August 2010

Monthly Archives

  • Rules of Learning

    “Rules of engagement” is a phrase familiar to military personnel engaged in almost any mission. Any vigorous learning enterprise has a characteristic in common with the military, a mission shared and hopefully understood by all. Military rules of engagement shift depending on a unit’s mission, and perhaps even its situation. Few other working organizations will […]

  • The LED Compression Lesson

    A couple of reports out this week from Sandia National Lab nicely illustrate the dilemmas of reducing resource use. They also illustrate that more and more thinkers are catching on that Compression is a real, looming challenge. The first report is on lighting. LEDs use about 20% of the power of incandescent lights, but this […]

  • World Grain Supply — 2010 and Beyond

    August 15, 2010 World grain prices are up sharply since June. U.S. prices rose for several days ahead of the USDA’s much awaited projection of this year’s global grain harvest, issued on August 12. Excess heat cut this year’s harvest in Central Asia. Russia and the Ukraine, which are normally grain exporters, have stopped all […]

  • The Case for Compression

    The case for Compression rests on no single, simple threat. We can’t support the present human population level, seven billion, headed for nine, by going back to a primeval environment. However, our existence is symbiotic with that of our home, earth, so neither can we keep pretending that a few minor changes will suffice for […]

  • Compression Thinking

    How can a global population of 9 billion live well using no more resources than were consumed by only 4.5 billion (in 1980)? Not the way we live and work now. Methods to do this are well known: Re-use, re-purpose, remanufacture, recycle, redesign, substitute, restore ecology, and so on – but they are not deployed […]

  • Vigorous Learning

    Even if resources aren’t limited, consuming them just to generate economic activity isn’t smart. Lean thinking starts down this path, but is limited because the present system stresses labor productivity. Financial hackles rise when labor is paid, but does nothing. However, the system’s logic does not question whether entire business models are waste. It assumes […]