Saturday, September 23, 2023

Banging Your Head Against the Wall

 Sometimes it feels like we are “banging our heads against a wall” when people are not listening to us. They often ask questions just explained.

 We may experience this not only in skills training sessions or even in casual conversations.

 The confused may not “be day-dreaming”, nut unable to process incoming listening information, as the visual details at hand now take over their brain.

Unfortunately, many can only focus and follow one step holistically at a time, and cannot detect issues within the entire sequential procedure. Slow in procedural thought, “one unit at a time-piecemeal”, they become over-whelmed with step-wise instructions.

This unpredictable mind set creates a flow of errors that is both time-consuming and costly to reformulate properly.

Today’s work projects often employ three to five individuals, at high cost inefficiency, to accomplish a simple procedure. 

The following alarming story was recently related to me by a hospital book-keeper, as an incorrect coding entry had been taking a year of our involvement to resolve the accounting/mis-coded issue.

Without productive efficiency, projects fail with faulty detail. All work operations are a series of ordered details to be completed correctly, systematically, with full accountability. 

Any work chain with too many links can break down to error laden inefficiency.

Actual Medical Scenarios:

 It took a chain of five individuals in the hospitals’ book-keeping department to submit a Medicare claim adjustment in the year-long process. 

Inversely, there were several people at the Medicare side to conduct the same, expensive, time laden, data entry chain link process to finally correct the claim.

 That amounts to 8 monkeys working on one hospital charges data set.

 My Ophthalmologist routinely hires assistants to train from scratch, with few technical, if any, credentials. She falsely assumes that if they can run the ocular equipment that entering the machine data readings and input to the patients' records will be correct.


 The assistant not only had entered incorrect data but mixed up the chart with another patient with a severe condition.

Then the doctor confronted with the dire results, requiring immediate surgery, lucky for me with my high listening-auditory-coding capability, I recognized the problem immediately, and confronted her with “these photos are not my newly filmed records”.

Of course, the doctor double checked my file, was embarrassed, and apologized, as I have nearly perfect eyesight.

Obviously, I could have gone through unnecessary eye surgery, not to mention, the time involvement, and the anxiety-stress incurred.

Subsequently, this circumstance could have been avoided by pre-testing the listening capability of future technician applicants.


 Erland, J. K. (1989, 1980). The Hierarchy of Thinking Model. Lawrence, Kansas.

Erland, J. K. (February 1986, 1989).Contrapuntal thinking and the definition of sweeping thinking).




Monday, September 4, 2023

What is Common Sense and Logic? Why Do We Need It?

The term “common sense” always baffled me, as I was growing up;  individuals said I had amazing “common sense,” and tackled problems wisely. This leads me to the discourse, “what is common sense, exactly?”

A Basic Conclusion for “Common Sense” would be simply:  “Don’t step in front of an oncoming car.” “Avoid lightning strikes”, or Don’t eat strange reptiles,” as the outcomes are obvious to most people.

My Personal Conclusion “Common Sense”: It may be the ability to flood the mind rapidly, with a variety of options, and then make the best choice rationally, not emotionally, in any given moment. 

If it is an emergency, we are forced to think fast. Otherwise, we can carefully weigh in our personal options – pros and cons in a logical manner.

Impulsivity and “Common Sense”:  a fast, risky, choice is made without any deep thought. An individual may realize they made it, but cannot fathom how they reached that conclusion. or understand the eventual consequences.

Often, this line of thinking is habitual, and this decision-making pattern continues throughout their lives.

How the Brain is Involved

In trying to understand the role of “Common Sense” cognitively, we can realize that the cerebellum is the master or “muscle,” doing the brain’s work load, whereas, the cerebrum is the “thought control”. 

And, additionally, each individual has their own unique electrical synapse system created through their learning experiences.

Therefore, we should desire interconnecting them in concert for optimal whole brain thinking leading to logical thinking and decision making. 

Options and Choices

We can create “Choice Architecture” [1] In making decisions that permeate our wired brains. 

We can use tools, or options, to create common sense through logical thought processes, for making decisions with desirable outcomes.

Device Screen Options

We can apply a unique assortment of options with our devices’ screens to give us the answers we seek. 

Consider not being distracted by the constant advertising on our screens, so we can maintain our thought flow and make optimum decisions, or levels of thought operations.[2]

My former article on “Focus” reiterated the Tik Tok - UTube data findings[3] that many have developed a “one-minute” brain attention span. 

This recent article for “Family and Tech” in the Wall Street Journal, reveals that “UTube one- minute “Shorts” give kids short, thrill bursts, making it harder to pull away” Brains are being short-circuited, camouflaging any possible “Common Sense” or logic.

As many innovators spot this issue, they clamor to come up with immediate, money-making solutions. This data is rapidly absorbed into marketing advertisements.

This becomes a “Hay-Day” for marketing and screens, as our brains’ logical capabilities wither.

Takeaway, thought-provoking point to ponder:

If we have a uniquely wired brain, laden with experiential, ethics, and skills learning, making our formulated choice options based on this factor, yet, data mining shows that many can focus only for one-minute or so, what can (or will) alter this anomalous paradigm? 

Are we making choices based on a short-circuited brain, lacking logic?




[1] Johnson, Eric (2021). The Elements of Choice. New York: Penguin Publishing

[2] Erland, J. K. (1989). Hierarchy of Thinking Model. Lawrence Kansas, Mem-ExSpan, Inc.

[3]  Julie Jargon. (August 15, 2023). “An Antidote for ‘Tik Tok Brain’ Has Also Become a Problem” The Wall Street Journal. New York City.