Venerable Bede’s Sparrow and the allure of nihilism

This morning we will be making a short detour to early medieval philosophy and the venerable Bede. Bede, who was among a handful toi survive the plague that ravaged his monastery, grew up to become not just an era-defining thinker and historian, but also a teacher revered by his students and generations to come. One thing that sticks out is Bede’s view of the transitory … Continue reading Venerable Bede’s Sparrow and the allure of nihilism

Eviatar Zerubavel and in praise of continuous work

One of the most fascinating books on writing that I have read was recommend to me by a professor who I once considered doing my Ph D for. I ended up, for different reasons, doing it for another amazing professor who really helped me think about not just the topic and dissertation, but about thinking over all and the academic context – but the book … Continue reading Eviatar Zerubavel and in praise of continuous work

Is it a competition or a race? Building scoring structures (Mental Models XIII)

Metrics are dangerous. You manage what you measure, as the old saw goes, and you want to make sure that you are not measuring the wrong thing – or things. We need to take great care when we set up metrics for anything we want to accomplish in order to make sure that we do not get the wrong outcomes. One way to approach metrics … Continue reading Is it a competition or a race? Building scoring structures (Mental Models XIII)

The myth of profit maximization

The FT editorial today deals with Danone and its shift to a “purpose driven company”. The shift has been less than successful and its architect was unceremoniously removed. The editorial then goes on to note that there is a tension here between the Milton Friedman vision of companies as socially responsible when they maximize their profits and the more fuzzy vision today of companies as … Continue reading The myth of profit maximization

The US returns to the endless frontier?

The organization and funding of science is a key geopolitical competitive advantage – and badly underrated across most economies. The European Union has failed at organizing tightly around scientific challenges, relying on large flagship programs that fragment into systems for distributing money across member states and the US has lost track of the post-world war II investments and strategies that through Vannevar Bush gave it … Continue reading The US returns to the endless frontier?