.

Strategic Intelligence

The strategic intelligence of Rationals (NTs) is shown in their ability to work with systems, that is, to figure out complex ways and means to accomplish well-defined goals, whether as a Coordinator formulating complex orders, or as an Engineer constructing complex organizations.

… other types of personality have trouble understanding the Rationals’ strategic intelligence, it is quite unlikely that Rationals understand it themselves, no doubt because there are so many interlocking concepts which define that sort of intellect. By way of review, let us be reminded of the four role variants that NTs are enabled to play given their strategic intelligence: Fieldmarshals focus on hierarchical order, Masterminds focus on sequential order, Inventors focus on functional organization, and Architects focus on configurational organization. [Please Understand Me II]

“I became a fan of Atul Gawande upon reading his first book in 2002: Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science. In reading many of his previous books I found he always asked questions: Why do we do things; for what purpose; is this working to achieve the best results for the patient in his physical and cultural circumstance? Gawande tackles the dilemmas of medical ethics by approaching them with sagacious common-sense. I think most of his books should be required reading in medical schools.” [An Amazon Reviewer]

AND I WOULD ADD, ALL AMERICANS, and eventually all mortals ;-0

openquoteMaking systems work is the great task of my generation of physicians and scientists. But I would go further and say that making systems work — whether in healthcare, education, climate change, making a pathway out of poverty — is the great task of our generation as a whole.closedquote — Atul Gawande

Other Inventor Rationals include: Larry Page, Elaine Morgan, Lynn Margulis, Elon MuskSteve Jobs, Joseph James Sylvester, Frances Crick, Paul Allen, Werner Von Braun, Wolfgang PauliAbraham Lincoln, Mark TwainHedy Lamarr, Julius Sumner Miller, and Zhang Xin

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