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Inner Life of a Cell

I wish we had multimedia biology education back in medical school. If you ever wondered what the inside of the cell looked and did, watch the “Inner Life of a Cell” animation at Harvard University’s Multimedia Production Site (preferably the full audio version). The site is maintained by ‘BioVisions’, a collaborative community of Harvard scientists, teaching faculty, students, and multimedia professionals.

I am still reeling from it’s aftereffects. But even if you haven’t studied biology, this will blow your mind. Very, very cool.

March Hare Theory

Today as I was listening to yet another story of corporate maneuvers, I had an epiphany.

If you don’t know about march hares, look it up on wikipedia or on pubmed. During my random TV surfing, I once landed on a Discovery Channel documentary about weird animal behavior. They showed the wild, back-and-forth, almost violent ‘dance’ of hares that gave rise to the phrase “Mad as a march hare”.

The connection to business world here is by analogy. Big corporations do something similar the mad hare dance when they are in trouble.. jump here and there, create a turbulent, distracting scene that takes attention away from the real problem.

Countless number of times I’ve seen mega-projects fail or customers voiding contracts because of valid reasons on their part. But instead of resolving the core problem or admitting their fault , the default reaction of a corporation is the mad hare dance. Almost instantly, a senior VP is thrown in front of the customer. The guy/gal acts as a sandbag for initial outburst, and soon enough gets transferred/resigns. The new person coming in starts by promising stuff and subtly hinting that since he/she is new, it’ll take sometime to catch up. Once the high-level shuffle is done, it starts in a more implicit way at lower levels. And so on..

It never ceases to amaze me how big corporations stay big inspite of the exponentially increasing chaos, inefficiency and dumbness with size. As a enormous headless entity, it’s almost all muscles and skin, but no brain or heart. Or conscience.