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jerryking : linearity   11

The Meadoway: 16 km stretch of urban park will connect downtown to Scarborough | CBC News
Posted: Apr 11, 2018 | CBC News | by Ramna Shahzad.

The park will connect 4 ravines, 15 parks and 34 neighbourhoods.

A 16-kilometre long stretch of land slated to be transformed into a large urban park called The Meadoway is "a bold vision," Mayor John Tory said on Wednesday.

The park, which will stretch north from the Don River Ravine in downtown Toronto all the way to Rouge National Urban Park in Scarborough, will allow pedestrians and cyclists to travel the entire length without ever leaving the park. .......The city is working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the W. Garfield Weston Foundation to transform a barren power corridor into the green space over the next seven years.

The entire project is expected to cost around $85 million. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has pledged a total of $25 million to support it over the coming months.

"[The park] serves as another example of what can be accomplished when we work together with public, private and philanthropic partners,"
bicycles  cycling  Don_River  habitats  landscapes  linearity  Meadoway  neighbourhoods  outdoors  parks  philanthropy  public_spaces  ravines  Rouge_Park  Scarborough  Toronto  TRCA  urban  wilderness  green_spaces 
july 2019 by jerryking
The Future Isn’t What It Used to Be
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | by Andy Kessler.

Founded in 1867, the Keuffel & Esser Co. commissioned a study of the future for its 100th anniversary. If you’re of a certain vintage, you might have used a K&E slide rule. Their “visionary” study was a huge dud, missing completely the electronic-calculator boom that came a few years later. They shut down their slide-rule engravers in 1976. As Mark Twain said, “It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.” Or was it Niels Bohr? Maybe Yogi Berra?

My father was a proud member of the Book of the Month Club. Bored on a visit home in 1989, I devoured that month’s selection, “Megamistakes” by Baruch College professor Steven Schnaars, where I read about K&E’s study. The book’s message was simple: Don’t be fooled by prevailing opinion, and don’t extend trend lines into the future. Mr. Schnaars chronicles how 1950s jet-age thinking morphed into ’60s dreams of a space-age utopia. A 1966 study by conglomerate TRW forecast manned lunar bases by 1977, autonomous vehicles by 1979 and intelligent robot soldiers by the ’90s. AT&T ’s Picturephone service, ultrasonically cleaned dishes, cheap energy forever, future shock everywhere—all wrong.

Of course, the 1973 oil embargo changed everything. But by the end of the ’70s, expensive oil was considered permanent and the future was about scarcity and energy saving and we’d all be driving small cars with CB radios and living in R. Buckminster Fuller-inspired geodesic domes. General Electric even ramped up production of small refrigerators. Mistakes!Im-82150

Then the ’80s came along. A bull market and cheap oil lifted the ’70s fog, but everyone believed the Japanese would soon rule the world since they were kicking our butts in manufacturing and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo was worth more than all the real estate in California. Personal computers were mere toys. Oh, and the Soviet Union was a world superpower. Megamistakes!

After the ’87 crash and first Iraq war, the prospects for economic growth in the ’90s were dim. Then Netscape and its browser went public in 1995 and we were off to the races again. By 1999 techno-utopia was in full swing, and all you needed was a good name like burnmoney.com to raise millions and be worth kazillions. Gigamistake!

The Nasdaq’s dot-bomb implosion and 9/11 changed the mood quickly. In 2003 I tried to pitch a book about Silicon Valley and Wall Street and was told nobody would care about them ever again and asked if I knew anything about bioterrorism or Islamic fundamentalism. Uh, no. But I wish I knew about house or derivative flipping - that’s what the aughts were about, until the Great Recession. The 2010s were about holding cash, maybe in your mattress, vs. owning stocks. Oops— Apple , Amazon and Microsoft would soon flirt with trillion-dollar valuations. Teramistake?

Mr. Schnaars advised discounting extrapolations, playing down historical precedent, challenging assumptions, and distinguishing fads from growth markets. Easier said than done. The future happens, just not the way most people think. How you pick your investments, your job and even where you live can end up a dead end or the most vibrant upside imaginable. Choose carefully, but as Mr. Schnaars suggested, think for yourself.

Today low interest rates mean risk is on and caution is old-fashioned. Companies sell at 20 times revenues instead of earnings (Note: Beyond Meat is at 43 times its 2019 sales forecast, and Tableau Software recently sold for 16 times its 2018 revenue.) Politically, populism and nationalism have won the day. Internationally, China is the new U.S.S.R. Economically, the future is now. Will any of it last?

For a while, Tesla was valued as if every new car would soon be electric. The 2020s are still blurry, but apparently that doesn’t cloud the pundit class’s clear vision on climate change, drones, autonomous vehicles and the effect of artificial intelligence. We’ll all share cars, bikes, scooters and even pogo sticks. WeWork is valued as if we’ll all share offices. What’s next, communes?

My experience is that people tend to overestimate the absurd, like Elon Musk’s dreams of building a hyperloop and colonizing Mars, and underestimate the mundane, like improvements in messaging and shopping. I’m usually bullish until dreams become hallucinations. Technology develops in S curves: Things start slow, go into hyperbolic growth, and then roll over. [ JCK: See also John Ruffolo's explanation of Amara’s Law on the effect of technology, which aptly states: “We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run.” ] That’s why “the singularity”—self-improving, unrestrained artificial intelligence—probably won’t happen. Don’t extend the trend.

The tempests of change blow hard. Reading the prevailing winds, we’re all about to become robot-replaced, drone-delivered-synthetic-meat-eating, augmented-reality-helmet-wearing, bitcoin-spending, fruit-flavored-vaping, neutered democratic socialists chirping “Comrade” and streaming “The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 10, “Dystopia’s Discontents,” on our watches while collecting universal basic income. You don’t need a slide rule to calculate the megamistakes.
Amara's_Law  Andy_Kessler  forecasting  future  linearity  mistakes  overestimation  predictions  S-curves  straight-lines  underestimation 
july 2019 by jerryking
How Nature Scales Up
June 23, 2017 | WSJ | By Charles C. Mann

Review of SCALE By Geoffrey West; Penguin Press, 479 pages, $30
books  book_reviews  scaling  physicists  growth  innovation  sustainability  cities  economics  business  linearity  efficiencies  economies_of_scale  sublinearity  massive_data_sets  natural_selection  powerlaw 
june 2017 by jerryking
Review: How Laws of Physics Govern Growth in Business and in Cities
MAY 26, 2017 | The New York Times | By JONATHAN A. KNEE

Book review of “Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies” (Penguin), by Geoffrey West, a theoretical physicist.....Mr. West’s core argument is that the basic mathematical laws of physics governing growth in the physical world apply equally to biological, political and corporate organisms.....The central observation of “Scale” is that a wide variety of complex systems respond similarly to increases in size. Mr. West demonstrates that these similarities reflect the structural nature of the networks that undergird these systems. The book identifies three core common characteristics of the hierarchal networks that deliver energy to these organisms — whether the diverse circulatory systems that power all forms of animal life or the water and electrical networks that power cities. First, the networks are “space filling” — that is, they service the entire organism. Second, the terminal units are largely identical, whether they are the capillaries in our bodies or the faucets and electrical outlets in our homes. Third, a kind of natural selection process operates within these networks so that they are optimized......These shared network qualities explain why when an organism doubles in size, an astonishing range of characteristics, from food consumption to general metabolic rate, grow something less than twice as fast — they scale “sublinearly.” What’s more, “Scale” shows why the precise mathematical factor by which these efficiencies manifest themselves almost always relate to “the magic No. 4.”

Mr. West also provides an elegant explanation of why living organisms have a natural limit to growth and life span following a predictable curve, as an increasing proportion of energy consumed is required for maintenance and less is available to fuel further expansion.

....Despite his reliance on the analysis of huge troves of data to develop and support his theories, in the concluding chapters, Mr. West makes a compelling argument against the “arrogance and narcissism” reflected in the growing fetishization of “big data” in itself. “Data for data’s sake,” he argues, “or the mindless gathering of big data, without any conceptual framework for organizing and understanding it, may actually be bad or even dangerous.”
books  book_reviews  business  cities  economics  efficiencies  economies_of_scale  growth  innovation  Jonathan_Knee  linearity  massive_data_sets  metabolic_rate  natural_selection  physical_world  physics  physicists  powerlaw  scaling  selection_processes  sublinearity  sustainability 
may 2017 by jerryking
Beware of linearity: The shortest distance to your future may not be a straight line - The Globe and Mail
HARVEY SCHACHTER
Special to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Dec. 09, 2016

linearity – dominates our thinking as we tackle problems. “Western thinkers are so habituated to thinking in terms of linear models that we allow them to inform not just what we think, but the fundamentals of how we think....Linearity is a critical and – apparently – inherent part of our cultural DNA....It’s not easy to forsake linearity...it’s essential to guard against slavishly following its tantalizing direction. Start by reading trade journals from another industry or studying a topic you have no interest in. Look for the less obvious interconnections around you. Think like a songwriter: Choruses and bridges signal a break with the preceding verse or the patterns that come before. But a true bridge, unlike a chorus, never repeats. They urge you to look for bridge moments rather than assume past is prologue.
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Leaders are supposed to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. But fact checkers found Mr. Trump consistently at odds with the truth. And his supporters didn’t seem to care, assuming leaders lie anyway. TV host Stephen Colbert used the term “truthiness” to cover believing something that feels true even if it isn’t supported by fact. Says Fowler: “I wonder if truth-telling matters when people are interested in bigger issues?”
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One of the highly touted productivity approaches is to tackle your most important thing (MIT) at the start of the day. Get it done before the chaos of the day overwhelms you.

But productivity writer Cal Newport, a Georgetown University computer science professor, feels the approach is insufficient – calling it “amateur ball” while the professionals play a more textured game.

The problem is that it implicitly concedes that most of your day is out of your control. But someone who plans every minute of their day and every day of their week will inevitably accomplish far more high-value work than someone who identifies only a single daily objective. The key, he feels, is to put enough buffers in your day to handle the unplanned stuff that hits you. With those slices of times and a spirit of adaptability you will find your work life not as unpredictable as you assume.
early_risers  linearity  Harvey_Schachter  thinking  humility  Donald_Trump  unplanned  unforeseen  buffering  GTD  productivity  discontinuities  nonlinear_systems  randomness  interconnections  Jim_Collins  truthiness  truth-telling  slack_time  adaptability  overwhelmed  time-management  unexpected  Cal_Newport  straight-lines  bridging  non-obvious 
december 2016 by jerryking
Marketing in the Moments, to Reach Customers Online - The New York Times
JAN. 17, 2016 | NYT | By ROBERT D. HOF .

MOMENTS are having a moment in advertising. Or at least a micro moment.....It is not just a matter of reaching people at a particular time of day, a capability advertisers have employed for decades. Randy Wootton, chief executive of the ad technology firm Rocket Fuel, which recently announced a “marketing in the moment” approach, refers to ancient Greek concepts of time: chronos, or sequential time, and kairos, a moment of opportunity independent of linear time. The latter, of course, is the one his company claims to employ for marketers.

Another key, said Brian Solis, a principal analyst at Altimeter Group, a market research firm, is that the ads need to be more useful than they are attention-getting. According to a Google survey, 51 percent of smartphone owners have bought from a different company than they intended on the basis of information found online.....However, to build brands, an effort that accounts for the majority of ad spending, companies need more than a moment. And few marketers currently have all the skills needed for moments-based marketing, such as ethnographic studies of their customers and the ability to match customer data to the right context,
intentionality  immediacy  GPS  location_based_services  Greek  LBMA  advertising  instant_gratification  purchase_decisions  brands  branding  marketing  ephemerality  impulse_purchasing  contextual  Ram_Charan  P&G  real-time  Flybits  moments  linearity  seminal_moments  chronological  kairos 
february 2016 by jerryking
Disruptive entrepreneurs: An interview with Eric Ries
April 2014 | McKinsey & Company |

All of our process diagrams [in major corporations] are linear, boxed diagrams that go one way. But entrepreneurship is fundamentally iterative. So our diagrams need to be in circles. We have to be willing to be wrong and to fail. But modern management says, “Failure means you get dinged.”

For example, one of things I’ve tried to do is to tell companies, “Put on your employees’ performance evaluation a concept we call productive failure: ‘How many productive failures did you have this year?’ If someone comes to you and claims that they didn’t fail this year, you know one of two things: they’re either lying to your face or they were incredibly, unbelievably conservative.”

In both cases, it’s actually not a positive attribute. You want to say, “Show me a time when you failed but learned something really valuable, or were able to pivot from something that didn’t work to something that did.” I have a lot of examples now where it’s possible to say: “You saved the company an incredible amount of money, because instead of spending $10 million on something, we spent $100,000 and did an experiment that proves conclusively there ain’t no business here.”
Eric_Ries  lean  open_data  innovation  experimentation  entrepreneurship  McKinsey  disruption  failure  linearity  iterations  performance_reviews 
april 2014 by jerryking
Being There
Oct 24 2012| The Atlantic | by Robert D. Kaplan.

The real adventure of travel is mental. It is about total immersion in a place, because nobody from any other place can contact you. Thus your life is narrowed to what is immediately before your eyes, making the experience of it that much more vivid.

It isn’t just the landscapes that are overpowering, but the conversations, too. Real conversations require concentration, not texting on the side. The art of travel demands the end of multitasking. It demands the absence of bars on your smartphone when you are in a café with someone. That’s because travel is linear—it is about only one place or a singular perception at a time.
travel  information_overload  technology  Robert_Kaplan  creative_renewal  linearity  strangers 
november 2013 by jerryking
Oil guru points to substitutes keeping lid on energy prices
Apr. 19 2010 | Globe and Mail | DAVID PARKINSON.

"Essentially, all forecasting, no matter what's being forecast, is a straight-line extrapolation of what has been experienced very recently," he said in an interview in Toronto yesterday.

"All of our work is aimed at forecasting changes of direction and discontinuity, because that is the reality of the world. For the last several decades, our forecasts are nearly always this contrast with the consensus."
oil_industry  pricing  energy  substitution  forecasting  straight-lines  discontinuities  extrapolations  step_change  linearity 
june 2012 by jerryking
Create a Software Demo Presentation That Wows Prospects: 5 Mistakes to Avoid | MarketingSherpa
6 Feb 2007 | Marketing Sherpa | by Peter Cohan

"Most demos take 20 minutes or 40 minutes or -- God help you -- longer to get to the point," says Peter Cohan, Founder and Principal of The Second Derivative, a company that helps organizations such as Ariba and Business Objects improve the success of their business software demos.

Whether you're creating a demo to teach your sales force about a new product or for their use in the field, most marketers fall into the pit of five worst practices that leave viewers snoring.

1. Presenting a linear demo from beginning to end
2. Failing to focus on customer needs
3. Showing feature after feature
4. The one-demo-fits-all practice
5. Death by corporate overview

So, how do you put together a demo that works? Here are some presentation notes from Cohan.
presentations  Communicating_&_Connecting  linearity  marketing  mistakes  one-size-fits-all  sales  salesmanship  salespeople  sales_presentations  William_Cohan 
january 2012 by jerryking

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