Part 1 of a series on neuroscience and innovation Humans are animals. While we like to think we're captains of our destiny, we're far more driven by instinct than we know. In many ways, we’re just glorified apes, even in business.
Your grade ten math teacher probably wrote this several times on your tests: SIMPLIFY. And, for much of science, that’s part of the work: SIMPLIFY. The universe can be broken down into smaller and smaller chunks in an attempt to find its most basic level and functions. But what do you do when that doesn’t work? Complex systems that defy reduction are all around us, from the elaborate workings of an ant colony—which could never be predicted from the physiology of a single ant—to fluctuations in the financial system that can send ripples around the globe. When broken into their constituent pieces, examined and put back together, such systems do not behave as expected. The sum of the parts does not equal the whole
Interview to Raissa D’Souza by Graeme Stemp Morlock
In a 2008 paper on neuroeconomics, economist George Loewenstein said: “Whereas psychologists tend to view humans as fallible and sometime self-destructive, economists tend to view people as efficient maximisers of self-interest who make mistakes only when imperfectly informed about the consequences of their actions.”
It’s called a human capital contract, in which an individual raises money from investors in exchange for equity in herself. The idea is a bit unsettling. It sounds like either a modern version of indentured servitude, or the early version of some dystopian future in which every person is valued in dollars. In the science fiction novel The Unincorporated Man, every human is incorporated and most don’t own a majority of themselves. Their shareholders are their parents, the government, schools, corporations, and investors who bought their equity on the secondary market.
I see it again and again. When they have invested time and energy in a model (tool, framework, method), people have a tendency to make their models more and more complicated. “Let’s add another dimension.” “Let’s deepen the domains.” “Let’s...
Via Eric Laurent, Philippe Vallat