Is your professional decline coming much sooner than you think?

Well I'm here with Arthur Brooks an economist whose viral Atlantic article says maybe.

Yeah so I wrote this article, and The Atlantic titled it, "Your professional decline is coming much sooner thank you think" Sounds pretty bad. I have to say, but I'd meant it as a way that we can actually look forward to that back part of our careers.


-This is how economists inspire people right? You're doomed!

But it doesn't suck as bad as you thought was going to be. No, the truth is that people have a tendency to think that when they work in idea professions, which a lot of people on LinkedIn do, a lot of people who are watching us do, they think that their professional life is going to be able to go on and on and on and on and their skills are going to stay at their super high level. What made you successful when you were 30 and 35, you'll be able to do till you're 80, 85 and that turns out to be not true. The data are overwhelmingly clear that particularly after 50, 55 that a lot of idea professions people kind of lose their edge a little bit. This is one of the reasons that people burn out, not because they're sick of it, but because they kind of find they're not as good at what they were doing anymore.

OK here's the good news. There's good news.

-I've been waiting for it!

There's a success curve in your what they call your fluid intelligence. And I'm bringing coals to Newcastle by telling this to a psychologist, but the Fluid intelligence is basically your analytic capacity, your ability to innovate. And that actually does peak when you're in your early thirties and then declines after that. But there's another intelligence curve, which social psychologists call the crystallized intelligence curve, that goes up through your 30s 40s 50s 60s stays high in your 70s

-Knowledge, wisdom, social and emotional intelligence

Synthetic thinking, your ability to creatively explain all the stuff that you know, it's being a teacher. So here's the key thing that we got to understand. You're not going to be able to be on the innovation curve your whole life. It's going to decline, it's going to decline sooner than you think.

The key is jumping onto your instruction curve, to jump onto the curve of becoming a teacher, of becoming somebody who explains. And that's a really great thing. If you're basically in the early part of your 30, 35 and you're an innovator and by the time you're moving into your 50s, you're supervising others, you're bringing other people's careers along. You're explaining ideas. In a way, you and I were academics, it's ideal.

-Sort of. Except we did it backward by starting to teach way too young.

That's true, although, you know you think about it, you and I were writing academic journal articles when we were in our thirties and you know the blinding insight, right? That's the fluid intelligence and now what you're doing, you're younger than I am, What we try to do as we get older is synthesize a lot of knowledge and explain in a big way. I wrote this Atlantic piece because I'm trying to use my crystallized intelligence. I'm 55 years old you know and I'm not going to put stuff into test tubes and come up with you know sort of biotech firm.

It's just not going to happen. However I can go into my library and take out certain books and say gather around my friends because I have discovered by combining all the knowledge of these other people being a teacher and each person can do that. We don't have to write Atlantic articles or teach it at University of Pennsylvania but what we can do.

Each one of us in our own way is figure out how sharing knowledge, how developing other people, how bringing together good ideas is our future.

-Don't you think that's a form of innovation?

Yeah it is a form of innovation including crystallized intelligence.

It's an artificial distinction to a certain extent but we do find if you're trying to invent something that nobody's ever thought of before, you're going to get worse at that if you're trying to bring together the ideas that other people have thought of into something that's better and new you're going to get better at that.

-Oh good. That's the only part of creativity I was ever good at anyway, so this is encouraging!

You're a synthetic thinker.

-I've always been. I do have to say you made a very weird decision, at the end of this article, which is you said basically I'm retiring. Yes. And I was so surprised that a social scientist would make a personal decision based on aggregate data because it's possible that you at 72 are still more of a genius than your peers at 22. So how did you make that call?

Well the problem is not how I compare to others it's how I compare myself. This is what's really frustrating in a lot of people who are watching us. It's not that I'm better than the guy in the next cube or worse, it's that I'm not as good as I was last year and that's intensely frustrating to people who are at a high level.

-You can see that though? You can feel it?

I know that I'm actually a lot worse at writing new papers, you know with brand new insights, than I was able to do before, and I know what's coming as well.

-You don't think that's just a self-fulfilling prophecy?

You know it's possible.

-You've read the data and now you're convinced by them. You're a data-driven guy, as am I.

Absolutely. However, I also don't want to play the odds. And so, when I say I'm retiring, I'm simply leaving my executive position running a think tank in Washington D.C. "retiring is retiring" I mean I'm going to be a college professor at Harvard University. I'm going to teach people I'm going to synthesize ideas I'm going to write books about you know ideas that are the synthesis of a lot of other people's ideas. I'm going to live this out. So it's not really retiring, it's basically saying look, I don't want to play and I might I might defy gravity. You know, this stuff might not be right but if I actually believe the preponderance of my evidence it makes sense that I would live according to this so I have a better shot at being happier as I get older. And that's why I did it.

-All right. Well I can't argue with betting on happiness in the long run although I think that if the article undermines everybody else's happiness that would be a very sad thing. But I was surprised. I actually enjoyed it. I found it uplifting. I was even maybe a little bit inspired by your choice to say,

I inspired Adam Grant. That blows my mind.

-I'm reluctant to admit it but it's at least the second time you've done it. And so you know there's hope for economists.

I honestly believe that those of us in the idea business we have two jobs: lift people up and bring them together. Those are our two jobs. And if you can lift people up so they can be better than they were, So they can fulfill their best selves. They can understand their own dignity and potential and you can bring people together. So there's more love. What's not to like? And you just told me I did that for you and you've done that for me too. You're doing it beautifully.

Read Arthur Brooks' full Atlantic article here: Your Professional Decline Is Coming (Much) Sooner Than You Think

Advancing global money movement for everyone, everywhere

https://ad.doubleclick.net/ddm/trackimp/N6024.4218512GZEROMEDIA/B26379324.311531246;dc_trk_aid=504469522;dc_trk_cid=156468981;ord=[timestamp];dc_lat=;dc_rdid=;tag_for_child_directed_treatment=;tfua=;gdpr=${GDPR};gdpr_consent=${GDPR_CONSENT_755};ltd=?

Even with innovations in fintech and digital payments, roadblocks related to basic infrastructure like electricity and internet connectivity still prevent many migrant workers from being able to transfer money to their families back home with a truly digital end-to-end flow. While more workers can send money digitally today, the majority of people still receive funds in cash. Read more about why public-private partnerships are key to advancing the future of global money movement and why it matters from experts at the Visa Economic Empowerment Institute.

The European Union is, for better or worse, the most ambitious experiment in human history in institutionalized multinational cooperation. Its success depends on the willingness of its members to abide by its rules.

In recent years, the populist-nationalist governments of former Communist bloc members Hungary and Poland have flouted some of those rules in order to boost their own popularity with citizens suspicious of the EU's liberal values on issues like immigration and minority rights. In response, the EU has scolded these "illiberal" governments and threatened forceful action – so far without much effect.

The fight between EU institutions and Poland and Hungary has escalated.

More Show less

Who's most responsible for spreading misinformation online? For Ginny Badanes, senior director for Democracy Forward at Microsoft, the problem starts with those who create it, yet ultimately governments, companies and individuals all share the burden. And she's more interested in what we can do to respond.

Ginny Badanes spoke at a live Global Stage event, Infodemic: defending democracy from disinformation. Watch the full event here: https://www.gzeromedia.com/global-stage/virtual-events/disinformation-is-a-big-problem-what-can-we-do-about-it

Some of the worst sectarian clashes since Lebanon's 15-year civil war (1975-1990) broke out in Beirut this week between supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, both Shiite political parties, and Christian, far-right Lebanese Forces. Shiite protesters were rallying against the state probe into the Beirut port blast, which occurred last year. They say authorities were singling out Shiite politicians for questioning and blame. Below is our original piece on the Beirut port explosions published on August 5, 2020.


The twin explosions at Beirut's port on Tuesday were so powerful that the aftershocks reverberated as far as the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 150 miles away. The specter of fire and smoke was such that many suggested on social media that Beirut had experienced a nuclear blast.

In the days ahead, more details will come to light about why a deadly cache of materials was haphazardly stashed at a port warehouse, and why Lebanon's government failed to secure the site. So, what comes next for crisis-ridden Lebanon?

More Show less

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, shares insights on US politics:

What does it actually mean to cut $1 trillion from the Democrats' $3.5 trillion social spending bill?

President Biden has proposed one of the most ambitious expansions of federal spending in recent memory. If he gets everything he wants, it would probably be the largest expansion of government since the Great Society, but he's not going to get everything he wants. Democrats have basically said they cannot do all $3.5 trillion in spending. They're probably going to end up around $2 trillion. So what gets cut? Well, we don't know yet. There's kind of two ways to go about this. They could either cut the number of programs that have been proposed, doing fewer things with more money on a permanent basis, or they could try to do more things, each program getting less money and potentially doing them on a temporary basis. So, a future Congress would have to extend it. What does this mean for you? Well, a lot of the money in here is designed to go directly to families, either in the form of cash payments, through the tax code, the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, or subsidies for things like child care, early childhood education, and community college. And if you cut these things back, it means less money is going to go out the door to the American people. It also means less tax increases to finance it. So the implications of what's being proposed could actually end up being a big deal for a lot of Americans who would qualify for benefits under these new programs.

More Show less

How will artificial intelligence change the world and especially the job market by 2041? AI scientist Kai-fu Lee just wrote a book about precisely that, and he predicts it'll shake up almost every major industry. AI, he explains, will be most disruptive to many so-called "routine" occupations, but the damage may be reduced by shifting "empathetic" workers to jobs that require human empathy. Watch his interview on GZERO World with Ian Bremmer.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: Is a robot coming for your job? Kai-fu Lee explains AI

The Atlantic CEO Nick Thompson believes in tech firms doing business in China because connecting with people there is a huge social good for the world. But in demanding LinkedIn de-platform certain people, he says, the Chinese government crossed a line, and "you can't justify that."

Watch Ian Bremmer's interview with Nicholas Thompson in an upcoming episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television.

Sectarian clashes in Lebanon: As Lebanese supporters of Hezbollah and Amal, both Shiite political parties, were on their way to a protest in Beirut Thursday, gunfire broke out, evidently between Hezbollah militants and those of the Christian, far-right Lebanese Forces. The protesters were rallying against the ongoing state probe into last year's devastating twin blasts at a Beirut port, saying that state authorities were singling out Shiite politicians for questioning and blame. They have called for the dismissal of Judge Tarek Bitar — who is leading the probe and on Monday issued an arrest warrant for a prominent Shiite parliamentarian linked to Amal. Each side has blamed the other for starting the violence Thursday, which killed at least six people, injured dozens more, and threw the entire city into a panic. In a grim omen, the clashes, which are among the worst in recent years, erupted along one of the old front lines (dividing Muslim and Christian neighborhoods) of the 15-year sectarian civil war that devastated the country up until 1990. With the country mired in economic and political crises, the people of Lebanon can't seem to catch a break: just last week the country was plunged into complete darkness when its decrepit power grid ran out of fuel. Meanwhile, Najib Mikati, who became prime minister designate in July after months of political deadlock, declared a "day of mourning," but civil strife continues.

More Show less

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter, Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal

GZEROMEDIA

Subscribe to GZERO Media's newsletter: Signal