How to overcome the Philippines’ regional-laggard ‘curse’

By: - ThINQ Blogger / @inquirerdotnet
/ 09:15 AM March 15, 2017

Consider this thought from the article “Why we believe obvious truths” by Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman: “What really sets human beings apart is not our individual mental capacity. The secret to our success is our ability to jointly pursue complex goals by dividing cognitive labor. Hunting, trade, agriculture, manufacturing — all of our world-altering innovations — were made possible by this ability. Chimpanzees can surpass young children on numerical and spatial reasoning tasks, but they cannot come close on tasks that require collaborating with another individual to achieve a goal. Each of us knows only a little bit, but together we can achieve remarkable feats. Knowledge isn’t in my head or in your head. It’s shared.”

Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor of marketing at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, while Sloman is a professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University.


Should we be surprised that we lag our neighbors in trade, agriculture and manufacturing, among others? Recall collaboration and teamwork and the 21st century skill sets discussed in a recent posting.

(To recap:


  1. Collaboration and teamwork
  2. Creativity and imagination
  3. Critical thinking, and problem solving)

If it isn’t obvious yet, the blog replays the elements that have defined us, our culture, if you will: parochial and insular, hierarchical and paternalistic, political patronage and dynasties, and oligarchic. And when all is said and done, a culture of impunity. Because we take them as inviolate, the blog’s premise is we must reinvent Juan de la Cruz.

And we must get a good handle on innovation and competitiveness–to excel in trade, agriculture and manufacturing–being crucial in a fast-changing and fast-paced world that is the 21st century.

Continue reading at Philippine Economy.

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