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Archive for January, 2014

Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Nice picture from "Engineering a Regional Tech Cluster" by Steve Blank.

British Isles

Friday, January 24th, 2014

From France, all this is usually called "England". Now that we have strong evidence of a much more complex situation, we can conclude that actual denominations are barely manageable and keep on with old habits!

Super-pouvoirs

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Nous remarquons tous combien "le pouvoir" est devenu vain. Notre précédent "super-président" était surtout pathétique, le nouveau "super-normal" est surtout ordinaire… et ceux qui croient encore en leur capacité à résoudre plus de problèmes qu’ils n’en causent sont toujours moins nombreux.

Les réseaux où se construit une intelligence collective en arrivent à réduire leurs ambitions à espérer que l’évident parvienne à atteindre le niveau de conscience de politiques qui auraient déjà besoin de plus d’un temps plein pour "gérer la politique" (jouer aux échecs contre l’autre camp tout en s’assurant que ses propres pièces ne se bouffent pas les unes les autres).

Un article tout neuf de Susannah Fox vient de me titiller les neurones : elle y parle des conversations avec ses enfants autour des personnages de super-héros et de leurs super-pouvoirs (voler, guérir, être très fort, avoir le don d’ubiquité…) et de sa prise de conscience soudaine qu’elle a elle-même des super-pouvoirs – et que nous pouvons tous en avoir : il suffit d’utiliser ses réseaux à bon escient !

Si nous raisonnons dans l’autre sens, plutôt que de réaliser que les réseaux existants nous donnent déjà des super-pouvoirs, on peut choisir ou concevoir des façons de "faire-réseau" en fonction des super-pouvoirs que nous aimerions avoir… ça peut paraitre anecdotique, mais c’est l’amorce d’une expression des besoins et désirs en Interaction Design.

Creating a password

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

cabbage

Sorry, the password must be more than 8 characters.

boiled cabbage

Sorry, the password must contain 1 numerical character.

1 boiled cabbage

Sorry, the password cannot have blank spaces.

50fuckingboiledcabbages

Sorry, the password must contain at least one upper case character.

50FUCKINGboiledcabbages

Sorry, the password cannot use more than one upper case character consecutively.

50FuckingBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourArse,IfYouDon’tGiveMeAccessImmediately

Sorry, the password cannot contain punctuation.

NowIamGettingReallyPissedOff50FuckingBoiledCabbagesShovedUpYourArseIfYouDontGiveMeAccessImmediately

Sorry, that password is already in use!

Complexity Awareness Equation

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

We are living in a complex society, with complex companies addressing complex issues. In my opinion, the most sound answer to this challenge includes switching from hierarchical to networked organizations and opening this network to the edges.

But… such dramatic organization changes can only be envisioned when two conditions are validated:

  • there is some awareness about complexity: it can be detected and assessed,
  • there is a understandable threat to keeping the usual pace.

My take on this is in the form of the "Complexity Awareness Equation":

Complexity ⟹
Grossman’s Law + Duning-Kruger Effect ➔ Dumbest lead

Let’s explain…

Grossman’s Law states that "Complex problems have simple, easy to understand wrong answers." It is the shortest way to express the malediction that organizations face when in complexity denial. It both reads "simple and easy to understand solutions will be (endlessly) tested and will (endlessly) fail" and "the more it will fail, the more a disoriented hierarchy, confusing complexity with complication, will ask for simple and easy to understand solutions."

According to Wikipedia, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority. When complex issues are addressed using regular solutions, repeated failures result in smarter people becoming unsure of their skills while the dumber suffer from the illusory certitude that the simple solutions, the ones they can understand, are fit.
As Bertrand Russel stated The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wise people so full of doubts. It might not apply to "the whole problem with the world" but it is at least archetypal to complex issues.

Applying Grossman’s law, we now know that complex issues will lead to both repeated failures of simple solutions and the demand of ever simple solutions from a disoriented hierarchy. We also know that the Dunning-Kruger Effect will have unskilled ones feel superior while skilled ones are "lost in complication". What follows is that the unskilled will take the lead.

The side effect is well known, and may probably represent the hardest issue our societies currently face. Unskilled take the lead. Their solutions keep failing and the only reason they can think of is that they were not granted enough control, or budget, or both. Accordingly they ask for more power and are usually given what they want because the more was already invested in crappy solutions, the more they become artificially valued.

This equation was elaborated from an historical study of Public Health Information Systems, an archetypal environment were many countries spend considerable amount of money trying in vain to build Patient Health Records. I latter discovered that it helps understand much larger systems, for example the Bush administration foreign policy or US secret services building PRISM as an answer to their failure to prevent 9/11.

Un texte un jour

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Si c’est moderne, c’est sur le web, c’est en réseau, et c’est social. Sinon, c’est mort pour des Petites Poucettes à qui le rythme de Facebook, Twitter et des SMS interdit définitivement d’aller mourir d’ennui aux marges du désert des Tartares.

Et pourtant, il y a du graphe dans la littérature, du lien, du mouvement, de l’intrigue ; il suffisait de trouver le moyen de connecter ces rythmes au tempo de la toile, ce qu’a magistralement réussi Sarah avec son application un texte un jour qui a aujourd’hui les honneurs mérités du magazine Libération

2014 :-)

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014


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