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January 2008

Serendipity

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 31, 2008  ·  Musings

So many discoveries are accidental.  Looking for one thing, finding another.  While the most famous example in modern times is Viagra, this is potentially of more use; as was penicillin before it.  Managing for serendipity is not too difficult, we've got some of it squared up and in the accreditation programmes with more to come.  However the process base of most innovation programmes is too explicit, too linear and too focused on efficiency.  I plan to publish an outline model of how we would use SenseMaker™ to handle large...

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Famine

By Patrick Lambe  ·  January 31, 2008  · 

Famine follows war. Of course it does. The normal infrastructure of production breaks down or is destroyed. Famine is the third horseman of the apocalypse, and he carries a pair of scales. The scales are not to symbolize equity but inflation… the price of staple foods rockets – worth its weight in gold, you might say.

If anything, the scales represent gross inequity. Profiteering, price-fixing, pillage. Productive work is almost non-existent. The economy is destroyed, any productivity that exists is leaking badly into just a few...

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Stealing souls

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 30, 2008  ·  Polemic

There used to be (and probably still is) an issue in some societies of taking photographs without permission.  In some cases it was held to be capturing or stealing souls.  Now over the last few years I have come across two examples of consultants claiming ownership over stories that they elicited in organisations.  In one case the stories were gathered electronically, but then indexed by the so called expert, which was held to allow them to make an IP claim on the material and its representation.  In the second case the so...

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Network wisdom

By Dave Snowden  ·  January 30, 2008  ·  News

I encountered a problem with Leopard on the new Macbook, to wit the Special Characters palette did not appear in any of the three iWorks functions or mail.  Always encouraging when something does not work consistently, shows the design is sound!  either way last night I went onto the Apple support site and proposed the problem and by this morning someone had posted the solution.  In the old days I would have phoned up a support line, described the problem, got a reference number (you know the saga.  Either way my thanks to Tom who...

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War

By Patrick Lambe  ·  January 30, 2008  · 

The second horseman of the apocalypse is War. He rides a red horse. He is of course the natural follower of Pestilence: Pestilence spawns blame, blame with power spawns strife, and strife with a polarized sense of right and wrong, spawns wholesale war. We cannot say that we have wholesale war in the organization I described in my last post, but the levels of aggression and resentment are high.

We tend to think of war as high drama, high ideals, high purpose (despite our long history of grey, messy and morally ambiguous violence)....

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Chronology