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This Morning's Look at the Environment

I have long followed John Hagel.  I find him perceptive and thought-provoking.

I draw your attention to his July 27 post, Where Are You Headed? What's Your Narrative and Purpose?

I must admit I didn't think like this when I was younger.  Like most, I was concentrated on getting things done and providing for my family.  I sort of let the future take care of itself, comfortable with the notion that if I did the best I could with what I had all would work out.

And indeed that worked pretty well for me.  But what did I miss?

Posted on Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.” Albert Einstein

Case in point.

"It’s not a bad maneuver, but it unravels at a certain point. The British team consists of well-educated and experienced civil servants. In claiming that this team is not up to the task of understanding the complexities of EU processes and regulations, the EU has made the strongest case possible against itself. If these people can’t readily grasp the principles binding Britain to the EU, then how can mere citizens understand them? And if the principles are beyond the grasp of the public, how can the public trust the institutions? We are not dealing here with the complex rules that allow France to violate rules on deficits but on the fundamental principles of the European Union and the rights and obligations – political, economic and moral – of citizens. If the EU operating system is too complex to be grasped by British negotiators, then who can grasp it?"  Friedman, G. (2017, July 24). The EU: Authoritarianism Through Complexity.

The nature of our species is to make things inreasingly complex.  It's a bit lke the temptation to have one more chocolate.  Self-control is in order.

Posted on Monday, July 24, 2017 at 06:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

George Friedman on Meetings

"Anyone who has ever been to a meeting knows that meetings are often confounding, frustrating affairs. Most of them are designed simply to be held. The people who attend them are unlikely to agree on anything except maybe the date the next one will convene, and the possibility that they accomplish something gets smaller as the meeting itself gets larger."

Friedman, G. (2017, July 5). Hostages to History at the G-20 Summit.

Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 07:57AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

AI and Me

"Mohak Shah, lead expert, data science, Bosch Research and Technology Center, North America: Look into how the people-change will happen. I think the biggest challenge is not really technology—it is people.

I think the biggest gap that we currently need to address is the people who can connect the dots between technology and business impact. That’s where I think we are really missing the boat. We need people who can look at a business problem, and have a technological solution, and essentially can see how the solution can be brought to value."  [emphasis in the original]

McKinsey & Company. (2017, July). Ask the AI Experts: What Advice Would You Give to Executives About AI?

Posted on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 07:45AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Things That Make You Go Hhhhhmmmmm

From Hartnett, K. (2017, July 3). A Math Genius Blooms Late and Conquers His Field. Retrieved July 4, 2017, from https://www.wired.com/story/a-math-genius-blooms-late-and-conquers-his-field/

"When I asked him why, he replied, 'When you teach, you do something useful. When you do research, most days you don’t.'"

"Even more remarkable than the proof itself is the manner in which Huh and his collaborators achieved it—by finding a way to reinterpret ideas from one area of mathematics in another where they didn’t seem to belong."

"Yet it would be a mistake to see Huh’s breakthroughs as having come in spite of his unorthodox beginning. In many ways they’re a product of his unique history—a direct result of his chance encounter, in his last year of college, with a legendary mathematician who somehow recognized a gift in Huh that Huh had never perceived himself."

"Huh’s inadvertent proof of Read’s conjecture, and the way he combined singularity theory with graphs, could be seen as a product of his naïve approach to mathematics. He learned the subject mainly on his own and through informal study with Hironaka. People who have observed his rise over the last few years imagine that this experience left him less beholden to conventional wisdom about what kinds of mathematical approaches are worth trying."

"Whenever you observe a pattern with no obvious cause, it’s natural to start digging below the surface—to look for the roots that explain the tree."

"Some of the biggest leaps in understanding occur when someone extends a well-established theory in one area to seemingly unrelated phenomena in another."

"In fact, it’s a bit like searching for extraterrestrial life—you might have ideas about signature characteristics of life, hints you might use to guide your hunt, but it’s still hard to anticipate what a new life-form might look like."

"'Karim has these amazing ideas that come out of nowhere, and June sort of has this beautiful vision of how math should go,' Katz said. 'It’s often hard to incorporate Karim’s ideas into June’s vision, and maybe some of what I do is talk to Karim and translate his ideas into something closer to math.'"

Posted on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 at 07:20AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Leaders and Followers

"Levingston’s frame does not fit, but he is too good a writer to get in the way of his history for long. 'Kennedy and King' will most likely leave readers thinking that what is needed today is not more leaders, a few men and women shaping our destiny, but more followers. What is needed are ordinary people: alert, informed, engaged, mobilized, idealistic but not naïve, critical but not hopeless, confident about who they are and what they want but able and inclined to work with all sorts of others, exercising rights won at enormous cost, starting with the right to vote. What is needed, in short, are more citizens, prepared to lead our leaders toward a more promising land."

Goodman, J. (2017, July 2). Profiles in Caution. New York Times Book Review, p. 9.
Posted on Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 06:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

There is a difference between...

...thinking and advocacy.

Posted on Saturday, July 1, 2017 at 09:32AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Had a Good Think Lately?

Here's an interesting piece courtesy of Aeon.

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 08:09AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Things That Make You Go Hhhhhmmmmm

From John Mauldin's Thoughts from the Frontline of June 11, 2017.

This gives me pause this morning.

Posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at 07:10AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

If you care about being thought credible...

...and intelligent, do not use complex language where simpler language will do.

p 64 of Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Khaneman


Posted on Saturday, June 10, 2017 at 06:57AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment