Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Human Factors/Ergonomics’ Category

Re-designing: opportunity to reframe problems and solution
Excellent read
Note: I consider this article as an extended version of how Human Factors engineers and practitioners must approach problems and experiments, and focusing on the health, safety and ease of use of any product or service.

The wider determinants of health developed by Public Health England show that in fact, things like someone’s education, their job, who their friends are, how they get on with family, and where they live can actually determine how long they will live – even if they’re using the same doctor as someone living down the road but who is likely to live 10 years longer.

In the last two decades, design has been demonstrating a refreshing approach to addressing such complex problems. This is because design provides the opportunity to re-frame problems and solutions.

It explores ways of doing things that haven’t been tried before, to address problems that haven’t been well understood before.

But in this age of complexity and multiple dependencies, problems are constantly and rapidly changing too, and so must solutions. We need to move away from the romantic notion that a solution – whether it’s a service, product or policy – needs to go through a one-off and well-polished design process, beyond which it will continue to be relevant forevermore.

Reality is very different.

So we’re making the case here that as designers, we have a mission to build the capabilities of non-designers who work within the organisations that are transforming our future.

This means they are equipped with the problem-solving mindset to constantly interrogate, improve and innovate as realities quickly evolve, and things that worked yesterday soon become obsolete.

Urgency for prevention and early intervention: There is a sense of urgency to pre-empt problems before they happen in order to save time, resource and often even lives.

The recent NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) demonstrate this urgency. With an ever-increasing population, public services are at breaking point. (It has already broken down)

But since two-thirds of deaths among those under 75 are a result of preventable illness, there is a growing recognition that keeping as many people as possible healthy is the most sustainable investment.

This is where a lot of the STP plans are focusing their energy. Because design offers a lens into the future and a provocation for possible realities, it provides those committed to prevention and early intervention with the ability to understand future problems and to design solutions that can forestall them.

Systemic complexity: We can no longer think of products, services and policies outside of the systems they exist within and interact with.

For example, we worked with the Healthy London Partnership on a deep dive to understand the root causes of childhood obesity and to try out new ways of addressing this chronic challenge.

Our insight revealed that a one-pronged approach will never do.

We need to create positive and synchronised triggers at different points in the system: we need behavioural nudges that change the habits of individuals, we need social movements that influence and inspire whole communities, we need levers that transform physical obesogenic environments, and we also need legislation and regulation such as the Sugary Drink Tax to reduce temptation.

Design invites diverse people across the system to confront problems collaboratively, by creating solutions that leverage the collective power of everyone’s experience, expertise, resource and authority.

Ongoing transformation: In a time of austerity, we just can’t afford to keep slowly chipping away at the problem through little tweaks and tricks in the hope that it will one day disappear. We need to completely and continuously re-imagine how things might work better.

When working with a national charity, we realised that funding for children’s centres was at risk, and that they were struggling to reach diverse families. This meant we needed to completely transform the service, into one where children’s centres can go (literally ‘in a box’) into the homes of those who most need them, for a ninth of the cost and nine times the reach.

A design approach to problem-solving offered staff the opportunity to experiment with transformational ideas at a small and safe scale, fail quickly, learn fast and build confidence in the direction of travel.

What capabilities

Organisations need to develop a number of problem-solving capabilities to future-proof their solutions. In a recent Touchpoint article, my colleagues Jocelyn Bailey and Cat Drew argue that these capabilities are presumably less about skill and more about mindset and culture. Armed with the right mindset, organisations can then develop (and even invent) the unique skills, methods and tools to solve all types of diverse problems. This mindset is characterised by:

Deep human understandingthe approach invites curiosity and determination to explore what lies beneath people’s actions, decisions and perceptions.

Reframing challengesthe insight revealed through deep human understanding can help reframe the challenge to get to the bottom of the hidden root causes, rather than the visible symptoms.

Working with othersa design approach to problem-solving is humble. We admit that we don’t know it all, and we invite others who have experienced the problem in different ways or who are experts in related issues across the system, to come on board and shape the journey.

Learning by doingthe only way to test innovation is to give it a go. Design is a process of solving problems through doing, learning, improving and scaling. Starting small and imperfect can mitigate the risks of failure, and with every iterative cycle and every improved version, more investment and scale can be justified.

image: https://www.uscreates.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/uscreates_prototyping-1024×683.jpg

There are various ways that organisations can build the problem-solving capabilities of their workforce. Last year, I wrote an article with Joyce Yee in the Service Design Impact Report that reviewed different design capability models that the public sector draws on. There is not a one-size-fits-all model, and each presents its own benefits:

Structured trainingthis varies from one-day workshops to bootcamps. These are best for beginners who would like a taster of the mindset to assess whether it provides potential for the nature of their organisation’s challenges.

Experiential learningin other words, learning on the job. Often this takes the form of design experts facilitating a series of problem-solving sprints within an organisation, based on a real challenge. Staff are invited to shadow the process, reflect on learning, and experience the benefits first-hand.

Coachingthis model is suited for more experienced organisations who have potentially benefited from structured training and/or experiential learning. They would be keen to lead the problem-solving process themselves, with the support of a design coach for strategic guidance, alignment, and constructive provocation.

Internal disruption: a popular example of this is the lab model, where an organisation invests in an innovation team embedded within, with a role to create and grow a movement and a culture that embraces a design mindset to problem-solving.

In today’s complex and rapidly evolving world, organisations need to start thinking differently about how they are future-proofing what they do and how they do it. They need to invest in people, not solutions. By better equipping their people with a problem-solving mindset, they are creating the enablers for ongoing improvement, innovation and future relevance.

 

Joanna is Design Director at Uscreates. She is a social designer, author, speaker and lecturer with over 15 years of practical experience in the UK, the Middle East and the United States. She leads on the development and delivery of service design, user centred innovation, design research, business modelling, communication and digital design projects.

Joanna has worked with over 50 public and third sector organisations – including Nesta, The Healthy London Partnership, the Health Foundation and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust – to help them better understand and address their challenges.

She has expertise across a broad range of social challenges including health and wellbeing, social integration, social action, employment, education and social enterprise. Joanna has a Ph.D. in design for social integration in design for social integration and is an RSA fellow. She is an associate lecturer at the University of the Arts London, Kingston University and Ravensbourne University.

Read more at https://www.uscreates.com/capability-training/#rtyugoxJFYpkkelH.9

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Inspiring Young Inventors? Not investors, please…

An “experimental learning workshop” where kids engage in an essential but increasingly rare activity: they make stuff.

 posted this November 25, 2013 on Mind/Shift

How Do We Inspire Young Inventors?

In New Haven, Connecticut, where I live with my husband and two sons, we are lucky to have nearby the Eli Whitney Museum.

This place is the opposite of a please don’t touch repository of fine art. It’s an “experimental learning workshop” where kids engage in an essential but increasingly rare activity: they make stuff.

Looking around my living room, I can see lots of the stuff made there by my older son: a model ship that can move around in water (in solid ice is more relevant for those trapped in the Arctic) with the aid of a battery-powered motor he put together; a “camera obscura” that can project a real-world scene onto a wall in a darkened room; a wooden pinball game he designed himself. (You can view an archive of Eli Whitney Museum projects here.)

The people who run Eli Whitney call these hands-on projects “experiments.” As they put it:

“Experiments are a way of learning things. They require self-guided trial and error, active exploration, and testing by all the senses.

Experiments begin with important questions, questions that make you think or that inspire you to create.”

This process of exploring, testing and finding out is vital to children’s intellectual and psychological development—but opportunities to engage in it are fewer than they once were.

Frank Keil, a Yale University psychologist who is in his early 60′s said: “My friends and I grew up playing around in the garage, fixing our cars. Today kids are sealed in a silicon bubble. They don’t know how anything works.”

“We scour the country looking for young builders and inventors. They’re getting harder and harder to find.”

Many others have noticed this phenomenon.

Engineering professors report that students now enter college without the kind of hands-on expertise they once unfailingly possessed.

Kim Vandiver, dean for undergraduate research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said:

“We scour the country looking for young builders and inventors. They’re getting harder and harder to find.” MIT now offers classes and extracurricular activities devoted to taking things apart and putting them together, an effort to teach students the skills their fathers and grandfathers learned curbside on weekend afternoons.

Why should this matter?

Some would argue that the digital age has rendered such technical know-how obsolete.

Our omnipresent devices work the way we want them to (well, most of the time), with no skill required beyond pushing a button. What’s to be gained by knowing how they work?

Actually, a lot.

Research in the science of learning shows that hands-on building projects help young people conceptualize ideas and understand issues in greater depth.

In an experiment described in the International Journal of Engineering Education in 2009, for example, one group of eighth-graders was taught about water resources in the traditional way: classroom lectures, handouts and worksheets.

Meanwhile, a group of their classmates explored the same subject by designing and constructing a water purification device. The students in the second group learned the material better: they knew more about the importance of clean drinking water and how it is produced, and they engaged in deeper and more complex thinking in response to open-ended questions on water resources and water quality.

If we want more young people to choose a profession in one of the group of crucial fields known as STEM—science, technology, engineering and math—we ought to start cultivating these interests and skills early.

But the way to do so may not be the kind of highly structured and directed instruction that we usually associate with these subjects. Instead, some educators have begun taking seriously an activity often dismissed as a waste of time: tinkering.

Tinkering is the polar opposite of the test-driven, results-oriented approach of No Child Left Behind: it involves a loose process of trying things out, seeing what happens, reflecting and evaluating, and trying again.

“Tinkering is the way that real science happens, in all its messy glory,” says Sylvia Martinez, co-author of the new book Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom.

Martinez is one of the leaders of the “makers’ movement,” a nationwide effort to help kids discover the value of getting their hands dirty and their minds engaged.

The next generation of scientists—and artists, and inventors, and entrepreneurs—may depend on it.

Note: Read my articles in category Human Factors Engineering on Teaching methods https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/teaching-methods/

Meet Bossy,

A Cute Desktop Assistant That Wants You To Be A Better Worker

The device is concept designed to show a future where our electronics can help us organize our work lives beyond just installing more and more productivity apps.

It might seem like working long hours would make you better at your job, but the opposite is actually true: It can make you less productive and lower the quality of your work.

(Even worse, it also makes you more likely to die early).

A new product concept from U.K. that design student Lucas Neumann aims to help by telling you exactly what to do so you can finish work early–like a friendly version of a robot boss.

Neumann designed the product for freelance workers with flexible hours, who might be more likely to procrastinate and get distracted by an avalanche of information online.

But it probably could be helpful for anyone who’s stuck in front of a computer all day and has trouble concentrating.

The tool, called Bossy, is a physical device that sits on a desktop, rather than yet another app. “When I was doing research, I started installing all of these organization apps in my phone and on my Mac,” says Neumann. “But I realized that after time we stop engaging with particular apps because we’re dealing with too much stuff.”

Bossy is a constant reminder of whatever’s next on your to-do list, so you never have to open an app or check in.

“I realized that if you have something that sits there with you all the time, off your phone and computer–while at the same time connected with everything–it might be easier to create a relationship with it and a long-lasting kind of engagement,” Neumann explains.

The simple white device connects to your calendars, to-do lists, apps, and wearable tech, and then displays your top three priorities.

Once you finish something, you push a button–made squishy so it’s more satisfying–and the device records your progress on a separate desktop and mobile app, offering badges and other rewards as you improve.

Over time, Bossy learns how you work in order to be more helpful.

It can also remind you to stand up, stretch, drink water, or take breaks, and if you’re feeling overwhelmed by various feeds online, a swipe of a button on the device will shut down the noise.

Neumann created the design for an RSA student challenge that asked for solutions for the way we’ll work in the future. “It’s looking 15 or 20 years ahead,” he says. Still, the technology and predictive analysis used in the design are already available, so in theory, the product could be built now.

For the moment, Neumann wants to tweak some details of the hardware–a special white screen that he wants to use, for example, isn’t available yet on the market.

But as he researches the concept with freelancers at coworking spaces and elsewhere, he’s already getting requests to make it right away.

ADELE PETERS is a writer who focuses on sustainability and design and lives in Oakland, California. She’s worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley. Continued

When he is not teaching samba classes and helping kids in rural Brazil with their homework, Lucas Neumann de Antonio designs. And when he does, it ends up on FastCo.

 

What a 40 min-day longer on Mars do to managing team on Earth?

We didn’t think that we are going to have Mars watches and the logistics of the time

Nagin Cox is a first-generation Martian. As a spacecraft engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cox works on the team that manages the United States’ rovers on Mars.

But working a 9-to-5 on another planet — whose day is 40 minutes longer than Earth’s — has particular, often comical challenges

Nagin Cox. Spacecraft operations engineer

Nagin Cox explores Mars as part of the team that operates NASA’s rovers. Full bio

So many of you have probably seen the movie “The Martian.” But for those of you who did not, it’s a movie about an astronaut who is stranded on Mars, and his efforts to stay alive until the Earth can send a rescue mission to bring him back to Earth.

Gladly, they do re-establish communication with the character, astronaut Watney, at some point so that he’s not as alone on Mars until he can be rescued. So while you’re watching the movie, or even if you haven’t, when you think about Mars, you’re probably thinking about how far away it is and how distant.

0:50 And, what might not have occurred to you is, what are the logistics really like of working on another planet of living on two planets when there are people on the Earth and there are rovers or people on Mars?

So think about when you have friends, families and co-workers in California, on the West Coast or in other parts of the world. When you’re trying to communicate with them, one of the things you probably first think about is: wait, what time is it in California? Will I wake them up? Is it OK to call?

even if you’re interacting with colleagues who are in Europe, you’re immediately thinking about: What does it take to coordinate communication when people are far away?

we don’t have people on Mars right now, but we do have rovers. And actually right now, on Curiosity, it is 6:10 in the morning. So, 6:10 in the morning on Mars. We have four rovers on Mars. The United States has put four rovers on Mars since the mid-1990s, and I have been privileged enough to work on three of them.

I am a spacecraft engineer, a spacecraft operations engineer, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Los Angeles, California. And these rovers are our robotic emissaries they are our eyes and our ears, and they see the planet for us until we can send people. So we learn how to operate on other planets through these rovers. 

before we send people, we send robots. So the reason there’s a time difference on Mars right now, from the time that we’re at is because the Martian day is longer than the Earth day. Our Earth day is 24 hours, because that’s how long it takes the Earth to rotate, how long it takes to go around once. So our day is 24 hours. It takes Mars 24 hours and approximately 40 minutes to rotate once.

that means that the Martian day is 40 minutes longer than the Earth day. So teams of people who are operating the rovers on Mars, like this one, what we are doing is we are living on Earth, but working on Mars. So we have to think as if we are actually on Mars with the rover.

Our job, the job of this team, of which I’m a part of, is to send commands to the rover to tell it what to do the next day. To tell it to drive or drill or tell her whatever she’s supposed to do. So while she’s sleeping — and the rover does sleep at night because she needs to recharge her batteries and she needs to weather the cold Martian night.

And so the rover sleeps. So while she sleeps, we work on her program for the next day. So I work the Martian night shift. (Laughter)

in order to come to work on the Earth at the same time every day on Mars — like, let’s say I need to be at work at 5:00 p.m., this team needs to be at work at 5:00 p.m. Mars time every day, then we have to come to work on the Earth 40 minutes later every day, in order to stay in sync with Mars. That’s like moving a time zone every day.

one day you come in at 8:00, the next day 40 minutes later at 8:40, the next day 40 minutes later at 9:20, the next day at 10:00. So you keep moving 40 minutes every day, until soon you’re coming to work in the middle of the night the middle of the Earth night. Right? So you can imagine how confusing that is.

Hence, the Mars watch. (Laughter) This weights in this watch have been mechanically adjusted so that it runs more slowly. Right? And we didn’t start out — I got this watch in 2004 when Spirit and Opportunity, the rovers back then. We didn’t start out thinking that we were going to need Mars watches.

Right? We thought, OK, we’ll just have the time on our computers and on the mission control screens, and that would be enough. Yeah, not so much. Because we weren’t just working on Mars time, we were actually living on Mars time. And we got just instantaneously confused about what time it was.

you really needed something on your wrist to tell you: What time is it on the Earth? What time is it on Mars? And it wasn’t just the time on Mars that was confusing; we also needed to be able to talk to each other about it. So a “sol” is a Martian day — again, 24 hours and 40 minutes. So when we’re talking about something that’s happening on the Earth, we will say, today.

for Mars, we say, “tosol.” (Laughter) Yesterday became “yestersol” for Mars. Again, we didn’t start out thinking, “Oh, let’s invent a language.” It was just very confusing.

I remember somebody walked up to me and said, “I would like to do this activity on the vehicle tomorrow, on the rover.” And I said, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, or Mars, tomorrow?” We started this terminology because we needed a way to talk to each other. (Laughter)

Tomorrow became “nextersol” or “solorrow.” Because people have different preferences for the words they use. Some of you might say “soda” and some of you might say “pop.” So we have people who say “nextersol” or “solorrow.” And then something that I noticed after a few years of working on these missions, was that the people who work on the rovers, we say “tosol.”

The people who work on the landed missions that don’t rove around, they say “tosoul.” So I could actually tell what mission you worked on from your Martian accent. (Laughter) 

we have the watches and the language, and you’re detecting a theme here, right? So that we don’t get confused. But even the Earth daylight could confuse us. If you think that right now, you’ve come to work and it’s the middle of the Martian night and there’s light streaming in from the windows that’s going to be confusing as well.

you can see from this image of the control room that all of the blinds are down. So that there’s no light to distract us. The blinds went down all over the building about a week before landing, and they didn’t go up until we went off Mars time.

this also works for the house, for at home. I’ve been on Mars time three times, and my husband is like, OK, we’re getting ready for Mars time. And so he’ll put foil all over the windows and dark curtains and shades because it also affects your families.

And so here I was living in kind of this darkened environment, but so was he. And he’d gotten used to it. But then I would get these plaintive emails from him when he was at work. Should I come home? Are you awake? What time is it on Mars? And I decided, OK, so he needs a Mars watch. (Laughter)

But of course, it’s 2016, so there’s an app for that. (Laughter) So now instead of the watches, we can also use our phones. But the impact on families was just across the board; it wasn’t just those of us who were working on the rovers but our families as well.

This is David Oh, one of our flight directors, and he’s at the beach in Los Angeles with his family at 1:00 in the morning. (Laughter) So because we landed in August and his kids didn’t have to go back to school until September, they actually went on to Mars time with him for one month.

They got up 40 minutes later every day. And they were on dad’s work schedule. So they lived on Mars time for a month and had these great adventures, like going bowling in the middle of the night or going to the beach. And one of the things that we all discovered is you can get anywhere in Los Angeles at 3:00 in the morning when there’s no traffic.

we would get off work, and we didn’t want to go home and bother our families, and we were hungry, so instead of going locally to eat something, we’d go, “Wait, there’s this great all-night deli in Long Beach, and we can get there in 10 minutes!” So we would drive down — it was like the 60s, no traffic.

We would drive down there, and the restaurant owners would go, “Who are you people? And why are you at my restaurant at 3:00 in the morning?” So they came to realize that there were these packs of Martians, roaming the LA freeways, in the middle of the night — in the middle of the Earth night. And we did actually start calling ourselves Martians. So those of us who were on Mars time would refer to ourselves as Martians, and everyone else as Earthlings.

And that’s because when you’re moving a time-zone every day, you start to really feel separated from everyone else. You’re literally in your own world. So I have this button on that says, “I survived Mars time. Sol 0-90.” And there’s a picture of it up on the screen.

the reason we got these buttons is because we work on Mars time in order to be as efficient as possible with the rover on Mars, to make the best use of our time. But we don’t stay on Mars time for more than three to four months.

Eventually, we’ll move to a modified Mars time, which is what we’re working now. And that’s because it’s hard on your bodies, it’s hard on your families. In fact, there were sleep researchers who actually were studying us because it was so unusual for humans to try to extend their day. And they had about 30 of us that they would do sleep deprivation experiments on.

I would come in and take the test and I fell asleep in each one. And that was because, again, this eventually becomes hard on your body. Even though it was a blast. It was a huge bonding experience with the other members on the team, but it is difficult to sustain.

these rover missions are our first steps out into the solar system. We are learning how to live on more than one planet. We are changing our perspective to become multi-planetary. So the next time you see a Star Wars movie, and there are people going from the Dagobah system to Tatooine, think about what it really means to have people spread out so far.

What it means in terms of the distances between them, how they will start to feel separate from each other and just the logistics of the time. We have not sent people to Mars yet, but we hope to. And between companies like SpaceX and NASA and all of the international space agencies of the world, we hope to do that in the next few decades.

So soon we will have people on Mars, and we truly will be multi-planetary. And the young boy or the young girl who will be going to Mars could be in this audience or listening today.

I have wanted to work at JPL on these missions since I was 14 years old and I am privileged to be a part of it. And this is a remarkable time in the space program, and we are all in this journey together.

the next time you think you don’t have enough time in your day, just remember, it’s all a matter of your Earthly perspective.

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.

“I hate my époque with all my forces. Man is dying of thirst”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry of Petit-Prince and other books that were made into movies

The last letter from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry to General X on July 30, 1944. He disappeared with airplane the next day on July 31, 1944

Lettre d’Antoine de Saint-Exupéry au général X : « Je hais mon époque de toutes mes forces. L’homme y meurt de soif. »

antoine-st-ex-partenaire                    

Antoine de Saint Exupéry : mythe absolu de l’aviateur et de l’écrivain, auteur du Petit-Prince et de nombreux romans, est mort au combat le 31 juillet 1944.

La veille, il écrit au général X et s’exprime avec une lucidité exceptionnelle sur la condition de l’homme moderne. Testament avant l’heure, cette lettre, déchirante à la lumière de son destin, parle étrangement et profondément de notre temps.

30 juillet 1944

Je viens de faire quelques vols sur P. 38. C’est une belle machine. J’aurais été heureux de disposer de ce cadeau-là pour mes vingt ans.

Je constate avec mélancolie qu’aujourd’hui, à 43 ans, après quelques 6,500 heures de vol sous tous les ciels du monde, je ne puis plus trouver grand plaisir à ce jeu-là. Ce n’est plus qu’un instrument de déplacement – ici de guerre.

Si je me soumets à la vitesse et à l’altitude à mon âge patriarcal pour ce métier, c’est bien plus pour ne rien refuser des emmerdements de ma génération que dans l’espoir de retrouver les satisfactions d’autrefois.

Ceci est peut-être mélancolique, mais peut-être bien ne l’est-ce pas. C’est sans doute quand j’avais vingt ans que je me trompais.

En Octobre 1940, de retour d’Afrique du Nord où le groupe 2 – 33 avait émigré, ma voiture étant remisée exsangue dans quelque garage poussiéreux, j’ai découvert la carriole et le cheval. Par elle l’herbe des chemins. Les moutons et les oliviers.

Ces oliviers avaient un autre rôle que celui de battre la mesure derrière les vitres à 130 kms à l’heure. Ils se montraient dans leur rythme vrai qui est de lentement fabriquer des olives.

Les moutons n’avaient pas pour fin exclusive de faire tomber la moyenne. Ils redevenaient vivants. Ils faisaient de vraies crottes et fabriquaient de la vraie laine. Et l’herbe aussi avait un sens puisqu’ils la broutaient.

Et je me suis senti revivre dans ce seul coin du monde où la poussière soit parfumée (je suis injuste, elle l’est en Grèce aussi comme en Provence). Et il m’a semblé que, toute ma vie, j’avais été un imbécile…

Tout cela pour vous expliquer que cette existence grégaire au coeur d’une base américaine, ces repas expédiés debout en dix minutes, ce va-et-vient entre les monoplaces de 2600 chevaux dans une bâtisse abstraite où nous sommes entassé à trois par chambre, ce terrible désert humain, en un mot, n’a rien qui me caresse le coeur.

Ca aussi, comme les missions sans profit ou espoir de retour de Juin 1940, c’est une maladie à passer. Je suis “malade” pour un temps inconnu. Mais je ne me reconnais pas le droit de ne pas subir cette maladie. Voilà tout.

Aujourd’hui, je suis profondément triste. Je suis triste pour ma génération qui est vide de toute substance humaine. Qui n’ayant connu que les bars, les mathématiques et les Bugatti comme forme de vie spirituelle, se trouve aujourd’hui plongé dans une action strictement grégaire qui n’a plus aucune couleur.

On ne sait pas le remarquer.

Prenez le phénomène militaire d’il y a cent ans. Considérez combien il intégrait d’efforts pour qu’il fut répondu à la vie spirituelle, poétique ou simplement humaine de l’homme.

Aujourd’hui nous sommes plus desséchés que des briques, nous sourions de ces niaiseries. Les costumes, les drapeaux, les chants, la musique, les victoires (il n’est pas de victoire aujourd’hui, il n’est que des phénomènes de digestion lente ou rapide) tout lyrisme sonne ridicule et les hommes refusent d’être réveillés à une vie spirituelle quelconque.

Ils font honnêtement une sorte de travail à la chaîne. Comme dit la jeunesse américaine, “nous acceptons honnêtement ce job ingrat” et la propagande, dans le monde entier, se bat les flancs avec désespoir.

De la tragédie grecque, l’humanité, dans sa décadence, est tombée jusqu’au théâtre de Mr Louis Verneuil (on ne peut guère aller plus loin). Siècle de publicité, du système Bedeau, des régimes totalitaires et des armées sans clairons ni drapeaux, ni messes pour les morts. Je hais mon époque de toutes mes forces. L’homme y meurt de soif.

Ah ! Général, il n’y a qu’un problème, un seul de par le monde.

Rendre aux hommes une signification spirituelle, des inquiétudes spirituelles, faire pleuvoir sur eux quelque chose qui ressemble à un chant grégorien. On ne peut vivre de frigidaires, de politique, de bilans et de mots croisés, voyez-vous !

On ne peut plus vivre sans poésie, couleur ni amour. Rien qu’à entendre un chant villageois du 15 ème siècle, on mesure la pente descendue. Il ne reste rien que la voix du robot de la propagande (pardonnez-moi). Deux milliards d’hommes n’entendent plus que le robot, ne comprennent plus que le robot, se font robots.

Tous les craquements des trente dernières années n’ont que deux sources : les impasses du système économique du XIX ème siècle et le désespoir spirituel.

Pourquoi Mermoz a-t-il suivi son grand dadais de colonel sinon par soif ? Pourquoi la Russie ? Pourquoi l’Espagne ?

Les hommes ont fait l’essai des valeurs cartésiennes : hors des sciences de la nature, cela ne leur a guère réussi.

Il n’y a qu’un problème, un seul : redécouvrir qu’il est une vie de l’esprit plus haute encore que la vie de l’intelligence, la seule qui satisfasse l’homme.

Ca déborde le problème de la vie religieuse qui n’en est qu’une forme (bien que peut-être la vie de l’esprit conduise à l’autre nécessairement). Et la vie de l’esprit commence là où un être est conçu au-dessus des matériaux qui le composent.

L’amour de la maison -cet amour inconnaissable aux Etats-Unis – est déjà de la vie de l’esprit.

Et la fête villageoise, et le culte des morts (je cite cela car il s’est tué depuis mon arrivée ici deux ou trois parachutistes, mais on les a escamotés : ils avaient fini de servir) . Cela c’est de l’époque, non de l’Amérique : l’homme n’a plus de sens.

Il faut absolument parler aux hommes.

A quoi servira de gagner la guerre si nous en avons pour cent ans de crise d’épilepsie révolutionnaire ?

Quand la question allemande sera enfin réglée tous les problèmes véritables commenceront à se poser. Il est peu probable que la spéculation sur les stocks américains suffise au sortir de cette guerre à distraire, comme en 1919, l’humanité de ses soucis véritables.

Faute d’un courant spirituel fort, il poussera, comme champignons, trente-six sectes qui se diviseront les unes les autres.

Le marxisme lui-même, trop vieilli, se décomposera en une multitude de néo-marxismes contradictoires.

On l’a bien observé en Espagne. A moins qu’un César français ne nous installe dans un camp de concentration pour l’éternité.

Ah ! quel étrange soir, ce soir, quel étrange climat. Je vois de ma chambre s’allumer les fenêtres de ces bâtisses sans visages. J’entends les postes de radio divers débiter leur musique de mirliton à ces foules désoeuvrées venues d’au-delà des mers et qui ne connaissent même pas la nostalgie.

On peut confondre cette acceptation résignée avec l’esprit de sacrifice ou la grandeur morale. Ce serait là une belle erreur.

Les liens d’amour qui nouent l’homme d’aujourd’hui aux êtres comme aux choses sont si peu tendus, si peu denses, que l’homme ne sent plus l’absence comme autrefois.

C’est le mot terrible de cette histoire juive : “tu vas donc là-bas ? Comme tu seras loin ” – Loin d’où ? Le “où” qu’ils ont quitté n’était plus guère qu’un vaste faisceau d’habitudes.

Dans cette époque de divorce, on divorce avec la même facilité d’avec les choses. Les frigidaires sont interchangeables. Et la maison aussi si elle n’est qu’un assemblage.

Et la femme. Et la religion. Et le parti. On ne peut même pas être infidèle : à quoi serait-on infidèle ? Loin d’où et infidèle à quoi ? Désert de l’homme.

Qu’ils sont donc sages et paisibles ces hommes en groupe.

Moi je songe aux marins bretons d’autrefois, qui débarquaient, lâchés sur une ville, à ces noeuds complexes d’appétits violents et de nostalgie intolérable qu’ont toujours constitués les mâles un peu trop sévèrement parqués. Il fallait toujours, pour les tenir, des gendarmes forts ou des principes forts ou des fois fortes.

Mais aucun de ceux-là ne manquerait de respect à une gardeuse d’oies. L’homme d’aujourd’hui on le fait tenir tranquille, selon le milieu, avec la belote ou le bridge. Nous sommes étonnamment bien châtrés.

Ainsi sommes-nous enfin libres .

On nous a coupé les bras et les jambes, puis on nous a laissé libres de marcher.

Mais je hais cette époque où l’homme devient, sous un totalitarisme universel, bétail doux, poli et tranquille. On nous fait prendre ça pour un progrès moral !

Ce que je hais dans le marxisme, c’est le totalitarisme à quoi il conduit. L’homme y est défini comme producteur et consommateur, le problème essentiel étant celui de la distribution.

Ce que je hais dans le nazisme, c’est le totalitarisme à quoi il prétend par son essence même. On fait défiler les ouvriers de la Ruhr devant un Van Gogh, un Cézanne et un chromo. Ils votent naturellement pour le chromo. Voilà la vérité du peuple !

On boucle solidement dans un camp de concentration les candidats Cézanne, les candidats Van Gogh, tous les grands non-conformistes, et l’on alimente en chromos un bétail soumis.

Mais où vont les Etats-Unis et où allons-nous, nous aussi, à cette époque de fonctionnariat universel ? L’homme robot, l’homme termite, l’homme oscillant du travail à la chaîne système Bedeau à la belote.

L’homme châtré de tout son pouvoir créateur, et qui ne sait même plus, du fond de son village, créer une danse ni une chanson.

L’homme que l’on alimente en culture de confection, en culture standard comme on alimente les boeufs en foin.

C’est cela l’homme d’aujourd’hui.

Et moi je pense que, il n’y a pas trois cents ans, on pouvait écrire ” La Princesse de Clèves” ou s’enfermer dans un couvent pour la vie à cause d’un amour perdu, tant était brûlant l’amour.

Aujourd’hui bien sûr les gens se suicident, mais la souffrance de ceux-là est de l’ordre d’une rage de dents intolérable. Ce n’a point à faire avec l’amour.

Certes, il est une première étape.

Je ne puis supporter l’idée de verser des générations d’enfants français dans le ventre du moloch allemand. La substance même est menacée, mais, quand elle sera sauvée, alors se posera le problème fondamental qui est celui de notre temps. Qui est celui du sens de l’homme et auquel il n’est point proposé de réponse, et j’ai l’impression de marcher vers les temps les plus noirs du monde.

Ca m’est égal d’être tué en guerre.

De ce que j’ai aimé, que restera-t-il ? Autant que les êtres, je parle des coutumes, des intonations irremplaçables, d’une certaine lumière spirituelle. Du déjeuner dans la ferme provençale sous les oliviers, mais aussi de Haendel.

Les choses. je m’en fous, qui subsisteront. Ce qui vaut, c’est certain arrangement des choses. La civilisation est un bien invisible puisqu’elle porte non sur les choses, mais sur les invisibles liens qui les nouent l’une à l’autre, ainsi et non autrement.

Nous aurons de parfaits instruments de musique, distribués en grande série, mais où sera le musicien ?

Si je suis tué en guerre, je m’en moque bien. Ou si je subis une crise de rage de ces sortes de torpilles volantes qui n’ont plus rien à voir avec le vol et font du pilote parmi ses boutons et ses cadrans une sorte de chef comptable (le vol aussi c’est un certain ordre de liens).

Mais si je rentre vivant de ce “job nécessaire et ingrat”, il ne se posera pour moi qu’un problème : que peut-on, que faut-il dire aux hommes ?

                            ( Source:                                                              http://www.staune.fr/Que-faut-il-dire-aux-hommes.html                         )

Are we sure we are Not seeing an inverted world? The law of physics will Not change after all

I am told that the newborn needs an entire month to see a re-inverted world and adjust to it. Isn’t that an assumption that we like to believe in that we are looking at the real world?

Has any experiment been done to prove the contrary? That we are actually Not seeing an inverted world?

The law of physics will Not change after all. Gravity is still at work. Same for the other forces, and the cosmos will not change.

Suppose we adjusted to the inverted the world, how much visual mass brain was required for this job?

Suppose another species with the same visual characteristics as us (acuity and color vision and all) but with a lower brain mass, do you think we have to work with proportions of visual mass to total brain mass? I think Not. The visual brain mass would be the same at the expense of other faculties and sensory brains.

For example, if we select chimpanzees with the same visual characteristics as us, and we insert a lens when born that inverts the world, and thus don’t need to re-adjust, how much visual brain mass is saved and diverted to other faculties?

If blind born people have far better hearing and touch acuities, better senses of people movement, and better verbal communication, isn’t that the cause that the saved visual brain mass was allocated to those sensorial faculties?

There are always trade-off  for visual capacities. For the same visual brain mass, higher visual acuity would give way to deteriorated peripheral vision, less color perception and contrasts…

Since most products rely on vision in their design, if we need any more development in our brain, we better start designing for the other senses.

This is my theory and hypothesis.

A human company in the age of machines? Repeat por favor

In the face of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we need a new radical humanism, says Tim Leberecht.

For the self-described “business romantic,” this means designing organizations and workplaces that celebrate authenticity instead of efficiency and questions instead of answers.

Tim Leberecht. Business romantic. A humanist in Silicon Valley, Tim Leberecht argues that in a time of artificial intelligence, big data and the quantification of everything, we are losing sight of the importance of the emotional and social aspects of our work. Full bio
Four principles for building human organizations:
1- Do the UNNECESSARY
2- Create INTIMACY
3- Be UGLY
4- Remain INCOMPLETE
Filmed in June 2016

Half of the human workforce is expected to be replaced by software and robots in the next 20 years. And many corporate leaders welcome that as a chance to increase profits. Machines are more efficient; humans are complicated and difficult to manage.

0:30 I want our organizations to remain human. In fact, I want them to become beautiful. Because as machines take our jobs and do them more efficiently, soon the only work left for us humans will be the kind of work that must be done beautifully rather than efficiently.

To maintain our humanity in the this second Machine Age, we may have no other choice than to create beauty. Beauty is an elusive concept. For the writer Stendhal it was the promise of happiness. For me it’s a goal by Lionel Messi.

bear with me as I am proposing four admittedly very subjective principles that you can use to build a beautiful organization.

First: do the unnecessary.  

Patsy Z and TEDxSKE shared a link.
ted.com|By Tim Leberecht

A few months ago, Hamdi Ulukaya, the CEO and founder of the yogurt company Chobani, made headlines when he decided to grant stock to all of his 2,000 employees. Some called it a PR stunt, others — a genuine act of giving back. But there is something else that was remarkable about it. It came completely out of the blue.

There had been no market or stakeholder pressure, and employees were so surprised that they burst into tears when they heard the news. Actions like Ulukaya’s are beautiful because they catch us off guard. They create something out of nothing because they’re completely unnecessary.

2:03 I once worked at a company that was the result of a merger of a large IT outsourcing firm and a small design firm. We were merging 9,000 software engineers with 1,000 creative types. And to unify these immensely different cultures, we were going to launch a third, new brand. And the new brand color was going to be orange.

And as we were going through the budget for the rollouts, we decided last minute to cut the purchase of 10,000 orange balloons, which we had meant to distribute to all staff worldwide. They just seemed unnecessary and cute in the end.

I didn’t know back then that our decision marked the beginning of the end — that these two organizations would never become one.

And sure enough, the merger eventually failed. Now, was it because there weren’t any orange balloons? No, of course not. But the kill-the-orange-balloons mentality permeated everything else.

You might not always realize it, but when you cut the unnecessary, you cut everything. Leading with beauty means rising above what is merely necessary. So do not kill your orange balloons.

The second principle: create intimacy.

3:21 [Create Intimacy]

Studies show that how we feel about our workplace very much depends on the relationships with our coworkers.

And what are relationships other than a string of micro interactions? There are hundreds of these every day in our organizations that have the potential to distinguish a good life from a beautiful one.

The marriage researcher John Gottman says that the secret of a healthy relationship is not the great gesture or the lofty promise, it’s small moments of attachment. In other words, intimacy.

In our networked organizations, we tout the strength of weak ties but we underestimate the strength of strong ones. We forget the words of the writer Richard Bach who once said, “Intimacy — not connectedness — intimacy is the opposite of loneliness.”

how do we design for organizational intimacy? The humanitarian organization CARE wanted to launch a campaign on gender equality in villages in northern India. But it realized quickly that it had to have this conversation first with its own staff.

So it invited all 36 team members and their partners to one of the Khajuraho Temples, known for their famous erotic sculptures. And there they openly discussed their personal relationships — their own experiences of gender equality with the coworkers and the partners.

It was eye-opening for the participants. Not only did it allow them to relate to the communities they serve, it also broke down invisible barriers and created a lasting bond amongst themselves. Not a single team member quit in the next four years. So this is how you create intimacy. No masks … or lots of masks.

When Danone, the food company, wanted to translate its new company manifesto into product initiatives, it gathered the management team and 100 employees from across different departments, seniority levels and regions for a three-day strategy retreat. And it asked everybody to wear costumes for the entire meeting: wigs, crazy hats, feather boas, huge glasses and so on.

And they left with concrete outcomes and full of enthusiasm. And when I asked the woman who had designed this experience why it worked, she simply said, “Never underestimate the power of a ridiculous wig.”  

Because wigs erase hierarchy, and hierarchy kills intimacy — both ways, for the CEO and the intern. Wigs allow us to use the disguise of the false to show something true about ourselves. And that’s not easy in our everyday work lives, because the relationship with our organizations is often like that of a married couple that has grown apart, suffered betrayals and disappointments, and is now desperate to be beautiful for one another once again. And for either of us the first step towards beauty involves a huge risk. The risk to be ugly.

[Be Ugly]

many organizations these days are keen on designing beautiful workplaces that look like anything but work: vacation resorts, coffee shops, playgrounds or college campuses —

Based on the promises of positive psychology, we speak of play and gamification, and one start-up even says that when someone gets fired, they have graduated.

That kind of beautiful language only goes “skin deep, but ugly cuts clean to the bone,” as the writer Dorothy Parker once put it.

To be authentic is to be ugly. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun or must give in to the vulgar or cynical, but it does mean that you speak the actual ugly truth. Like this manufacturer that wanted to transform one of its struggling business units. It identified, named and pinned on large boards all the issues — and there were hundreds of them — that had become obstacles to better performance.

They put them on boards, moved them all into one room, which they called “the ugly room.” The ugly became visible for everyone to see — it was celebrated. And the ugly room served as a mix of mirror exhibition and operating room — a biopsy on the living flesh to cut out all the bureaucracy.

The ugliest part of our body is our brain. Literally and neurologically. Our brain renders ugly what is unfamiliar … modern art, atonal music, jazz, maybe — VR goggles for that matter — strange objects, sounds and people.

But we’ve all been ugly once. We were a weird-looking baby, a new kid on the block, a foreigner. And we will be ugly again when we don’t belong.

The Center for Political Beauty, an activist collective in Berlin, recently staged an extreme artistic intervention. With the permission of relatives, it exhumed the corpses of refugees who had drowned at Europe’s borders, transported them all the way to Berlin, and then reburied them at the heart of the German capital.

The idea was to allow them to reach their desired destination, if only after their death. Such acts of beautification may not be pretty, but they are much needed. Because things tend to get ugly when there’s only one meaning, one truth, only answers and no questions. Beautiful organizations keep asking questions. They remain incomplete, which is the fourth and the last of the principles.

[Remain Incomplete]

9:08 Recently I was in Paris, and a friend of mine took me to Nuit Debout, which stands for “up all night,” the self-organized protest movement that had formed in response to the proposed labor laws in France.

Every night, hundreds gathered at the Place de la République. Every night they set up a small, temporary village to deliberate their own vision of the French Republic. And at the core of this adhocracy was a general assembly where anybody could speak using a specially designed sign language.

Like Occupy Wall Street and other protest movements, Nuit Debout was born in the face of crisis. It was messy — full of controversies and contradictions. But whether you agreed with the movement’s goals or not, every gathering was a beautiful lesson in raw humanity.

And how fitting that Paris — the city of ideals, the city of beauty — was it’s stage. It reminds us that like great cities, the most beautiful organizations are ideas worth fighting for — even and especially when their outcome is uncertain.

They are movements; they are always imperfect, never fully organized, so they avoid ever becoming banal. They have something but we don’t know what it is. They remain mysterious; we can’t take our eyes off them. We find them beautiful. (Arab Spring in Egypt and Tunisia)

to do the unnecessary, to create intimacy, to be ugly, to remain incomplete — these are not only the qualities of beautiful organizations, these are inherently human characteristics. And these are also the qualities of what we call home.

And as we disrupt, and are disrupted, the least we can do is to ensure that we still feel at home in our organizations, and that we use our organizations to create that feeling for others.

11:01 Beauty can save the world when we embrace these principles and design for them. In the face of artificial intelligence and machine learning, we need a new radical humanism.

We must acquire and promote a new aesthetic and sentimental education. Because if we don’t, we might end up feeling like aliens in organizations and societies that are full of smart machines that have no appreciation whatsoever for the unnecessary, the intimate, the incomplete and definitely not for the ugly.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

May 2018
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