Sustainable Pace

June 27th, 2011

The 100 Thing Challenge

Recently I've read a lot about minimalism. One meme within this memeplex that particularly stuck with me was the 100 thing challenge. The objective of this challenge is to limit the number of personal possessions to 100 items. Why a limit? First of all, I don't even want to get into the whole consumerism environmentalism thing. It's obvious. Then, stuff requires maintenance and organization, which takes up time. The concept of slack says time is needed to adapt to changing circumstances. If you think about stuff, you cannot adapt, you are forced to live in the past, and become less mindful. Furthermore, life itself is limited. You might not think about it now, but you will be dead quite…

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May 22nd, 2011

When Hollywood went Agile by accident

In the 1960s, the traditional Hollywood concept no longer seemed to work, mainly this was due to the advent of television. Why see the latest John Wayne movie in a theatre when there is "Bonanza" at home? The studios tried technical innovations, like wide and wider screens (think Panavision and CinemaScope), but ticket sales decreased even further. Then, at Columbia Pictures, they tried something radically different, thanks to the influence of Bert Schneider. The idea: Give a film maker a fixed budget of one million dollars, and let them come up with a film all by themselves. If the budget was exceeded, the film maker had to come up with his own money to cover for the expenses. Risk was…

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April 3rd, 2011

Scrum and Happiness Research

In contrast to conventional economic theories, in which utility is solely modeled as a good (like money) and people base their decisions on rationality alone, happiness research introduces another aspect of utility, called procedural utility. It doesn't measure the result of a process, but assumes that utility is also generated as a byproduct. For example, a typical aspect of procedural utility is the experience of fairness, for example, in democracies compared to dictatorships: People may not live differently in any of the above, but the feeling alone of having a say has been measured as contributing to well-being. Or think of the different ways of price-generation in markets: forbidding…

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March 20th, 2011

Put this on your To-Do list: A Not-To-Do list

A point I had made before was that the brain, at least mine, is a greedy bastard. Back in the 20th century this was less problematic, as there were no distractions. There was TV, but it had three programmes and televised for maybe half a day. You might remember the infamous "Sendeschluss", the end of broadcast, later accompanied by the national anthem. My daughter will never believe me. Nowadays, it's much harder not to be polluted by information. It's everywhere. I have bought a smartphone this year, which is a lot smarter than I will ever be. If I was to encounter aliens, they would surely address my phone, and not me. And with a companion that intelligent, I'm not speaking of using the…

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December 31st, 2010

Good To Great

For this book, Jim Collins and his the team tried to find out how some companies were able to make the leap from good to great: Through data mining (stock prices etc.) they identified a dozen companies who were "good" first, but suddenly were able to outperform their competitors over a long period ("great"). Then the actual work begun, they analysed these companies in order to come up with a handful of common attributes. First of all, the leaders of these companies were not overly charismatic, they were humble and team oriented. Collins assumes that charismatic leaders might be able to achieve short term success, but in the long run they would become irreplaceable, doing more harm than…

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