Our Blogs  

May 2007

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 18, 2007  · 

Now the origin of this model is Russell Ackoff, one of the giants of systems thinking (not to be confused with complexity) who created five categories of the human mind.

  • Data, seen as symbols (IT sees this as an abstraction of signals)
  • Information, seen as useful data answering who, what, where and when questions
  • Knowledge, answering how questions through the application of both data and information
  • Understanding, as the appreciation of why
  • Wisdom, or evaluated understanding

Now while this still has a...


Ethical stories?

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 17, 2007  ·  Musings

My thanks to John Caddell who found this Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure produced by the Pentagon. Before anyone gets exciting this is not a new take on Just War theory, but a set of stories of human failure, told in a whimsical style that makes them very readable. I give an example here.

"But, Judge, I didn't get anything!"
An offshore safety inspector found much of the Government’s equipment to be in need of repairs to meet safety standards. He then referred the business to his brother-in-law's repair shop. The rig operators...


European Cup Final

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 14, 2007  ·  Requests

One of Cognitive Edge's best and most pioneering customers is an avid fan of Liverpool Football Club (I am also a long term fan, but reserve the "avid" for the only other worthy wearer of red shirts, namely the welsh rugby team, although England are adopting an "if you can't beat them then join them approach"). Despite having a season ticket and turning out week in week out to watch Liverpool through good and bad times he has been unable to get hold of a ticket for next weeks match.
Does anyone out there have a ticket or access to...



By Dave Snowden  ·  May 13, 2007  ·  Musings

Thanks to Jon Kendall for this ESP test, sent to me after he had viewed the The Colour Changing Card Trick. Its better if anything, largely because of the various suggested explanations.

Any more for the collection?

PS: I am also testing ECTO as a posting tool thanks to a suggestion from Shawn who has recently joined the company of those who use real computers. So far I am finding that it improves productivity, but with some irritations: you have to select a word to spell check it, if you load a picture too big for your site...


Guadeloupe River

By Dave Snowden  ·  May 13, 2007  ·  News

P1010014_1_1.jpgI am spending the weekend with Andrea and Nancy (nee Cailleteau) Mills, recently married and setting up at a great flat in Austin. I spent the previous week in Washington supporting Wayne Zandbergen in a couple of high potential clients, and also presented on the subject to complexity to the NSF. This was followed by the APQC conference of which more next week. I haven't been in Houston/Austin for years and to be there a couple of days after Andrea and Nancy moved in is one of those serendipitous events that are a part of the rich...