“I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.” - Jorge Luis Borges
Anthropologists have found that we’re very motivated to divide into teams, and once on a team, we’ll work hard to degrade the other team. Over the smallest differences. For the smallest possible stakes. Even when we get no other benefit than thinking that we won something.
We spend a lot of time sorting people into buckets. We label them in order to treat them differently and establish expectations for how they’ll respond. Mostly to figure out which team they’re on. An email from a stranger causes us to spend some time guessing their status, gender and connection to us.
Strangely, we don’t care so much about whether someone is right handed or left handed. We don’t waste cycles on dividing people by whether they can curl their tongue or even if they can play the piano.
I totally understand our caring about Yankees vs. Red Sox. About seeking out team affiliation when team affiliation is a choice, when it’s intentionally competitive, when it tells us something about what’s going to happen next.
But if we’re not sure of someone’s gender, religion, citizenry, sexual preference or race, we can get very uptight. Ambidextrous (unsorted) in these areas is a problem, apparently, even though there’s no relationship (zero) between the things that matter (attitude, skills, talents) and the easily measured team affiliation that we all seem so concerned about.
And that leads to a great opportunity. If you can be the person who coordinates the work of people regardless of their designated unasked-for affiliation, you’ll be able to find brilliant contributors that others foolishly overlook.
The room has more room than ever for those willing to be ambidextrous, to follow a path that’s not previously defined. Work with them or get out of their way.
No country has become developed by skipping industrialization - it has been critical to the rapid economic transformation of almost every developed nation.
We find ourselves in a unique time where the world is undergoing a digital revolution. Nigeria doesn’t have to go through an industrial revolution followed by digital revolution. Releaf wants to help the country do them simultaneously by:
Employing technology to accelerate agricultural-based industrialization...[more]
There’s a term in copyediting called “stet.”
That’s what you write when you want the copyeditor to not make the indicated change. It’s probably Latin for, “leave my best work alone, please.”
Too often, in a committee, we bend to the fear of those that would prefer we fit in, dumb it down and average it out.
Better, I think, to simply say, “stet.” No drama, no explanation. Simply, “stet.”
Your work is worth it.
It’s worth picking a philosophy that’s self correcting.
The antidote to junk science is more science, good science. Science is a self-correcting process, where transparency leads to improvement.
The antidote to bad engineering is more engineering. Engines and bridges run better today than they did a hundred years ago.
The antidote to blind obedience to unexamined edicts and principles, though, is not more obedience. It doesn’t self correct. It gets worse.
[For those interested in constructive innovation instead of obedience, please consider the altMBA. Today’s the early deadline for our next session.]
Nigerians are known as enterprising people globally. Both at home and abroad, they have been able to make the best of every situation and succeed in different areas: academia, business, arts, and in many other endeavours. In agriculture, the younger generation, especially millennials, are taking the nation by storm. Here is a list of the top 10 agricultural start-ups in Nigeria...[more]They are:
Farmfields Agro-Allied Services
Honeysuckles PTL Ventures
This original watercolor is from "The Tale of the First Dervish" about a brother and sister who suffer the consequences of falling in love.
This original watercolor is from "The Story of King Schahriyar and His Brother Schahzena" and shows a genie releasing a beautiful woman from a chest.
This original watercolor is from "The Overseer's Tale" and shows a young woman and her secret treasure chests.
The cover of Kay Nielsen's A Thousand and One Nights.
In the early 20th century, artists experimented with color and less realistic dimensions, and mixed the worlds of Eastern and Western mythologies. Danish illustrator Kay Nielsen, working in Europe during World War I, finished his own evocative version of A Thousand and One Nights. His mysticism-tinted take on the Arabian stories pushed visual storytelling to new heights.
Nielsen filled his illustrations with expressionist, nearly surrealist characters and whimsical landscapes, breaking the boundaries of what visual storytelling was supposed to look like. His use of bright reds and deep blues, of golden leaves and detailed floral elements, hinted at a mix of Asian folklore and Arab iconography, make of his work a revolutionary body of visual art.
But the illustrations were never published, and the watercolor images remained tucked away for more than 40 years. They were rescued from oblivion after Nielsen’s death in 1957 and sat unused for another 60 — until now.
Images: Courtesy of TASCHEN
The Zanzibar mapping initiative is creating a high resolution map of the islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, over 2300 km2, using low-cost drones instead of satellite images or manned planes. The Zanzibar Commission for Lands will use the maps for better planning, land tenure and environmental monitoring.
NLÉ (covered earlier), the architecture and urban design firm led by kunlé adeyemi, has completed a set of classrooms and dormitories for a boarding school in tanzania. conceived as an immersive environment where students learn from nature, the ‘black rhino academy’ is situated on an undulating site surrounded by vegetation and wildlife. the masterplan for the campus is inspired by the region’s ancient civilizations where rings of small building units were connected by thorn bushes, thus forming protective belts around the villages...[more]
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world and two-thirds of its territory is water. Indonesia is one of the world’s largest seaweed producers, accounting for more than a third of global seaweed production. Indonesia’s seaweed exports were valued at around US$200 million in 2014, with production reportedly increasing at about 30% per year.
Indonesia is also the world’s largest producer of red seaweed, whose carbohydrate element is the key ingredient for bioplastics.
A recent report suggests that Indonesia is a highly suitable place for red seaweed farming due to its climate, nutrients and geographical conditions.
Indonesia is also one step ahead of other countries in developing seaweed-based plastics. Indonesian start-up Indonesia Evoware has invented cups and food containers made from farmed seaweeds and sold them commercially.
There are two interesting ways to solve a problem, find a startup or even write a blog post.
You can lump two previously disparate categories into one.
Or you can split a previously coherent category into two or more pieces.
Amazon is a lumper. They lumped 1,000 individual markets for bookstores into one giant one. They lumped dozens of different kinds of retail stores into one big one.
A high-end barber shop is a splitter. It doesn’t cut all hair. Just men. Not all men, just men who want to spend $50 on the experience.
You can choose to lump or to split, but either one will show you a new way forward.
Magic UX is a new smartphone interface inspired by the physical world. It uses your view of the real world to help you navigate computer generated content in the digital world. It’s a practical, subtle use of augmented reality.
Kievan Rus, 1180.
next to Cumania.
Imagine a 5 storey spiral tower with a little shop on the ground floor….. A friendly stepped path dropping into a cobbled street winding up the outside of the building to little landings…. neighbours pausing for a chat. A more generous spot with a sunny settle…. widening in places into a garden terraces, front doors open, a natter, some DIY, a bike on the railings, an al fresco fag, familiarity, friendship even… shades of old Porto where I remember houses ranged along steeply stepped alleys dipping down to the Douro.
I want to live there.
Life Before AutoCAD
Before the advent of AutoCAD and other drafting softwares, the engineering drawings were made on sheet of papers using drawing boards. Many equipments were required to complete a given drawing such as drawing board, different grade pencils, Erasers T-squares, Set square etc.
Isabel Leonard, mezzo soprano, meeting Tippi Hedren after the opera debut of Marnie.
CanSat provides an affordable opportunity for educators and students to acquire basic knowledge of space engineering and to experience engineering challenges in building a satellite
Can Satellite (Can Sats) is a small and simple satellite that fits in a 350ml can size (66mm diameter and 115mm height) and has a mass below 350g. The idea of Can Satellite came through discoveries by Prof Bob Twiggs (Stanford University Space Development Laboratory) in 1998. He suggested a concept of developing small satellites that fits in a 350ml can and have a mass below 350g.More here
Many would wonder why they should bother themselves with trying to understand Can Sats. One would certainly ask which part of their lives can satellites be of relevance.
Can Sats perform a number of functions and their missions can be taking pictures, transmitting telemetry, atmospheric missions, video capture, imaging, communication and or navigation.
It’s irrational to buy a lottery ticket. And yet, millions do, even more when the prize is huge.
- The odds of winning the $1.6 billion MegaMillions lottery are vanishingly small. You’re 400 times more likely to be hit by lightning.
- The benefit of a winning a huge lottery prize is not that different, in terms of how it will effect your life, than winning a more ordinary large prize. And yet, every time a lottery hits a record-setting level, more people buy tickets.
To be clear: buying this lottery ticket is precisely as rational as paying $800 a day for a device to help to avoid being hit by lightning.
So what’s up with this? How do we explain why millions of otherwise sane people will waste $2 entering a lottery that they’re not going to win? And why do it in occasional droves, as opposed to thoughtfully?
Because, for some people, some of the time, the lottery is a bargain. The only person who buys a lottery ticket for $2 is someone who, right now, thinks it’s worth more than that.
Worth more than that for the feeling of possibility, hope or relief that they feel just before they found out they lost, and the feeling goes away, only to return when they play again.
Worth more than that for the pleasure of being part of a mass sensation, at least for a moment.
Worth more than that because the alternative, the gnawing feeling of being left behind, is worth avoiding for just two dollars.
The surprising thing isn’t that we’re irrational about how we spend our time and money. It’s how much effort we put into lying about it.
In March 2017, 18-year old developer Albert Gajšak launched the MAKERbuino, an educational Kickstarter project that let anyone build an 8-bit, Arduino-based gaming console.
The project was a big success, overshooting its funding goal by 10 times. And now, Gajšak has used everything he learned from that experience to launch a more ambitious project: the MAKERphone.
The MAKERphone is again, an Arduino-based, DIY mobile phone which comes disassembled, as a kit. By building the phone yourself, you'll learn a bit about programming in environments such as Python and Scratch as well as basics of electronics...[more]
A naive dream is that it’s possible to go on a long bike ride–and enjoy the journey going downhill in each direction.
Newton had it right… you’re going to need to go uphill in order to go downhill.
Too often, though, we set up our projects and our freelance life in a way that makes it always an uphill slog. If you don’t build an asset and don’t invest in your reputation, all you’ve got left is grunt work.
The hard work is digging in deeper than usual on the uphills–that’s the best chance you have to earn a downhill later.
When your ideas are spreading, when your work is remarkable, when your organization has built a social ratchet that works, one of the side effects will be a significant social media presence. People will talk about you in ways that they like to talk… online.
On the other hand, if you spend all your time beginning at the end, grooming your social network, tweezing your Insta posts, hyping your tweets–nothing much is going to happen.
The simple proof of this is that brands with ten or twenty times the social media impact almost never have ten or twenty times as many people working as “social media specialists.”
And worth noting: The Mona Lisa has a huge social media presence. Her picture is everywhere. But she doesn’t tweet. She’s big on social media because she’s an icon, but she’s not an icon because she’s big on social media.
The narrative of social media grooming is a seductive one, but it’s as much of a dead end as spending an extra hour picking out which tie to wear before giving a speech.