Category Archives: Science/Technology

Cool stuff from the world of science and tech

Book review: The naked ape

The naked ape is a classic. It’s about humans, but it’s written by a zoologist, who treats us as just another type of ape.

The premise is this: If you took the skin of one of each species of primate and examined them closely, there’s one that would stick out – the human. We’re not covered in hair, hence the naked ape. He then goes on to describe the myriad ways in which we resemble apes, physically, psycologically, socially, sexually, etc. It’s brilliant stuff.

It reminds me of a question asked in Douglas Coupland’s Generation X: What animal would you be, if you were an animal? Answer: You already are an animal.

Book review: The art of systems thinking

Systems thinking is the key to understanding many of the problems that we face today as individuals and organizations. Peter Senge defined it as one of five key disciplines necessary to create a learning organization, but systems thinking is useful far beyond that.

This book, subtitled “Essential skills for creativity and problem solving”, is a thorough introduction to the field.
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Book review: Det gener

Tor Nørretranders has written an excellent book about generosity. It has gotten a decent amount of media exposure since it came out, mostly due to some (literally) sexy catchphrases.

But the book has merit far beyond easy catchphrases. Humans are generous, artistic, flamboyant, playful individualists. And what’s more, we’re the happiest when we can be all of that. Why?
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Google sets

There’s a new, seriously cool feature currently being tested on Google, called Google sets. You name a couple of items and Google will attempt to expand that and find more items matching your examples.

Starting with “Bill Clinton” and “George Bush” might give you a set of american presidents while “apples”, “pears” and “bananas” gives you a list of fruits.

Let’s say you’re a fan of Open Space Technology and Appreciative Inquiry and you want to find more tools like them – well here’s a possible answer. Google rules!

Book review: The soul at work

Complexity science is appearing more and more often in business literature (and just about everywhere else). This book with the subtitle “unleashing the power of complexity science for business success” shows a better way to manage organizations than the old command-and-control way, and describes some of the tools needed to get there. It helped put me on to the “joy at work” project.
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