"The search for scientific bases for confronting problems of social policy is bound to fail, because of the nature of these problems. They are 'wicked' problems..."[pdf] [more inside]
Your mind tells you there is a problem whenever it detects a somewhat possible unpleasant future experience, which it can do all day, and it happily will if you don't call its bluff. Of course there's an infinite supply of potential disasters. These are just thoughts, but they seem like realities, and any one of them can create an emotional pitfall now no matter what actually happens later.
Visual Patterns. Here are the first few steps. What's the equation?
What's your problem? Putting purpose back into your projects: "Design is both problem and solution. In order to know we are creating the right solution, we have to make sure we’re solving the right problem... I do this by relying on three principles of problem solving..." Whitney Hess is a user experience design consultant. IgniteNYC video presentation she did on good user design principles (5 min.). [more inside]
Can playing Dungeons & Dragons make you a more confident and successful person? The PBS Idea Channel posits that playing pen-and-paper role-playing games helps to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, people management, and abstract thinking.
Staying_On-Topic in r/intelligentanimals posts a huge number of links explaining why Corvids (crows, ravens, magpies, etc) are amazing.
"Here’s a paper we’re working on, which argues that we should (for some purposes at least), think of markets, hierarchy and democracy in terms of their capacity to solve complex collective problems [and] makes the case that democracy will on average do the job a lot better than the other two ways..." Henry Farrell and Cosma Shalizi on a cognitive approach to democracy (pdf). [via]
Google's answer to TED talks has gone live. Solve For X, a "forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork," currently contains links to YouTube videos from the likes of Neal Stephenson, Rob McGinnis, and Privahini Bradoo. Videos range from 10 to 20 minutes in length. [more inside]
How to replace 30 laptops (and $10,000) with 150 sheets of paper. A great little anecdote about why it’s important to think about how much computerization is needed to solve a problem. The comments on this story at Hacker News are interesting too.
In today's example of kids smarter than you and I, Wired follows the exploits of two teens competing at the International Olympiad in Informatics.
The Great Pigeon Debacle 2004. Now none of this would have happened if the guy had a resident snake.