Notes from “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsch

July 22, 2014 1. The Reach of Explanations

Experience is indeed essential to science, but its role is different from that supposed by empiricism. It is not the source from which theories are derived. Its main use is to choose between theories that have already been guessed. That is what ‘learning from experience’ is.

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"Behind it all is surely an idea so simple, so beautiful, that when we grasp it – in a decade, a century, or a millennium – we will all say to each other, how could it have been otherwise?"

-

John Archibald Wheeler, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 480 (1986)”

Excerpt From: Deutsch, David. “The Beginning of Infinity.” Penguin, 2011. iBooks.
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Notes from “The Beginning of Infinity” by David Deutsch

July 22, 2014 Introduction

Must progress come to an end – either in catastrophe or in some sort of completion – or is it unbounded? The answer is the latter. That unboundedness is the ‘infinity’ referred to in the title of this book. Explaining it, and the conditions under which progress can and cannot happen, entails a journey through virtually every fundamental field of science and philosophy.

Sometimes you have to ask the truly frightening questions.

All Excerpts From — David Deutsch’s The Beginning of Infinity

"We don’t want the complexity of the problem to be evident in the solution."

- Jony Ive

"The United States is the only country in the world that recognizes corporations as persons. It’s a so-called “legal fiction” that’s meant to uphold the rights of groups and to smooth business processes. But it’s a dangerous concept that’s gone too far — and could endanger social freedoms in the future."

- imageIt’s Time to Destroy Corporate Personhood

"Design is no longer concerned only with things. Increasingly, design is concerned with systems—and now systems of systems or ecologies. In a sense, these systems are alive. They grow and coevolve. Designers and product managers cannot always control them. Instead, they must create conditions in which they can emerge and flourish. All this requires new thinking and new knowledge. It requires design practice to learn."

- Hugh Dubberly (via solita)

shoutsandmumbles:

John Maeda and Yves Behar talk design and business and why they two need to get to know each other a lot better. 

Can’t agree enough with Yvés POV on how business and design should work.

"Always design a thing by considering it in its next larger context — a chair in a room, a room in a house, a house in an environment, an environment in a city plan."

- Eliel Saarinen

Notes from “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” by Dan Hill

July 20, 2014 What is The Matter? What is The Meta?

For all the value they could create, too often designers appear naive in the face of genuinely understanding cultures of decision-making, of how an inability to generate political capital can undermine their ability to deliver change. Yet if design can truly create new cultures of decision-making that recognise the value in prototyping and platforms, it would in turn indicate a core value of strategic design to policy and practice in public service. Shared language is key to this process of assimilation; could policy usefully absorb the language of design and vice versa?

If you’re a designer. Start supplementing your reading with The Economist, MIT Technology Review, and The Harvard Business Review.

 
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Hill, Dan. “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” Strelka Press, 2014-02-22. iBooks.
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Notes from “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” by Dan Hill

July 19, 2014 What is The Question?

In terms of practice, design’s core value is in rapidly synthesising disparate bodies of knowledge in order to articulate, prototype and develop alternative trajectories.

image

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Hill, Dan. “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” Strelka Press, 2014-02-22. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

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Notes from “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” by Dan Hill

July 19, 2014 What is The Question?

Yet too often, the stance of the designer is oriented almost solely towards problem-solving. Too often, that’s what they’re trained for. The issue here is something rarely considered at school: what do you do when you realise you are addressing the wrong problem, your bounded remit having been the outcome of the wrong question in the first place? This happens frequently in design work in practice, and yet stuck at the wrong end of the value-chain, simply problem-solving, it is difficult to interrogate or alter the original question. You simply have to solve within the brief you’ve been set; you can’t challenge its premise. Just try harder.

I’d like to think the role of designer is almost akin to the philosophers in Greek antiquity. To delve and explore the depths of the universe but be able to articulate those cosmic ideas that would inspire kings to build roads and scholars to posit the heavens. 

All Excerpts From

Hill, Dan. “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” Strelka Press, 2014-02-22. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Available in iBooks Store

Notes from “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” by Dan Hill

July 19, 2014 What is The Question?

Design has been too wasteful for too long. Not in the sense that it has often been focused on producing unnecessary or harmful commodities or addressing problems that didn’t need solving, though these are also true, but design has been wasteful in terms of its core proposition, its essential mode. Design has too often been deployed at the low value end of the product spectrum, putting the lipstick on the pig.
In doing this, design has failed to make the case for its core value, which is addressing genuinely meaningful, genuinely knotty problems by convincingly articulating and delivering alternative ways of being. Rethinking the pig altogether, rather than worrying about the shade of lipstick it’s wearing.

IDEO’s Tim brown sums it up, “So somehow, we went from this to this. Systems thinkers who were reinventing the world, to a priesthood of folks in black turtlenecks and designer glasses working on small things.

  
All Excerpts From

Hill, Dan. “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” Strelka Press, 2014-02-22. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Available in iBooks Store

Notes from “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” by Dan Hill

July 19, 2014 Dark Matter and Trojan Horses: A Strategic Design Vocabulary

Yet everything around us is also the result of a choice, a design decision in effect. So when we see failure, we can only assume a breakdown between policy, the intended design, and delivery, the outcome.

This bit hit me pretty hard. Take a second to look at your environment. Everything. I mean almost everything was designed by someone no smarter than you. Some with considerable care and craft. While others without a thought in the world. 

All Excerpts From

Hill, Dan. “Dark Matter and Trojan Horses. A Strategic Design Vocabulary.” Strelka Press, 2014-02-22. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

"Researchers found that showing people extreme versions of ideas that confirmed — not contradicted — their opinions on a deeply divisive issue actually caused them to reconsider their stance and become more receptive to other points of view. The scientists attribute this to the fact that the new information caused people to see their views as irrational or absurd, according to a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

- imageTo change attitudes, don’t argue — agree, extremely - LA Times

"But here at Paleofuture we also look (less commonly these days, I’ll admit) at the people who warned that technology was the enemy; that scientific developments were going to undoubtedly make our lives worse. The techno-reactionary believes that technology must be controlled so as not to overwhelm the very people it ostensibly exists to help. Wilbur H. Ferry worked at a think tank called the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, and Ferry was very much in the latter camp. He thought technology was going to make our lives unbearable."

- imageTrying to Control a Future We Never Get Right