David Epstein on the Resilient Performance Podcast

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David Epstein is the author of the forthcoming Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World, and of the top 10 New York Times bestseller The Sports Gene, which has been translated in 21 languages. (To his surprise, it was purchased not only by his sister but also by President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.) He was previously a science and investigative reporter at ProPublica, and prior to that a senior writer at Sports Illustrated. David has given talks about performance science and the uses (and misuses) of data on five continents; his TED Talk has been viewed 7 million times, and was shared by Bill Gates. Three of his stories have been optioned for films. David has master’s degrees in environmental science and journalism, and is reasonably sure he’s the only person to have co-authored a paper in the journal of Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research while a writer at Sports Illustrated. David enjoys volunteering with the Pat Tillman Foundation and Classroom Champions. An avid runner, he was a Columbia University record holder and twice NCAA All-East as an 800-meter runner.

Topics Covered:

  1. What inspired David to write Range
  2. Tiger Woods, Roger Federer, martian tennis, and their relationship to chaotic environments
  3. How different learning environments foster pattern recognition and adaptability
  4. Is there an arbiter of “critical thinking”?  Critical thinking as a cultural construct. Why incentives matter.
  5. Immersive learning environments vs. reverse engineering approaches
  6. What the Challenger disaster and Exon Valdez oil spill can teach us about how organizations can ask better questions in times of crises
  7. How David’s personal experience as a scientist created more doubt and less certainty
  8. Societal expectations about linear career paths
  9. How to assess outcomes in a world of incomplete information and imposed constraints- special operations case study
  10. Artificial intelligence in the context of tactics and strategy

Links of Interest:

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