2022 04 04

I was thinking about why human factors are studied so much in industries like aviation or manufacturing and not in other industries such as teaching. Perhaps its being talked about as something different, but pretty much everything I’ve read or seen in my knowledge work experience is that its almost completely ignored. The reason I thought of this being because of is that industries like aviation and manufacturing need to care about it otherwise people get injured or killed because of poor human factors. Human factors essentially acknowledges that we’re just sophisticated apes and do not act rationally all the time. The point is to accommodate for that irrationality so that we don’t cause problems for ourselves. As an example, I’ve seen a few episodes of the show Air Disasters were accidents happened because one pilot wouldn’t tell the other about some issue or concern because of the social dynamics between them - irrational thinking.

While we don’t risk people getting injured by following poor human factors practices, we ignore potential productivity/quality improvements in our work because we don’t care about it enough. We don’t teach how to effectively take notes, we don’t teach how to effectively present information, and we don’t effectively use technology to convey complicated ideas. I’m sure there are ongoing research projects to address some of these, but a bigger gap is implementing the best ideas as standard practice. Even simple things like how to prime your mindset at the beginning of a day could be big boons for potential productivity. Or how to recharge when stuck. The point isn’t to give robotic procedures to further control us, its to acknowledge our biology/psychology and come up with guidelines to enable us to get the best out of ourselves. The point rather is that we are not robots, and our working procedures and environments should reflect that. The idea of nudges is a bit like this.

Daily Listening

Didn’t listen to much besides some nature soundscapes while working.

Daily Reading

Only read a little bit of The Rings of Saturn before bed, but the walking tour ruminations were nice to calm my mind before sleeping.