Cool things I read about this week (20-Jul-2014)

I read. A lot. Here is a sampling of the things I read about this week:
1. Blue whale is largest animal to have ever lived on earth
2. Zappos is going to become a holocracy
3. Mike Cohn pointing a drawback of Scrum
4. Why Do Americans Stink at Math?
5. You get to read 3 JSTOR papers every fortnight for FREE!!!


My notes

1. Blue whale is largest animal to have ever lived on earth
Blew my mind. I always thought some dinosaur would have been the largest animal to have lived on earth. Fun graphic here.

2. Zappos is going to become a holocracy
Interesting experiment by the culturally innovative Zappos. My gut expectation is that holocracy will attract people who can handle a lot of complexity and have a high tolerance to uncertainty.

3. Mike Cohn pointing a drawback of Scrum. I have sensed this for a long time. A series of sprints with uninspiring problems can be a drain, at least on engineering. People sense it, but this problem is *hard to recognize* given the focus on just the sprint. Almost always, we end up blaming something else for this sense of unease. And yes, I realize I am using the Internet and a famous figure (as opposed to proof) to reinforce a bias of mine.

4. Why Do Americans Stink at Math? Interesting NY Times piece. The anecdote about the McDonald’s quarter pounder beating the A&W burger that offered 1/3 pounds of beef in their burger is interesting. Also interesting is the reason behind choosing 13 minus 9 as a good subtraction problem.

5. You get to read 3 JSTOR papers every fortnight for FREE!!! That’s a fantastic deal! I like mathematics (especially queuing theory) and have purchased quite a few papers from them in the past.

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