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

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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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Cultural Wind Jammer

I have the impression that some ways must be left behind, some mental habits must be abandoned, if we are not to clip the wings of progress. Even to science we must sometimes repeat Charon’s cry: By another way, by other ports, not here, you will find passage across the shore. In my role as teacher I hope to be able to show you other ways, if not other ports. — Giuseppe Vitali

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” — William James

Bill Thomas has been described as a Cultural Jammer: trying to change the American attitudes towards aging.

In 1991, Bill Thomas, having been an emergency room doctor, became the medical director of a nursing home in upstate New York. He found the place, as the Washington Post put it, “depressing, a repository for old people whose minds and bodies seemed dull and dispirited.”

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Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

Is not a good idea.

So says her, and she should know:  she has done the research.

It’s complicated, and there are no panaceas.

Real Complex.  It’s hard work.

Politicians, Lawyers, Journalists, and the Public at large love simple explanations and simple solutions: let the Government or the Market solve it.

Simple Solutions for Complex Problems: NOT A GOOD IDEA.  Many Simple Solutions are Fast Ideas.

Rather it’s communication: both cooperative and competitive.

Her ideas are slow ideas: complicated. And the world took awhile to recognize them.  She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics three years before her death.

“Lin Ostrom cautioned against single governmental units at global level to solve the collective action problem of coordinating work against environmental destruction. Partly, this is due to their complexity, and partly to the diversity of actors involved. Her proposal was that of a polycentric approach, where key management decisions should be made as close to the scene of events and the actors involved as possible.”

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Of a Strange and Distant Time

Strangers in Strange Lands

A gypsy of a strange and distant time
Travelling in panic all direction blind
Aching for the warmth of a burning sun
Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from

Left without a hope of coming home.
Gypsy — Moody Blues

He didn’t want to be a gypsy, he wasn’t really a gypsy by nature, but he left without a hope of coming home.

The world and himself made him a gypsy, an exile: a stranger in strange lands.

But he did push for the burning sun.  It technically is called RADIATION.  Order AND Disorder.

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Lichtquanten — Albert Einstein
A Photon — a light quantum

And every one, except one of his mentors, his older fellow exiles, including Einstein, eventually disagreed with Teller Ede, making him an exile three times: a stranger in strange lands, all his life.

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Character

“Character is what you know you are,

not what others think you have.”

She knew what to do.

“Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail.”

She did not fail, in the long run, despite all the obstacles.  Just ask her numerous, successful, students.

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The New Mills

They had to be discrete. Tongues will wag. For their idea is a slow idea, not well accepted in the world even today.  Their slow idea on the human element, Hu, analogously called latent heat in physics and chemistry, generated a lot of heat by others, full of sound and fury at the time, for these other people vigorously opposed the idea: On Liberty – moral|economic. It wasn’t the fast idea at the time:  the conventional wisdom of Victorian, Anglican, England: the idea of nationalised merchantilismtariffed moral, economic, political, and social trade: locally culture restricted and centralized regulated trade of ideas and things: Oh Britannia.

The New Mills: John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill

Green ideas sleep furiously: latent heat

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A Honest Disagreement about the Future

She is mostly right, and he is dead wrong in this case. However, this case is only about the future of humanity.

Who would have thunk it!  He had been billions and billions right, before.

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However, She is an inconvenient woman.  Damn Dambisa, what’s logic and data got to do with it?

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They say they know better, it’s their belief — er — political assumption [Greek: hypothesis] — er — political ?religion?.

Dead Aid a book by Dambisa Moyo

‘… Bill Gates weighed in with his condemnation. “I think that the book actually did damage the generosity of rich world nations,” he said in a 2013 interview. “I have read it and I think she didn’t know much about aid and what aid is doing.” ‘ [My emphasis]

Sorry Billthink again, haven’t you got that the other way around?

“Don’t just read it; fight it! Ask your own questions, look for your own examples, discover your own proofs. Is the hypothesis necessary? Is the converse true? What happens in the classical special case? What about the degenerate cases? Where does the proof use the hypothesis?” – Paul Halmos

There is a schism…

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Mary’s Little Lambs

Suffer little children

No, Mary’s little lambs were not children.

Mary’s “little lambs” were medical researchers that she herded together: adults who were driven to find a cure for cancer, even as the children were suffering and dying: by the thousands.  It was a dilemma: how to cure childhood leukemia, where the medical doctors could do nothing — they didn’t understand what cancer was.  Experimenting on children with a cocktail of toxic chemicals was heart rendering, such that the original doctor who opened the door to that reasearch method, couldn’t do it.

I cannot make one child suffer and die, to save two others.
— Sidney Farber

Robert Moses said about Mary: that she had it all—intelligence, vision, generosity, charm, kindness.

Neen Hunt added this: “she also had courage, passion, and indefatigable energy, and the heart and will to apply her gifts and talents to reduce suffering from disease for people all over the world.”

“The strength of our nation depends on the health of our people. We must once again place the priority on research. It’s good for trade, good for jobs, and vital for all Americans. Medical research is our hope for our children and for the building of a healthy America.”

Mary was strategic…  For that vision was for the future…

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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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Chronicles of a Martian

“There are two kinds of people: Earthlings and Martians”
Dr. David West Keirsey

People who are generally observant are more ‘down to earth.’ – Earthlings

People who are generally introspective are more ‘head in the clouds.’ – Martians

This iNgenous Martian wrote a book.  

Author of: An Anthropologist from Mars

And he will have written and published 12 other books, including his autobiography, when he will die later this year. For he has realized he has terminal cancer.

“I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

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