L’innovazione è figlia della misurazione

Spesso le grandi innovazioni dipendono da un progresso nella capacità di misurare. Ne parlano Erik Brynjolfsson e Andrew McAfee su The Atlantic. Da leggere.

The Big Data Boom Is the Innovation Story of Our Time – Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee – Business – The Atlantic

Mobile phones, automobiles, factory automation systems and other devices are routinely instrumented to generate streams of data on their activities, making possible an emerging field of “reality mining” to analyze this information. Manufacturers and retailers use radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags to deliver terabits of data on inventories and supplier interactions and then feed this information into analytical models to optimize and reinvent their business processes. Much of this information is generated for free, by computers, and sits unused, at least initially. A few years after installing a large enterprise resource planning system, it is common for companies to purchase a “business intelligence” module to try to make use of the flood of data that they now have on their operations. As Ron Kohavi at Microsoft memorably put it, objective, fine-grained data are replacing HiPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinions) as the basis for decision-making at more and more companies.

Big Data

theatlantic.com / Dralo/Shutterstock

La “saggezza delle folle” per predire il futuro



Foresight Engine Asks The Crowd To Change The Future | Co.Exist: World changing ideas and innovation

With a forecasting model that allows for the discovery of social wisdom and the giving exposure to outlier ideas, the futurist company is showing the benefits of collective problem solving.

No one can predict the future. Many people working together, however have far better insights than those working alone. The Foresight Engine, designed by the Institute for the Future, takes advantage of this phenomenon to create “microforecasts,” essentially crowdsourced ideas about the future, offering innovative insights about what could be.

L’Orizzonte degli Eventi: Ministre in fuga

IMPERDIBILE. Andatelo a vedere.

L’Orizzonte degli Eventi: Ministre in fuga

Se agli Academy Awards esistesse la categoria “Miglior Corto di Regime”, questo video tratto da “Porta a Porta” vincerebbe di sicuro l’Oscar 2012.

Lavoce.info – Andrea Terzi – UN GRANDE BAZOOKA PER LA BCE

Sono sempre più gli osservatori che pensano che la BCE debba impegnarsi ad acquistare titoli di Stato fino al re-allineamento degli spread dei paesi più a rischio. La strada del succedersi di negoziati e delusioni in un processo decisionale europeo lento e incerto non fa che alimentare la spirale.

Andrea Terzi, su Lavoce.info, ci spiega il perché.

Questa soluzione si chiama “il grande bazooka”. O anche, dato che ieri parlavamo di lupi mannari, la “pallottola d’argento”.

Silver Bullet



I titoli di Stato sono quanto di più vicino alla moneta di Stato. E solo la Banca centrale europea può salvare la moneta europea. Con un’operazione d’acquisto dei titoli di Stato in euro che annullerebbe ogni spread. È definito il grande bazooka. Vi si oppongono strenuamente i banchieri centrali tedeschi con argomenti di scarso fondamento. Nuove regole sulle decisioni fiscali dei paesi membri della stessa area monetaria sono auspicabili e inevitabili. Non sembra invece un atteggiamento prudente quello di insistere sulle regole quando si è vicini al collasso.

Perché entrare in una stanza fa dimenticare che cosa si stava facendo?

Un’esperienza che abbiamo fatto tutti: entrare in una stanza e accorgerci che abbiamo dimenticato che cosa ci accingevamo a fare, o a dire, o a prendere.

Secondo uno studio di psicologia sperimentale, si tratterebbe di un fenomeno reale.

Walking through doorways causes forgetting, new research shows | KurzweilAI

We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find.

New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses. “Entering or exiting through a doorway serves as an ‘event boundary’ in the mind, which separates episodes of activity and files them away,” Radvansky explains.

“Recalling the decision or activity that was made in a different room is difficult because it has been compartmentalized.”

Conducting three experiments in both real and virtual environments, Radvansky’s subjects performed memory tasks while crossing a room and while exiting a doorway.

In the first experiment, subjects used a virtual environment and moved from one room to another, selecting an object on a table and exchanging it for an object at a different table. They did the same thing while simply moving across a room but not crossing through a doorway.

Radvansky found that the subjects forgot more after walking through a doorway compared to moving the same distance across a room, suggesting that the doorway or “event boundary” impedes one’s ability to retrieve thoughts or decisions made in a different room.

Another experiment was designed to test whether doorways actually served as event boundaries or if one’s ability to remember is linked to the environment in which a decision — in this case, the selection of an object — was created. Previous research has shown that environmental factors affect memory and that information learned in one environment is retrieved better when the retrieval occurs in the same context.

Subjects in this leg of the study passed through several doorways, leading back to the room in which they started. The results showed no improvements in memory, suggesting that the act of passing through a doorway serves as a way the mind files away memories.

The study was published recently in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Salvare Roma per salvare il sogno europeo

Martin Wolf, editorialista del Financial Times, sostiene (sul numero del 15 novembre) che è necessario salvare Roma per non fare affonfdare il sogno europeo. E la prende veramente alla lontana.

Europe must not allow Rome to burn – FT.com

What is at stake today is not only the stability of the European – perhaps the world’s – economy, but the survival of the most successful – and certainly most civilised – effort to unite Europe since the fall of the western Roman empire 1,535 years ago. As Walter Scheidel of Stanford University notes in a fascinating essay: “Two thousand years ago, perhaps half of the entire species had come under the control of just two powers, the Roman and Han empires.”* Both collapsed. But the Chinese empire was repeatedly restored and enlarged, while the Roman empire divided irretrievably. Yet the dream of reunification never died. It was apparent in the claims of popes and “holy Roman emperors”. It was carried by Napoleon’s eagles. It is the aspiration embedded in the European Union.

Caduta di Roma


Un reportage del Financial Times da Cassino

Il Financial Times di venerdì ha pubblicato un reportage da Cassino sulla nostra “generazione perduta”. Di nuovo in macerie.

Italy’s lost generation sceptical of new order – FT.com

Obliterated by Allied bombing in 1944 and rebuilt by Italy’s industrious postwar generation, Cassino, halfway between Rome and Naples, is in sore need of a second rebirth. From youth unemployment to a low birth rate, the small town – streets lined with shops closing down and festooned with posters advertising “I sell Gold” – encapsulates all the challenges facing Mario Monti, Italy’s newly appointed prime minister, and his emergency cabinet of technocrats.