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A Whole New Mind

Daniel Pink

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For last 100 years Western society has been run by 'knowledge workers' - well-educated manipulators of info and expertise. But now computers and globalization eliminating experts. Knowledge workers - people paid to use school learning rather than physical or manual skill - ability to acquire and apply theoretical and analytic knowledge.

America a placeof super-abundance: 2/3 own house, more cars than licensed drivers; US spends more on rubbish bags than 90% of other countries spend on any one thing.

But ironic result of this super-abundance - prosperity taken for granted, so more interest in stuff like beauty and emotional satisfaction. Can't just sell something functional - it has to be beautiful or meaningful.

Lightbulbs and electricity everywhere and cheap, so who needs candles? Everyone apparently - $3 million dollar a year business.

Automation changing job like law and medicine - much diagnosis is just a decision tree going down the questions. Web pages like can offer basic legal forms and docs for as little as $14.95. Customers fill out generic forms online then take to paralegal to customize.

Last 2 centuries as 3 act play - Act 1 Ind Age Act 2 Info Age now Act 3 Conceptual Age, where mauin characters creatives and synthesisers. In Conceptual Age, 6 things impt - Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, Meaning.

Design has changed competitive logic of marketplace - before, only price and quality determined market. Now they are just the entry ticket. Once those satisfied, compete on levels of aesthetics.

Some will sneer at all the decoration/design that goes into something like a toaster. But it is used as a toaster for maybe 15 mins a day; the rest of the time it just sits there to be looked at.

In less than a generation, cell phones have gone from being a luxury, to a necessity, to an accessory/an expression of your taste. Last year consumers spent $4 billion on ringtones - design created a whole new market: gave the world something it didn't know it was missing.

Design in medicine: study comparing patients treated in dreary ward vs one in sunlit, visually appealing room. Second group required much less pain medication and were discharged 2 days earlier.

A large part of self-understanding is the search for appropriate personal metaphors taht make sense of our lives. Do you see your life as a journey or a treadmill?

Self-made millionaires four times more likely to be dyslexic - poor at rote learning so compensate by being better at recognizing patterns

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