In the 21st century, both book smarts and street smarts are obsolete concepts. What would you call great Google-Fu skills? What about reputation on a site like Stack Overflow. Or a when-to-use-snopes instincts? These skills combine book smarts and street smarts and go FAR beyond. This is stream smarts. As we wind down 2015 and gear up for 2016, I bet many of you are making high-minded resolutions to read worthwhile books and/or acquire worthwhile real-world practical skills, perhaps via an unpaid internship or hobby project. Let me recommend refactoring those old-fashioned aspirations into “stream smarts” aspirations. Here’s how.
10/ Amazon data shows that very few people made it past page 20 of Piketty. For most, quitting Piketty at page 20 is the stream smart thing to do, why?
11/ Because you can never hope to individually grok such a complex issue, addressed in a big fat book by an expert, by yourself.
12/ For most people, the smartest way to “read” Piketty is to read the dozens of expert reviews/summaries and participate in online conversations about inequality.
13/ Of course, to be valuable, these conversations have to include diverse individuals applying book and street smarts. Stream smarts is a meta thing.