Fukushima nuclear disaster and systemic pathology

I found a journal article that looked at the Fukushima disaster in Japan from a systemic perspective. It argues that there were three main organization-oriented problems leading to the disaster: 1. The power plant was built in a known earthquake zone. 2. Aging of plant equipment, and intentional concealment of associated problems. 3. Deterioration of governing organizations to ...

Nifty screen sizer for web interfaces

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This tool is a nice quick check for what a page looks like on a continuum of screen resolutions. http://browsersize.googlelabs.com/ Using it has reminded me of two things: 1) How important top-left is. 2) How great gear can lead to blindness. I never have to scroll on my octo-monitor, pixels-forever, V8-powered display system. Suddenly, a beleaguered middle-aged bureaucrat bursts ...

The simplest problem-solving heuristic

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Sometimes the most powerful ideas are also the simplest. They are overlooked because of their simplicity. A simple and powerful heuristic for general problem-solving is the idea that things are they way they are because they got that way. In other words, history matters. That's obvious! Yes, it's logically obvious. But in the throws of problem-solving, we ...

The Cost of Better Information

Many well-intentioned IT pros assume that the basic problem of management is lack of better information. If you're in the business of building information systems, better often implies more, and better certainly implies sooner. Here's a news article about the side-effects of giving ubiquitous medical information access to medical professionals. We've created a beautiful map of you, and ...

Intended Unintended Consequences

There's been a national stir recently over Alabama's tougher immigrations laws. Many have cited the unintended consequences of the law which sought to protect American workers but ended up hurting American business. It's a textbook case of pushback. But what if the stir wasn't an unintended consequence. Unless the law was created by total shut-ins, ...