Serendipity and strategy in rapid innovation | Nature Communications

Innovation is to organizations what evolution is to organisms: it is how organizations adapt to environmental change and improve. Yet despite advances in our understanding of evolution, what drives innovation remains elusive. On the one hand, organizations invest heavily in systematic strategies to accelerate innovation. On the other, historical analysis and individual experience suggest that serendipity plays a significant role. To unify these perspectives, we analysed the mathematics of innovation as a search for designs across a universe of component building blocks. We tested our insights using data from language, gastronomy and technology. By measuring the number of makeable designs as we acquire components, we observed that the relative usefulness of different components can cross over time. When these crossovers are unanticipated, they appear to be the result of serendipity. But when we can predict crossovers in advance, they offer opportunities to strategically increase the growth of the product space. Organizations can take different approaches to innovation: they can either follow a strategic process or a serendipitous perspective. Here Fink et al. develop a statistical model to analyse how components combine to obtain a product and thus explain the mechanism behind the two approaches.
— Read on www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-02042-w

Alexa McDonough remembered for her dedication to social justice, blazing a trail for women | CBC News

.

— Read on www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/alexa-mcdonough-death-jan-15-2022-1.6316452

U.S. Health Care Spending Highest Among Developed Countries | Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

The United States, on a per capita basis, spends much more on health care than other developed countries; the chief reason is not greater health care utilization, but higher prices, according to a study from a team led by a JHSPH researcher.
— Read on publichealth.jhu.edu/2019/us-health-care-spending-highest-among-developed-countries

Hiltzik: The downside of copyrights – Los Angeles Times

‘Winnie-the-Pooh,’ ‘The Sun Also Rises’ and many other works entered the public domain on Saturday. They show what’s wrong with the system.
— Read on www.latimes.com/business/story/2022-01-03/winnie-the-pooh-public-domain

Road Salt Is Wreaking Havoc On Our Drinking Water and the Environment

The good news? There are several interventions municipalities could use to stop the problem in its tracks.
— Read on www.popularmechanics.com/science/a38595110/road-salt-environment/

Contrary to popular belief, Twitter’s algorithm amplifies conservatives, not liberals: study | Salon.com

Conservatives have long accused social media platforms of discriminating against them, but the opposite is true
— Read on www.salon.com/2021/12/23/twitter-algorithm-amplifies-conservatives/

Shortest Path Distance Approximation Using Deep Learning: Node2Vec | by Asutosh Nayak | Towards Data Science

This article is an implementation of a research paper titled “Shortest Path Distance Approximation using Deep Learning Techniques”, where the authors explain a new method to approximate the shortest path distance between the nodes of a graph. I will explain the paper and my implementation of it. You can find the project on my GitHub account here. First I will give an overview of the method proposed in this paper, then we will go through some of the concepts used in this paper to solve the problem and finally the implementation.
— Read on towardsdatascience.com/shortest-path-distance-with-deep-learning-311e19d97569

CNN Exclusive: US intel and satellite images show Saudi Arabia is now building its own ballistic missiles with help of China – CNNPolitics

US intelligence agencies have assessed that Saudi Arabia is now actively manufacturing its own ballistic missiles with the help of China, CNN has learned, a development that could have significant ripple effects across the Middle East and complicate the Biden administration’s efforts to restrain the nuclear ambitions of Iran, the Saudis’ top regional rival.
— Read on edition.cnn.com/2021/12/23/politics/saudi-ballistic-missiles-china/index.html

If You’re Making Camera Obscura, This is What You Need to Know | Widewalls

Tips and ideas on how to make your own Camera Obscura, a device supposedly behind some of Vermeer’s and Da Vinci’s greatest masterpieces.

— Read on www.widewalls.ch/magazine/making-camera-obscura-history-vermeer

A Stellar Merger’s Snapshot in Time – SOFIA: Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy

Everything we see in the universe is a snapshot of the past: As light takes its time to reach our telescopes, the system we’re observing continues to evolve, and what we end up seeing is a moment in its history. By revisiting an object over the course of decades, we can look not only into its past, but can watch its history unfold.

Eleven years after it was last observed and 17 years after a stellar merger occurred, SOFIA looked at V838 Monocerotis, or V838 Mon, a binary star system about 19 thousand light-years away from Earth, capturing a snapshot in time of its makeup. This confirmed that the dust chemistry of the system has changed significantly over the course of nearly two decades following the merger, particularly over the past decade. This provided a history we otherwise cannot look at and offered an archaeological view of its evolution.
— Read on blogs.nasa.gov/sofia/2021/12/17/a-stellar-mergers-snapshot-in-time/