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.
Just for kicks, Paul Rule, 66, participated in a study launched by the Cambridge Natural History Society that enlisted citizen scientists and nature-lovers to help deepen knowledge of the flora and fauna in Cambridge, England. Rule recorded nearly 600 different animal species in his “ordinary” city garden, including an elephant moth like the one seen […]
Astronaut David Scott re-created, in 1971 during the Apollo 15 mission, Galileo’s “falling bodies” experiment by dropping a hammer and feather on the moon at the same time. Simply, both fell at the same rate because there was no air resistance. screengrab via Wonders of Physics/YouTube (Digg)
“Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted.”
When you were 10 and your mom demanded you finish your vegetables or go to your room, you were mad. Even as kids, we hated it when we were ordered to do something. Car insurance is a federal mandate, yet that’s only one of the reasons why most Americans would rather do just about anything […]
We all know the drill. As the overlords of the smartphone and tablet markets, the braintrust at Apple very seldom hold sales on their signature devices. So rather than spending almost $1,000 on a brand-new iPad Pro, the folks in Cupertino are instead giving you the opportunity to score one for about a third of […]
Entrepreneurs looking for new avenues to reach customers may not have considered one of the fastest-growing content mediums today: podcasting. And we don’t mean just dropping an advertisement for your product or service in the middle of a popular show. Right now, there are about 850,000 active podcasts reaching 165 million Americans. Those listeners are […]