In 1973, two social scientists, Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber, defined a class of problems they called “wicked problems.” Wicked problems are messy, ill-defined, more complex than we fully grasp, and open to multiple interpretations based on one’s point of view. They are problems such as poverty, obesity, where to put a new highway—or how to make sure that people have adequate health care.
Solutions to wicked problems …are only better or worse. Trade-offs are unavoidable. Unanticipated complications and benefits are both common. And opportunities to learn by trial and error are limited. You can’t try a new highway over here and over there; you put it where you put it. But new issues will arise. Adjustments will be required. No solution to a wicked problem is ever permanent or wholly satisfying, which leaves every solution open to easy polemical attack.
Atul Gawande on why universal health-care in the United States is a wicked problem, and why the uninsured are still vulnerable: http://nyr.kr/MDJqA8
Creativity is, in a nutshell, a bit crazy - and most crazy people are too disorganized to do much. But geniuses require to be a bit crazy, yet also do prolonged focused work - and this is a reason why there are so few of them.
So - high intelligence is very rare (and some societies have too low an average intelligence to generate more than a tiny proportion of very intelligent people).
Within this tiny group of highly intelligent people, on top of all this, to get the coincidence of a creative way of thinking with a sufficiently persevering personality type is very rare.
And among this small percentage of a small percentage, there are the workings of sheer luck, there is the higher than normal risk of (self) sabotage by mental illness and addiction, there are the problems of a higher than usual probability of an abrasive or antisocial personality - and (as Murray identifies) the likelihood that for a person to aim very high requires a belief in transcendental values (the beautiful, the truth, virtue) - and that some societies (such as our own) lack this belief.
Put all these together and it is clear why in all societies genius is rare; and why genius is completely absent from most societies.
65 years ago today Jackie Robinson stepped onto Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field, changing professional baseball forever. Breaking the color barrier, Robinson was the first African American player in Major League Baseball.
Read more about his legacy here.
Pictured: Jackie Robinson poses for LIFE’s Allan Grant during filming of The Jackie Robinson Story, 1950. (Allan Grant—Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images)
TOO SKINNY TO MODEL
Last Monday, a new law passed in Israel that banned models from getting modeling gigs if they are too thin. “Too thin” under the law is a BMI (ratio of weight to height) under 18.5. The law also says that if a model looks underweight, she can’t be used either. And if any graphic manipulation was done in a photo to create a thinner illusion, it must be clearly stated.
I think that this is a great step towards creating a more realistic and attainable standard of beauty for us women. It will help promote healthier lifestyles in the modeling industry and put somewhat of a stop to eating disorders.
But this law is flawed.
I understand that statistically anyone with a BMI under 18.5 is considered underweight (normal is between 18.5-24.9 for women), but what about the girls that are naturally thin and healthy with low BMIs? Everyone’s body is built differently. I think it is a MISTAKE to judge a woman’s health based just on this number. It is the same thing as judging someone based on the number that appears on a scale. And the subjective part about not letting someone model who simply “looks underweight” – what does that really mean? It means more room for politics and games.
Overall, I think this will help the greater population of models to not resort to extreme measures to keep their jobs. The government wants to promote healthy living – that’s fine – but I really don’t like that someone’s health can be judged by a number, legally.
What’s your opinion on this? I’d love to hear.
should be our ethics that drives this change vs a law - but agree with it
Paul Higgins: has certainly happened with me. I will email documents to GMail that I need to read or take to meetings. I will send documents to my iPad that I use to run workshops - run sheets, timings , etc. Also send presentations to my iPad into Prezi Viewer so I can practice them on a train or plane. The important difference to my laptop is ease of carrying and the speed of opening and using. The other day I had a breakfast meeting in the city and another one at 11. In between I was going into the virtual office space we hire from Servcorp to do some work on end of month reporting . I needed the accounting software application that I have on my laptop rather than my iPad despite the fact that we share the back up files in the cloud via DropBox. I found myself really strongly resenting the fact that I had to carry my laptop with me. Made me think that the cloud plus tablet are certainly the way of the future and the laptops days are ending faster than I previously thought.
If you think about it, printers are probably the worst-designed gadgets in our homes (unless you own the same awful Samsung Behold as I do). But despite the mythical advance of the paperless office, nobody has been able to kill them off. Until now. A new survey says that the iPad has finally doomed the printer, and is even saving trees.
The survey, conducted by Morgan Stanley Research and named “Tablet Demand and Disruption,” shows that as tablet adoption in business has grown, so the use of paper and printers has dropped. And for tablets here we can read “iPad,” as nothing else is really selling in significant numbers.
Morgan Stanley surveyed 700 tablet users in the U.S and found that 46 percent of them had reduced their printer use. It makes total sense. Even the Lady, a die-hard paper user, took her iPad to some official place or other last month to have them scan a barcode straight from the screen.
» via Cult of Mac
Printer - I disagree many I know print out presentations to make notes in prep for presentation - many live in virtual world so having notes and little reminders help during the call
VentureBeat’s Devindra Hardawar reports not only that HP was trying to sell webOS for $1.2 billion (the same price HP paid to get all of Palm just last year), but that Facebook was one suitor they met with.
While Hardawar cites a source saying that this deal “was practically laughed out of the room”, I wouldn’t totally put the idea of webOS and Facebook to bed.
Back in August, when HP was in crazy mode, myself and others laid out reasons why a Facebook/webOS deal would make sense. It still does — but maybe even more so now that HP ultimately decided to open source the OS.
Most of the reports about the Facebook Phone have them forking a version of Android in a similar way to what Amazon did for the Kindle Fire. But imagine if Facebook forked webOS instead?
Given Facebook’s HTML5 ambitions, and webOS’ HTML base, this seems to make more sense than forking a Java development platform.
I also wouldn’t sleep on one or more OEM pushing for this. Sooner or later, one of Android’s big OEM partners is going to break away, likely when Google tries to exert more control on things like OS updates. Google can say what it wants about the Motorola deal, the second that happened, all the other OEMs started looking around at other options. Open source webOS is an attractive one. Open source webOS re-written to be FacebookOS is an extremely attractive one.
I have to say I love the webOS software and hope it finds someplace to do it justice