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Reading Journal Entry #1: CONNECT-EXTEND-CHALLENGE Protocol

Daniel H. Pink’s writing both elaborates on and affirms the idea that nothing is absolute
in its form or nature: hand sanitizer kills all germs except one tenth of a percent, a student’s
preferred method of studying works every time it is needed except for finals, and the systematic
methodology of the business world, where one cause is expected to give a single predictable
effect when applied, works only to a certain point--after all, people are sentient humans not
robotic machines. The reader is firmly presented with a notion that there is an exception to most
everything and an aberration that accompanies that rule. After what I would call a solid, almost
seventeen years of life, I’ve often encountered this idea no one entity is absolutely dependable in
how it works and, therefore, everything must adapt and change with the furtherance of time--that
even in a successfully written, eloquently asserted, and factually driven paper, the use of
“always” is simply hyperbolical. A previous English teacher of mine once talked to my class
about this concept, explaining that we as human beings do not always breathe, or are not always
happy, but that the an object which continuously produces a uniform result without fault,
whether it be a blender, a baseball pitcher’s technique, or a an Advil, is nonexistent.
While pondering more about the interesting, telling, and thought-provoking point Pink
silently weaves into his text, I came to realize that constant extremes do not exist in the world the
we live in, nor have they ever at any other point in time. Our modern world is ever-changing,
complex in all of its ideologies, values, and goals, and is unique in each place where one may
travel. We read, “Motivation 2.0,” the science behind humanistic drive, “...doesn’t comport with
the way that twenty-first-century economics thinks about what we do--because economists are
finally realizing that we’re full-fledged human beings, not single-minded economic robots” (31).
Because of our era’s diversity and its continual inconsistency and tendency to change,
“Motivation 2.0” cannot work because the circumstances and conditions of the subject
environment are not absolute and therefore neither predictable nor perpetual. The concept of
infinite absolutism can only thrive if and only if its application is concerned with something
whose nature is of the “single-minded robots” incapable of internal modification and evolution.
All of this led me to secure my already-standing belief that people aren’t black and white, but
ever-changing and driven (no pun intended) by an intrinsic cognitive source unto a world of its
Although what I’ve discussed seems true to me, a parallel theme seems to run along with
the idea of “always.” If absolutely consistent causes and effects, or as what Pink explains are
“algorithmic task[s],” are nonexistent and cannot be sustained by the dynamic world we live in,
then in essence the opposite cannot hold true either: “intrinsically motivated purpose
maximizers,” otherwise known as humans, will continually perform better under heuristic
circumstances. Intrinsic incentive cannot be identified as the ultimate answer--one without any
limitations or faults--to the question of how to better business performance (27, 31). So does this
mean that both algorithmic and heuristic methods are equally defective and affected by change?
Maybe their relationship is analogous to the Chinese philosophical concept of yin and yang,
where the darker and presumably more evil or malicious side embodies a small benefit of which
its counterpart offers in size equal to dark of its partner; the lighter and more fulfilling side does
as much good as the other does bad but still houses a small amount of fault for it cannot be
absolutely, nor algorithmically, gainful. Is “behavioral physics” truly like yin and yang (20)? Is
something still absolute in its nature if it dependent upon other factors?