Starring the Computer is a database of computers in movies…
A team of Duke University researchers examined the brains of 29 healthy volunteers using functional MRI, which tracks changes in blood flow in the brain, while the subjects performed a variety of gambling tasks.
After a full night of sleep, participants behaved like most people tend to in the real world: guarding against financial loses and cautiously pursuing gains.
But when deprived of a night’s sleep (kept awake in the lab from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.), the volunteers "moved from defending against losses to seeking increased gains," the researchers reported. This shift "suggests an unfounded rise in expectation for gain," a condition the team describes as "an optimism bias." (Source)
Photograph of the 1906 Earthquake in San Francisco in color taken by Frederick Eugene Ives.
You can’t always rely on a hero…
Switching focus away from individuals and towards the team is a non trivial exercise, but if the agile movement has brought us anything it is methods to engender collaboration, trust and team level thinking. via
Cameron Leckie writes about the four stages of abandonment and the future of technology:
Whilst to the end user a new technology might appear simpler, from a systems perspective, complexity has increased. Consider a hunter gatherer versus a modern consumer’s procuring of food. The hunter gather had to work much harder to obtain and prepare food than the modern consumer reliant upon supermarkets and pre-prepared food. The system required to support our food system however is orders of magnitude more complex than that of a hunter gatherer. This increased level of complexity comes at a cost in terms of the capital, resources and energy required to maintain a level of complexity.
For example, to maintain our road networks requires significant financial and human capital, a vast array of equipment, and resources such as sand, gravel, bitumen, steel, aluminium and concrete. This is all supported by the expenditure of energy, such as diesel and electricity. Whilst the global economy has grown meeting these maintenance costs has been in the most part achievable. It is highly unlikely however that society will be able to meet these maintenance costs in a contracting economy. Indeed this is already occurring in some parts of the world, such as the US, where in some instances financially pressured local governments have been turning bitumen roads into gravel roads to reduce costs. (Source)
Powered only by human motion, this is a project by a group of college students in Japan made from aluminum sheets and pipes. To see it in action, watch the video.
How are religion and technology different? Jevgeni Kabanov on evangelism, guidance and organization.
The end of iteration…
Iterations are an arbitrary time slice…a line in the sand. This leads to all sorts of technical and logistical gymnastics, that often have more drawbacks than benefits. While the drive to relentlessly divide features into their smallest possible unit of deliverable business value is important and valuable, artificial iteration boundaries tend to encourage bad habits like layer cake division. More insidious, developers almost always make the division decision. The more often that decision is not aligned to true business value, the less relevance stories have to business stakeholders. In my experience, as little as 10% "noise" in story value can cause a non product management stakeholder to tune out of the story flow of a team.