Transformation: Swimming Across the Universe

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.”  — Andy Grove

moore_noyce_grove

In Memoriam: Andy Grove
2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016

Andy Grove was noted for making sure that important details were never missed.  Having a strategic vision helps in recognizing the important factors.

He had survived by getting things right in the long term and transforming himself.

“By the time I was twenty, I had lived through a Hungarian Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis’ “Final Solution,” the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, a period of chaotic democracy in the years immediately after the war, a variety of repressive Communist regimes, and a popular uprising that was put down at gunpoint. . . [where] many young people were killed; countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West. I was one of them.

Even though he arrived in the United States with little money and not knowing English, Grove retained a “passion for learning.”  He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, followed by a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.

“Probably no one person has had a greater influence in shaping Intel, Silicon Valley, and all we think about today in the technology world than Andy Grove.” — Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware

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Mastermind

It’s Trade, Stupid

He was kicked out.

They had no natural resources: except a natural harbor and being in a central location of the poor South East Asia.

It was a mismash of cultures: Chinese, Malays and Indians, under the British colonial rule, made from the flotsam and jetsam of the Chinese Diaspora and local Malays with a sprinkle of Indians.

Exhausted by World War II, the British wanted out of the colonial business, so they tried to give Singapore to the newly formed Malaysia.   Singapore joined neighboring Malaysia, another former British colony, in 1963. The following year riots between ethnic Chinese and Malays broke out, and Singapore and Malaysia split into separate nations in 1965.

No go there, there was Tunku, he had enough problems with his Chinese. Too many Chinese and Lee was not a weak leader, not easily manipulable.  

Kicked out of the Malaysian Federation, Lee Kuan Yew, leading a newly independent Singapore from 1965, with overwhelming parliamentary control, oversaw the nation’s transformation from a relatively underdeveloped colonial outpost with no natural resources into an Asian Tiger economy. In the process, he forged a widely admired system of meritocratic, clean, self-reliant and efficient government and civil service, much of which is now taught at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

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Innovating Innovation

He wasn’t talented enough, he thought.

To join Disney Animation Studios as an animator.

So he became a scientist

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A Computer Scientist.

He has had a hand in innovating with a team, in a whole new way.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Now he is the President of Disney Animation Studios… and Pixar Animation Studios … and Disney Toons Studios.

Computer Science, Ed Catmull, and Innovation has come a long way baby…

And you haven’t seen nothing yet.

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Wandering Towards Enlightenment, revisited.

I would have to say she has done it.

She is definitely Enlightened, oh well, the rest of the world is still wandering, wandering, wandering towards Enlightenment.

Yes, she is enlightened.  But still most people in the world are comfortable in the previous centuries: hopefully most looking forward, however, there are plenty of people, few in the seventh century, but the rest that dwell in the twentieth century and looking backwards. Even in some in the most “seemly advanced” universities in the world, such as Brandeis University, have enough individuals with loud voices who are comfortable in previous centuries.  I am sure Justice Brandeis would be turning in his grave.

The Original: Wandering towards Enlightenmentenlightenment

 

 

A Mistake Was Made

Oops — by me

Well, and there were mistakes made, but not by me 😉

The remarkable thing is understanding never stays put. It is important always to get a new understanding … … … understanding can be improved
Saunders MacLane

She was misunderstood by many people: for she discarded the traditional political philosophy’s conceptual schema.

Hannah Arendt employed the famous phrase about “banality of evil” in her book about the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Now almost a cliché, it is easy to forget the storm it once generated. As a former victim of Nazi persecution in Germany who had later worked for the Zionist cause in Palestine, many Jewish writers had expected Arendt’s book on the trial to reinforce their own conviction that Nazism represented a radically new type of evil. To her own surprise, Arendt was unable to oblige.

Conventionally Eichmann was viewed as a “evil monster”.  However, after Arendt studied Eichmann during the trial and after, she did not see a demonic force but a mediocre personality, that she concluded, who inhabited a thought world of platitudes. A banal obsession with process and following orders, not some special, radical type of evil, had enabled him to commit crimes on a massive scale. Arendt’s critics had misunderstood her if they ever thought that her Zionist past meant she was going to play the part of the “good Jew” in approaching Eichmann’s crimes.

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.  — Margaret Thatcher

Some of her critics did not read much or any of her writings.  Some of them probably based their criticisms of Arendt on what their own cohort had said.

Based on their personal experiences with totalitarian regimes in their youth, Hannah Arendt and Ayn Rand were two individuals who pointed out the hypocrisy of the established Western World intellectuals.  They spoke truth to power, and were criticized, ignored, or ostracized because of it.

stalin-hitlerUnfortunately my blog about Hannah and Ayn had a flaw it it.

Watch what they say and do, if you can — don’t rely on second and third sources.

I knew a great deal about Ayn Rand, having read about and following her for decades, and reading a couple of her books since I was a kid.  I had studied Arendt to a degree, but not enough.  I made a mistake.  NO, my mistake was not on what their ideas were: Hannah and Ayn were very articulate, and had well formulated their prose.  Those who don’t have their political, economic, and cultural religion blinding them can easily understand their point of view and their message.

My mistake was of a differing kind.  I was mistaken in what Hannah Arendt’s personality type was.  I had hypothesized that Hannah Arendt was a Mastermind Rational, same as Ayn, [Contending Rational (INTJ)], but Hannah Arendt not a Mastermind (as I later discovered, after my blog was published), rather, based on listening to an extended interview (in German, with subtitles) was it was clear to me that she was Architect Rational [Accomodating Rational (INTP)].

Architect Rationals need not be thought of as only interested in drawing blueprints for buildings or roads or bridges. They are the master designers of all kinds of theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained – and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent. [Please Understand Me II]

Mastermind Rationals do not feel bound by established rules and procedures, and traditional authority does not impress them, nor do slogans or catchwords. Only ideas that make sense to them are adopted; those that don’t, aren’t, no matter who thought of them. Remember, their aim is always maximum efficiency. Problem-solving is highly stimulating to Masterminds, who love responding to tangled systems that require careful sorting out. Ordinarily, they verbalize the positive and avoid comments of a negative nature; they are more interested in moving an organization forward than dwelling on mistakes of the past. [Please Understand Me II]

Most Rationals are reasonable human beings as long as they don’t have to suffer fools.  This attitude made them appear as both an arrogant human and a humble human at the same time.  Masterminds are not concerned with ideas, for their own sake, as much as the Architects, but rather are interested in ideas for their use and utility in reality. Generally, the Masterminds are looking for interesting answers and Architects are looking for interesting questions.  Architects must understand their field of study, use of those ideas by others and reality is secondary.

“That’s mere reality.”
David Keirsey

Both Rationals are arrogant, Architects are the most arrogant in the natural way: all you have to do is ask them ;-).

Hannah Arendt’s prime directive to herself was to “understand.”

Wir mussen wissen, wir werden wissen.
(We must know, we will know)
David Hilbert

“Never accept an idea as long as you yourself are not satisfied with its consistency and the logical structure on which the concepts are based. Study the masters. These are the people who have made significant contributions to the subject. Lesser authorities cleverly bypass the difficult points.”
Satyendranth Bose

openquoteThere are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous.closedquote — Hannah Arendt

Other Architect Rationals include: James MadisonSrinivasa RamanujanEmmy NoetherPaul DiracRobert RosenDavid KeirseyAlbert EinsteinLonnie AthensDavid Bohm

They Couldn’t Have Been Friends

They were too much alike. They were contenders.  Strategic Contenders.   Not contending with each other.  Their ideas were similar, and they questioned the “authorities”: where ever or whom ever, they may be. Their enemies were the same: mediocrity — the banal, the unquestioning conformity.  For they were exceptional.

Brilliant. Sui generis.

stalin-hitler

That is the problem. They couldn’t have been friends. Even though both were combating the elite Intellectual Mob Totalitarians.

And the herd majority.

They had seen it with their own eyes: the systems that demanded conformity: Nazi Germany and Soviet Union.

And there were those who fully embraced that conformity and propagated it, without thinking, because it is to their short-term advantage to travel with the herd.

Nothing is more obstinate than a fashionable consensus.
— Margaret Thatcher

They both had fled to America as emigrants. They found those in the elite establishment in their new country would not like or ignored of much of what they had to say — at least, in the beginning… Continue reading

Yorick’s Answer

Surely You Infinitely Jest.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him,
Horatio. A fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.
Act V, Scene 1 (Hamlet, with Horatio)

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The map is not the territory, but neither is a random (gaussian noise) sample, but they are both starts. They are better than nothing{the trivial group} or doG. And when they are combined intelligently, they are an unbeatable combination.

Keirsey’s law revised.

“You can’t beat first order statistics”the herd(strong correlation),
— unless you know the first order correspondences too,
and you don’t get in the way.

Yorick’s Answer

… was the right answer for me at the time. But in a crazy and 40 years from recall, the answer was luckily wrongly incomplete.

No, it wasn’t Yorick who answered. That’s not right, he is dead? No, Yorick isn’t dead, he is a fictional CHARACTER. Can fictional characters, die? Or when do they die?

There is no correlation there? What is the correspondence?

A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose, by any other name.

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A Thorn In The Side..

The enmity was mutual.

In a typical parliamentary exchange in which Botha warned her against breaking the law, she said:

“I am not frightened of you. I never have been and I never will be. I think nothing of you.”

A principled, singular individual for 13 years, alone in the group in her contention.

Diminutive, elegant and indefatigable, she confronted the forbidding Afrikaner prime ministers — Hendrik F. Verwoerd, John Vorster and P. W. Botha — who became synonymous with apartheid’s repression of the black and mixed-race populations. She was dismissive of the death threats she received by telephone and in the mail, and undaunted in her showdowns with the men she described as apartheid’s leading “bullies,” who in turn dismissed her as a “dangerous subversive” and a “sickly humanist.”

Subversive Humanist indeed.

For decades, she was among the most venerated of white campaigners urging an end to racial rule, becoming known as a “cricket in the thorn tree” for her outspoken views.

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We Proceed..

lessons_of_history“Since man is a moment in astronomic time, a transient guest of the earth, a spore of his species, a scion of his race, a composite of body, character, and mind, a member of a family and a community, a believer or doubter of a faith, a unit in an economy, perhaps a citizen in a state or a soldier in an army, we may ask under the corresponding heads–astronomy, geology, geography, biology, ethnology, psychology, morality, religion, economics, politics, and war – what history has to say about the nature, conduct, and prospects of man. It is a precarious enterprise, and only a fool would try to compress a hundred centuries into a hundred pages of hazardous conclusions. We proceed.” – Will and Ariel Durant

Those who fail to learn from history will repeat it.

History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes.
Mark Twain

“As his studies come to a close the historian faces the challenge: Of what use have your studies been? Have you found in your work only the amusement of recounting the rise and fall of nations and ideas, and retelling “sad stories of the death of kings”? Have you learned more about human nature than the man in the street can learn without so much as opening a book? Have you derived from history any illumination of our present condition, any guidance for our judgments and policies, any guard against the rebuffs of surprise or the vicissitudes of change? Have you found such regularities in the sequence of past events that you can predict the future actions of mankind or the fate of states? Is it possible that, after all, “history has no sense,” that it teaches us nothing, and that the immense past was only the weary rehearsal of the mistakes that the future is destined to make on a larger stage and scale?” – Will and Ariel Durant

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A Modern Greek Tragedy of Temperament .. and Gender, revisited.

It is a modern Greek Tragedy of Temperament

… and Gender.

The Fates can be cruel or kind, or boththree-fates-greek

It seems so in this story.  This story is about discovery.  This story is about life and death.

She had worked hard all her life.  She had overcome her circumstance. Latin: Circum– to encircle, stance to take a position, to contend. Yes, it had been a man’s world, she was surrounded by her society and her family who discouraged her from her passion: science. Of course, other women had suffered discrimination before her: Marie Curie and Emmy Noether to name two, but they had their families to teach them, encourage and help them. Nobody had encouraged her, certainly not her family, and still was a man’s world in science in 1952.  She had to rely on herself, so she thought and acted.

He, of course, was hopelessly arrogant and smart.  He had been a precocious child; he even appear on Quiz Kids. And he had hooked up with an equally curious and brilliantly arrogant man, a man with a thousand ideas a minute.  They had formed an informal team: a Mastermind RationalJames Watson and a Inventor RationalFrances Crick at the Cavendish Labs in Cambridge. Real Idea Men.

She was reluctant to show her x-ray pictures and data to Watson, in fact she refused.  He had to get them indirectly.  She was dismissive of Crick and Watson’s work – they were wrong – she had convinced them that their initial models couldn’t be right.  Rosalind Franklin, a Mastermind Rational, a Strategic Contender, knew her stuff.  She was a meticulous scientist, she did not speculate wildly beyond the scientific evidence on hand.  She had taught herself to be disciplined in science – rigorous deduction was the way not to get lost.  That way you don’t make mistakes, yourself.

Making mistakes is bad.  It is good to avoid them.  But on the otherhand, if you try to eliminate mistakes, you unfortunately, probably won’t make brilliant mistakes, either.

“Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself.”  — Vilfredo Pareto

Watson had Crick, Crick had Watson. They used wire models of the molecular radicals, and their imagination. Together they figured out the key to life: the Structure of DNA.  They had use their own unique talents, Temperament, and knowledge, but they worked as an Idea team. And they also had Rosy and her work, however reluctant, critical, and knowledgeable she was.

They published their findings in 1953, not acknowledging Rosalind Franklin as being key in the discovery.  For she was and wasn’t.  Without Franklin’s work it probably would have been others, not Watson and Crick who made the discovery, possibly years later by an iconoclast like Linus Pauling, or who knows.  The correct interpretation of Franklin’s x-ray diffraction data of crystaline DeoxyriboNucleic Acid, was Crick and Watson’s solely.  This interpretation has been described by some other biologists and Nobel laureates as the most important scientific discovery of the 20th century. They were rewarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962, five years after Franklin had died of ovarian cancer.

She did have her Science.  She knew herself — what she did.

A tragedy?  A comedy?  Or a Modern Greek Tale of Temperament and Gender.

It is 60 years exactly when Watson and Crick article was published.

 

Other Mastermind Rationals include:  Sheryl WudunnSalman Khan,  Susan B AnthonyIssac NewtonSharon PresleyBill GatesMasha Gessen,  Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Ulysses S. Grant