The talk is a bit overreaching, doing more things than it should have tried to do, in other words not very efficient, but it contains some really interesting ideas and it's extremely well articulated. As a software developer, I always thrive for efficiency, but what Margaret Heffernan says is that efficiency is good only when the future is predictable. In a fast changing world (and getting faster), efficiency doesn't just not help, it makes things worse. Sometimes you can't plan, but you can prepare.

As expected, I wasn't as interested in the humanistic part of the talk as I was in the technical aspects: algorithmic efficiency is only good with things that can be measured. If you want to innovate or to adapt, it's trial and error that works best. I got that giddiness I get when people tell me "you can't do THAT in software!". Oh, ye of little faith! But there is something there, something extremely useful, a tool that I can use whenever I get stuck in logic loops or some manager tells me that he needs data in order to make a decision about the project that would generate the data.


Margaret Heffernan: The human skills we need in an unpredictable world

Comments

Be the first to post a comment

Post a comment