The lecturer for the BBC's 2014 Reith lectures is Dr Atul Gawande, a celebrated author and MD whose book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right is a classic on how to think about systemic problem solving (which pays attention to how different people and activities come together to make and solve problems).
In the second lecture, The Century of the System (MP3), Gawande recounts an incredible case-history of an Austrian child who was successfully revived after spending 30 minutes at the bottom of a frozen pond, not breathing -- a complex feat involving the perfect performance of several daunting surgeries and procedures that had to mesh together to manage this feat.
Gawande uses this as a jumping-off point to describe the "age of systems," in which great discoveries can only improve the world if the systems around them work, and in which the discoveries themselves arise out of systemic approaches that combine the creativity and intelligence of lots of different people all working together.
This isn't just about medicine, it's about everything in the 21st century (where our networked computers are at the center of so many systemic problems and solutions).
The Reith Lectures continue on the BBC, and are all available forever as MP3s on the 2014 Reith Lectures download page.
Adam Savage is back with an all-new show, and he’ll be tweeting live during tonight’s MythBusters Jr. on The Science Channel. The episode is named “Battery Blast,” so we’re expecting there will be explodey explosions, and they’re mentioning “straight as an arrow” so, pointy weapons.
A new paper in Nature describes the US-Army-funded research of U Penn materials scientists to create a new generation of 3D printed "smart objects" whose geometry and materials enable them to interact with their environments without having to use embedded computers, sensors or actuators.
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It’s a rude awakening for that rookie vacationer abroad when they try to plug in their gear for the night. Veteran jet-setters know that outlet shapes can vary wildly from country to country, which necessitates that most boring must-have for any world-traveler: A sackful of clunky power adapters. Awkward problem, elegant solution: The Twist Plus […]
Looking for a career in music behind the boards, either as a music producer or DJ? It’s a good bet that you’re going to be working with Ableton Live. Each new iteration of this powerful workstation gives the user more tools to create, and it’s just as well suited for the task of meticulous track […]
The graveyard of failed startups is littered with concepts that just got lost in translation. At its core, that’s what great front-end design is about: Making an app or website usable, translating its best ideas smoothly to the user. It’s a skill so broad there might be no one book or course that covers it […]