Archive for the ‘English’ Category

Very simple framework for reflecting on goals for 2022

Tuesday, December 28th, 2021

The spirits say…

Friday, November 12th, 2021

A picture is worth a thousand words

Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Simplicity in a restricted mindset as opposed to the natural complexity "out of the box".

Urban spatial order

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

From paper Urban spatial order: street network orientation, configuration, and entropy (PDF here):

Street networks may be planned according to clear organizing principles or they may evolve organically through accretion, but their configurations and orientations help define a city’s spatial logic and order. Measures of entropy reveal a city’s streets’ order and disorder. Past studies have explored individual cases of orientation and entropy, but little is known about broader patterns and trends worldwide. This study examines street network orientation, configuration, and entropy in 100 cities around the world using OpenStreetMap data and OSMnx.

Attached to… Europe, the country or the region?

Saturday, June 5th, 2021

A World of Bees

Wednesday, March 24th, 2021

Amazing work on the natural history and phylogeny of bees by Silas Bossert (@thecriticalbee), available at his website

Research Proposal Flowchart

Friday, March 5th, 2021

Nobody Cares About You

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

A post by Hugh MacLeod (@hughcards)

The great marketing blogger (and College Professor) Mark Ritson (@markritson) had a superb piece in Marketing Week about how, contrary to all the hotshots that give keynotes at marketing conferences, people hate advertising. All of it.

And yes, the fact that there’s this one ad that you remember fondly from 20 years ago doesn’t prove the opposite, it’s an (extremely rare) exception that proves the rule. Outliers are not reality.

What does this tell us non-advertising, non-marketing types?

It tells us (yet again) the First Law of Business: “NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOU.”

They don’t care about your widget. They don’t care about your passion. Or your family. Or your take on social justice.

What they care about, of course, is themselves, and maybe, just maybe what you can do for them.

This is why the First Law of Business is so useful. Because instead of standing there, preening yourself as you wax poetic, this forces you to think about them instead. Their needs. Their desires. Their hopes and dreams.

Which is a much more useful and productive conversation to have.

Circles, networks and the trust layer

Saturday, February 6th, 2021

A post by Seth Godin (@ThisIsSethsBlog)

The internet clearly has a trust problem. As with most things, it helps to start with the Grateful Dead.

After their incarnation as the Warlocks, they became more than a band. It was a family on the road. There were people who gave up their careers to follow them around, living on buses… they were seeing thirty or forty shows a year. You traded tickets, did favors, built relationships. People in the family knew that they’d be seeing each other again soon.

And then, in 1987, Touch of Grey went to #1 (their only top 40 hit) and it attracted a huge (and different) crowd to the shows. Reports were that the intimacy and trust disappeared.

Glen Weyl points out that the internet was started by three tribes, as different from each other as could be. The military was behind the original ARPA (and then DARPA) that built and funded it. Professors at universities around the world were among the early users. And in San Francisco, a group of ‘hippies’ were the builders of some of the first culture online.

Because each of these groups were high-trust communities, it was easy to conclude that the people they’d be engaging online would be too. And so, as the tools of the internet and then the web were built out, they forgot to build a trust layer. Plenty of ways to share files, search, browse, chat and talk, but no way to engage in the very complicated things that humans do around identity and trust.

Humans have been in tribal relationships since before recorded history began. The word “tribe” appears in the Bible more than 300 times. But the internet isn’t a community or a tribe. It’s simply a technology that amplifies some voices and some ideas. When we don’t know who these people are, or if they’re even people, trust erodes.

When a site decides to get big fast, they usually do it by creating a very easy way to join, and they create few barriers to a drive-by anonymous experience. And when they make a profit from this behavior, they do it more. In fact, they amplify it.

Which makes good business in the short run, but lousy public policy.

Twenty years ago, I wrote that if someone goes into a bank wearing a mask (current pandemic aside) we can assume that they’re not there to make a deposit.

And now we’re suffering from the very openness and ease of connection that the internet was built on. Because a collection of angry people talking past each other isn’t a community. Without persistence of presence, some sort of identity and a shared set of ideals, goals and consequences, humans aren’t particularly tempted to bring their best selves to the table.

The system is being architected against our best impulses. Humans understand that local leadership, sacrifice and generosity build community, and that fights and scandals simply create crowds. Countless people are showing up, leading and pushing back, but algorithms are powerful and resilient, and we need some of them to be rebuilt.

Until there’s a correlation between what’s popular or profitable and what’s useful, we’re all going to be paying the price.

Get Rid Of The Red Buttons

Saturday, January 23rd, 2021

Cartoon by Adam Zyglis (@adamzyglis).

According to Wikipedia, the Diet Coke button was a red call button that Donald Trump had placed on the Resolute desk in the Oval Office of the White House during his administration. When pressed, a signal would summon a butler who would bring a Diet Coke on a silver platter. Donald Trump stated to one reporter that “everyone thinks it is [the nuclear button]“. Trump reportedly drank 12 Diet Cokes per day.

In the first few days of Joe Biden’s presidency, he had the button removed.

The red button in a wooden box next to the telephone on the Resolute desk in March 2017.


Saturday, January 16th, 2021

Wild Again

Tuesday, January 12th, 2021

Great Again

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

10 Points Strategy when Facing a Pandemic Outbreak

Sunday, December 13th, 2020

A tweet thread by @yaneerbaryam

I have been working on pandemic outbreaks for 15 years.

There is a misunderstanding of the difference between the response in much of the West, versus successful countries (including New Zealand and Australia).


  1. Reactive versus proactive and goal oriented.
  2. Mitigation (slowing transmission) versus elimination (stopping transmission).
  3. Gradually responding to increasing levels of infection by imposing greater restrictions which enables the infection rate to grow (red zone strategy), versus starting with high restrictions to arrest transmission and relaxing restrictions only when the number of new cases is so low that contact tracing or localized short term action can stop community transmission (green zone strategy, including localized “fire fighting”).
  4. Trying to keep economic activity and travel as open as possible but perpetuating the economic harm and imposing yoyo restrictions, versus making an initial sacrifice of economic activity and travel in order to benefit from the rapid restoration of normal economic activity.
  5. Focusing attention on few individuals resistant to social action because of shortsightedness or selfishness, versus recognizing the vast majority do the right thing if given clear guidance and support, which is what matters for success, as elimination is a robust strategy.
  6. Incorrectly thinking that this is a steady state situation where balance between counter forces must be maintained versus a dynamic situation in which rapid action can shift conditions from a bad losing regime to a good winning one.
  7. Naive economic thinking of a tradeoff between economics and fighting the virus, versus realizing a short time economic hit will enable opening normally and restoring the economy (as recognized by McKinsey, BCG, IMF and other correct economic analyses).
  8. We have to “live with the virus” versus we can eliminate the virus and return to normal social and economic conditions.
  9. Waiting for high-tech vaccination to be a cure all, versus using right-tech classic pandemic isolation/quarantine of individuals and communities to completely stop transmission.
  10. Considering the virus as primarily a medical problem of treating individuals and individual responsibility for prevention of their own infection, versus defeating the virus as a collective effort based in community action, galvanized by leaders providing clear information, a public health system engaging in community-based prevention of transmission, and the treatment of patients is, by design, as limited as possible.


Monday, November 2nd, 2020

Yet another acronym… VUCA nails our times as Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous and the VUCA-adapted behavior as Vision, Understanding, Clarity, Agility.

Let’s embrace it!

The Solution Steps

Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

Sketchnote graphic by @woodard_julie.


Sunday, September 27th, 2020

We need transformational ideas AND transformational follow up

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020

Yet another pearl from Helen Bevan (@helenbevan).

Transactional follow up

Is focused on delivering an action plan, achieving a certain set of steps to move towards some outcome. It is surface level.

Transformational follow up

Is focused on the whole, the individuals, the team, the system. It goes below the surface. It helps a team or system create an awareness of the factors contributing to the achievement of their challenge or goal. Often these contributing factors stem from limiting beliefs, assumptions and values formed from past experiences.

Source: Based on work by Toby Sinclair (@TobySinclair_).

Masks are for Sissies

Saturday, August 1st, 2020

By Adam Zyglis (@adamzyglis)

Years of Life Lost

Friday, May 1st, 2020

Graphic from based on data from this document