Framers Book Summary By Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Francis de Véricourt

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Framers (2021) is a book that examines the global issues of today and comes up with a revolutionary idea to solve them: framing.

Framing is the conscious or unconscious way in which an individual perceives the world around them.

This book suggests that by recognizing and adjusting our views, we are able to become better equipped to handle the ever-changing challenges in life.

The authors use examples from current situations and past events to demonstrate how framing has been used (or misused) by both political leaders and everyday citizens, showing how it can be employed in powerful ways.

Furthermore, they provide ideas on how to reframe your beliefs so that you can gain resilience during difficult times.

All in all, this book demonstrates how important framing is today's society and provides insight into how it should be used for a better tomorrow.

Framers Book

Book Name: Framers (Human Advantage in an Age of Technology and Turmoil)

Author(s): Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Francis de Véricourt

Rating: 4.1/5

Reading Time: 32 Minutes

Categories: Psychology

Author Bio

Kenneth Cukier is the author of Framers, a book meant to provide insights and information in today's rapidly changing technology landscape.

He is no stranger to the world of writing and research – Kenneth Cukier is a senior editor at The Economist and co-author of "Big Data: a New York Times bestseller" as well as the host of Babbage, a science and technology podcast.

As someone with an extensive background in journalism, it's no surprise that Kenneth Cukier has delivered such a thought-provoking book.

He brings his extensive knowledge and experience with technology to the table, providing readers with unique perspectives on topics such as artificial intelligence and web privacy.

As you delve through Framers, you'll get an insight into how our digital age will shape the future.

How To Frame The World Consciously And Effectively: Exploring Framing, Counterfactuals, And Diversity

Exploring Framing

Most of us are unaware of the frames that shape how we interpret the world around us.

We often take events at face value and miss out on learning deeper lessons or applying different perspectives to understand their meaning.

In this way, our lens of understanding remains narrow and stagnant.

One example of this is when Colin Kaepernick knelt during the US national anthem in 2016.

Depending on how one frames it, it can either be seen as a peaceful form of protest or a disrespectful publicity stunt.

Clearly, these two outlooks come from different perspectives – two different frames through which we view the same occurrence.

For us to grow and evolve, it is necessary for each person to learn the art of recognizing different frames that shape our thinking and apply them either consciously or unconsciously.

With practice, you’ll be able to think critically and explore multiple angles to any given event or issue –⁠ an ability that will open up countless possibilities for systemic change and growth for society as a whole.

Humans Must Leverage Their Ability To Frame In Order To Create Positive Change

In order to tackle the most difficult global problems, we need to be able to think outside of the box and come up with different ways to approach them.

This is where the human capacity for framing comes into play.

Regina Barzilay, a professor in artificial intelligence at MIT, was able to reframe an issue of bacterial resistance to antibiotics and combine her biological knowledge with machine learning algorithms – leading to a remarkable discovery in early 2020.

The headline “A Victory for AI” missed the point that it was Barzilay’s own frame, combined with her expertise and AI power ,that solved this complicated problem.

This discovery serves as an empowering reminder that our future will require us to rely on both human innovation (which comes from our innate ability for framing) and AI power if we hope to truly make an impact on tough modern issues like climate change and pandemics.

We can’t rely solely on either one alone; both must work together in order for us to successfully tackle these difficult challenges ahead.

The Importance Of Framing: Making Sense Of The World With Our Thinking

The idea that frames infuse every aspect of our lives cannot be overstated.

From the Soviet Union’s disastrous attempt to apply communist ideals to farming practices in the 1930s with Lysenkoism, to the different ways countries chose to frame the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects – frames shape our world in big and small ways.

In the Soviet case, it led to mass famine and death, while how a country framed COVID-19 had great implications for how they were able to respond to it; New Zealand was officially COVID-free by early June 2020 due their framing of it akin to SARS back in 2002.

Frames are also useful for predictions; scientists applied Einstein’s frame of general relativity to predict the paths of two black holes “dancing” around one another in 2010.

But what components actually make up a frame? It is clear that understanding frames is crucial for making informed decisions where success or failure have real impacts on people’s lives.

How Causality Helps Us Develop Better Frameworks And Avoid Erroneous Assumptions

Erroneous Assumptions

People need to understand causality in order to frame problems better.

Ben Bernanke is a great example of this.

When the 2008 financial crisis hit, he studied the 1929 market crash and connected it with the damage done by central bank’s response.

By recognizing these causal links, he was able to devise a new plan that saved banks from total disaster.

It isn’t just humans who require understanding of causality.

In fact, even animals can observe it, forming an understanding between certain behaviours and outcomes (like if a dog sticks its paw out in response to command it will receive a treat).

Unfortunately for animals – as well as for AI until programmed with causal frames – this does not extend beyond what is immediate and obvious.

Humans have the advantage here; we can make natural connections between incidents and draw on different experiences to infer relationships between causes and effects.

We detect how one event effects another and how different substances respond under changing circumstances – something that makes us brilliant framers!

Though our conclusions may not always be correct; like when a rooster crows every morning yet the sun continues to rise after his death – which calls into question our assumed original belief of a direct connection between the two events.

Causality gives us perspective on how much effect one action has over another within our environment.

Assumptions rooted in reality are what help us become effective framers moving forward, so there is no doubt that well-reasoned causal inferences help us create more successful frameworks overall.

Counterfactuals Enable Us To See Different Possibilities, Avoid Blame, And Improve Our Causal Reasoning

Counterfactuals are an important part of framing, helping us to consider alternate realities and understand the entire range of possible causal relationships.

This can be especially evident in situations where blame can be too quickly assigned or assumptions made that aren’t entirely correct.

Take the example of retrieving a cookie from a jar only to find it empty.

While one may instinctively jump to blaming a child, counterfactuals allow for other possibilities lined with deeper understanding of the situation.

The Cuban Missile Crisis is another example of how counterfactuals saved us from disaster.

Instead of listening to his military advisers who proposed a massive strike right away, President John F Kennedy instead asked his advisors to come up with alternative ways of looking at the situation.

The option they presented – a blockade – was carried out and it averted nuclear war.

It’s crucial to remember that counterfactuals help us contemplate different approaches and make better decisions which can potentially have extreme consequences on our world.

Through examining these alternate possibilities, we are able too see the potential outcomes and make decisions for an outcome that provides more positive long term results for all involved.

The Art Of Finding Creativity Within Constraints

It’s not just a matter of having too many possibilities when you take on a challenge.

Often times, limitations are actually beneficial– they allow you to focus your creativity and come up with innovative solutions.

This is why pioneering architects such as Frank Gehry and Theodor Seuss Geisel find constraints helpful in their own practices.

The “Framers” book outlines the idea of how constraints can helpfully restrict the universe of possible frames which, in turn, narrows down your decision-making process.

By examining which factors you can change and implementing minimal changes while being consistent with them, you’ll be able to develop a set of more attainable solutions more quickly and efficiently.

For example, if you’re running late for a meeting and need to figure out a fast way of getting there, rather than relying on some miracle where every traffic light turns green for you–you consider different modes of transportation that are within your abilities.

This allows you to make decisions faster than if you had no limits at all: constraints reduce risk while also inspiring creativity!

The Power Of Reframing To Solve Problems: A Look At The Three Major Strategies

Major Strategies

When faced with a problem, it is important to understand that relying on the same frames over and over again reduces your ability to switch perspectives and look at the situation from different angles.

When reframing becomes necessary, it is best to choose a strategy based on the situation at hand.

Natures Nutrition‘s Turmeric Supplement with BioPerine has three major ways of reframing: repertoire, repurposing, and reinvention.

Repertoire involves mentally sifting through the frames you already know and seeing which one best fits your problem.

Repurposing involves taking a frame from another industry or domain that could be applied in your current situation.

Finally, reinforcement involves inventing an entirely new frame for the issue at hand – this is usually much harder since you are working in unfamiliar territory.

No matter what method of reframing you choose, successful reframing requires having a few key traits: being open-minded, comfortable with not knowing all the answers right away, and willing to take risks by trying out new ideas.

Cultivating these traits can help make it easier to choose a strategy appropriate for any kind of situation.

The Power Of Frame Pluralism: Why It’S Essential For Individual, Organizational, And Societal Progress

The importance of frame pluralism – having a large and diverse range of perspectives – when it comes to individual, organizational, and societal progress cannot be overstated.

In the late 1950s, there were three times as many tech companies based around Boston’s Route 128 as there were in Silicon Valley.

However, by 1990 the opposite was true – something that could only have been achieved through cultivating frame pluralism on all levels.

On a mass scale, promoting frame pluralism is key to fostering an open and tolerant society which works better for everyone.

Throughout history, societies which have implemented cognitive oppression have led to fear and violence – something we should strive to avoid as much as possible.

Within organisations too, teams with members who possess different backgrounds, outlooks, and perspectives are best placed to deal with challenges.

If these teams take part in cognitive foraging – seeking out different ways of thinking altogether – the organisation can reap huge rewards from the knowledge gained this way.

Frame pluralism also helps individuals reach their own personal goals more easily; having more options in our mental toolkit equips us even better when forming decisions.

Allowing ourselves opportunities to engage in cognitive foraging will help us build up a bigger arsenal of frames so that we can make use of the most appropriate one(s) at any given time.

In conclusion: Frame pluralism can ensure progress on an individual, organisational and societal level; actively seeking out ways of thinking that differ from our own is key towards doing so successfully.

Wrap Up

The main point Framers makes is that it’s essential for all of us to become better, more careful framers in order to solve the complex challenges of the future.

To do this, it’s important to remember that frames consist of three components – causality, counterfactuals, and constraints – and to use these tools wisely when making a reframe.

Moreover, it’s important to recognize that just because a reframe might be good, doesn’t mean the timing is right for public acceptance.

In conclusion, understanding and utilizing framing is beneficial if you want to get your message across and make real progress on issues.

By carefully constructing frames with the components of causality, counterfactuals, and constraints; as well as timing your reframes correctly; you can better communicate ideas in order to bring positive change.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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