Two recent examples have helped me create a more clear position on how to deal with the present/future in which technology is always-changing our world (culturally).
- Socrates, and his disciple Plato were vehemently against writing. Putting ideas, knowledge down as texts. They argued that it’ll have adverse effects.
- Episode 642 of Planet Money talked about how initial automated elevators were thought of as ‘killing machines’ because there was ‘no one driving it’. That is how some of us may think of self-driving cars today.
Both of these show that we, as living-in-the-present humans, have limited capacity to see permanency of mega-trends, and tend to lean by default towards the negative aspects of it. The truth may be that fundamental, paradigm-shifts are inevitable and the socio-cultural norms rearrange themselves around the new status quo, making old assumptions and expectations invalid.
Some topics have such division on evidence that I find it hard to form a firm opinion.
- Artificial sweetners: good for you?
- Blackfish film: Truth or lies?
- Organics label: worth it?
Daniel Kish (born 1966 in Montebello, California) is an American expert in human echolocation and President of World Access for the Blind, a non-profit he founded in 2000. Kish and his organization have taught echolocation to at least 500 blind children around the world. Kish, who has been blind since he was 13 months old, is the first totally blind person to be a legally Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist (COMS) and to hold a National Blindness Professional Certification (NOMC). He also holds masters degrees in developmental psychology and special education.
Kish’s work has inspired a number of scientific studies related to human echolocation. In a 2009 study at the University of Alcalá in Madrid, ten sighted subjects were taught basic navigation skills within a few days. The study aimed to analyze various sounds which can be used to echo-locate and evaluate which were most effective. In another study, MRI brain scans were taken of Kish and another echolocation expert to identify the parts of the brain involved in echolocation, with readings suggesting “that brain structures that process visual information in sighted people process echo information in blind echolocation experts.”
Unbelievable. A reminder of how limitless the human mind and capabilities are. Read more about Daniel at Echolocaters.com.
Management is all about making difficult tradeoffs. Exceptional companies approach these tradeoffs with two simple rules in mind:
- Better before cheaper: Companies re moire likely to succeed in long run it they complete on quality or performance than on price
- Revenue before cost: Companies have more to gain in the long run from driving up revenue (for e.g. by charging higher prices or appealing to more customers) than by driving down costs
[From Economist, July 13th 2013 Edition]