Don’t Be Rude, You Loser


By Noah Smith – In other words, civility gives an unfair advantage to bad arguments. Being polite to someone can easily be mistaken for taking their idea seriously — and many ideas simply don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

But there’s an important question that I think Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig fails to consider:

What if your own viewpoint is wrong? more> http://tinyurl.com/kzvs6ul

Updates from GE


Das Instant Auto: Say Hallo to a Hot Rod Powered by Water

GE – The intriguingly named Quant e-Sportlimousine has been making a splash in Europe, where it was just approved for road use. The electric vehicle can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in a ridiculous 2.8 seconds, reach a projected top speed of 217 mph, and has a range of 370 miles for one charge, according to its manufacturer, Liechtenstein-based NanoFlowCell AG. Oh, and it’s powered by a saltwater-filled battery.

Unlike traditional batteries, which use solid materials to store and release electricity, flow batteries use charged liquids kept in separate tanks. The charged liquids come into close proximity only during power generation, greatly reducing the possibility of fire. “The safety is much higher and the electrode materials degrade much less during service,” Dr. Grigorii Soloveichik says. “You can re-use them many, many times.”

Soloveichik says flow batteries could hold “tens of kilowatt-hours and up” of energy, since it is the size of the tanks that determines how much power the batteries can store. Besides cars, flow batteries could be used as backup power for commercial and residential systems, store electricity from renewable sources of energy, and also support the power grid. “They can store energy from wind, for example, so power companies can use it when they need it,” Soloveichik says. more> http://tinyurl.com/l5cuos2

The Rise (and Likely Fall) of the Talent Economy


BOOK REVIEW

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, Author: Roger L. Martin.

By Roger L. Martin – Another, less well-known mechanism that has boosted income for the possessors of talent is the notorious “2&20 formula.”

Its roots lie in a 2,000-year-old practice whereby Phoenician ship captains would take 20% of the value of a cargo successfully delivered.

In 1949, when a fee of 1% to 2% of assets under management was typical in the investment management field, Alfred Winslow Jones, the first acknowledged hedge fund manager, adopted the Phoenician formula. He set himself up as the general partner of what would come to be referred to as a private equity firm and charged the limited partners who invested in his fund a 20% cut of the profits that he generated (“carried interest,” in industry parlance) on top of a 2% asset management fee. more> http://tinyurl.com/o2fndol

Views from the Solar System (225)


Flying Through an Aurora

NASA – European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst posted this photograph taken from the International Space Station to social media on Aug. 29, 2014, writing, “words can’t describe how it feels flying through an #aurora. I wouldn’t even know where to begin….”

Crewmembers on the space station photograph the Earth from their unique point of view located 200 miles above the surface. Photographs record how the planet is changing over time, from human-caused changes like urban growth and reservoir construction, to natural dynamic events such as hurricanes, floods and volcanic eruptions. Crewmembers have been photographing Earth from space since the early Mercury missions beginning in 1961. The continuous images taken from the space station ensure this record remains unbroken.

On Tuesday, Sept. 9 aboard the space station, cosmonaut Max Suraev of Roscosmos takes the helm when Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson hands over control during a Change of Command Ceremony at 5:15 p.m. EDT. Suraev will lead Expedition 41 and stay in orbit until November with Gerst and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman. Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov, Swanson and Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev will complete their mission Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 7:01 p.m. when they undock in their Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft from the Poisk docking compartment for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan a little less than 3.5 hours later.

Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Alexander Gerst

Obama is picking his targets in Iraq and Syria while missing the point


By Andrew J. Bacevich – Destroying what Obama calls the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant won’t create an effective and legitimate Iraqi state.

It won’t restore the possibility of a democratic Egypt.

It won’t dissuade Saudi Arabia from funding jihadists.

It won’t pull Libya back from the brink of anarchy.

It won’t end the Syrian civil war.

It won’t bring peace and harmony to Somalia and Yemen.

It won’t persuade the Taliban to lay down their arms in Afghanistan.

It won’t end the perpetual crisis of Pakistan.

It certainly won’t resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. more> http://tinyurl.com/qyp4ya7

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The Psychology of Our Willful Blindness and Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril


BOOK REVIEW

Willful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at Our Peril, Author: Margaret Heffernan.

How To Be a Nonconformist, Author: Elissa Jane Karg.

By Maria Popova – Our blindness grows out of the small, daily decisions that we make, which embed us more snugly inside our affirming thoughts and values.

And what’s most frightening about this process is that as we see less and less, we feel more comfort and greater certainty.

We think we see more — even as the landscape shrinks. more> http://tinyurl.com/p3nayrh

Updates from SIEMENS


Why is model-based systems engineering (MBSE) important for aircraft development ?
Siemens – The heart of the problem is that engineering organizations are not set up to tackle the integrated complexity of the current aircraft. In the past, aircraft were simply complicated systems.

Engineers used to develop an aircraft as “a system-of-systems” split into various isolated subsystems. Separate departments would individually design separate subsystems and very often distribute the work according to various Air Transport Association, or ATA, chapter numbers. For example, ATA 32 is Landing Gear and ATA 24 is electrical power.

So, still today in most cases, the complete aircraft development ecosystem, including suppliers and risk-sharing partners or RSPs, still communicates through documents.

How can communicating through documents successfully translate the integrated system functionality and complex dynamic interaction including control software that is the modern-day aircraft?

Well, this so-called “document-based-systems-engineering” is one of the key symptoms that cause these high-end, experienced and professional aerospace organizations to systematically suffer integration problems. more> http://tinyurl.com/qg7zmhw

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