Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How do good ideas spread? [Article]

Atul Gawande finds out , in the New Yorker, using the different trajectories of anaesthesia & anti-septics, both of which were discovered in the nineteenth century:
In the era of the iPhone, Facebook, and Twitter, we’ve become enamored of ideas that spread as effortlessly as ether. We want frictionless, “turnkey” solutions to the major difficulties of the world—hunger, disease, poverty. We prefer instructional videos to teachers, drones to troops, incentives to institutions. People and institutions can feel messy and anachronistic. They introduce, as the engineers put it, uncontrolled variability.
Take the time to read through this thoughtful essay, with real-world examples that will make you pause & ponder.