Distortion

Po: - you die before you die...........living benefits re insurance, ie if you have a terminal illness you can benefit from 75% of the insurance money before you die (Prudential Insurance)

Po: - use tax office to handle fraud......inform tax office that a certain person, who has "stolen" some money, is living beyond their taxable income, ie means. They will chase up the person

Po: - develop a status symbol......................re-introduction of school uniforms at a high school as dress for prefects only; soon other students wanted to wear the uniform
...........................................................................to handle scurvy, Captain Cook made sauerkraut (pickled cabbage) compulsory at the officers' table; soon the crew wanted the same as the officers

Po: - use filter trap to treat allergies..........a filter designed to trap allergenic particles for scientific research that are inhaled through the nose is now used to treat the allergy, ie the filter traps the particles but does not impede airflow through the nose

Po: - equipment that can be continuously upgraded.......GE in the medical business built a CT scanner that could handle upgrades (hardware and software) for a fraction of the price of buying new equipment. This kept GE at the top of the industry for around 20 years

Po: - the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.......the whole system design means optimising the entire system, not just the components. By breaking the whole system into parts, the synergies and integration of the whole is lost. Keeping the system whole can result in systematically combining a series of successive improvements or savings. This has the effect of compounding benefits/savings through the whole system and multiplying them. Refrigerators today can save around 98-99% of the energy used by refrigerators in 1972. These massive advances in refrigerator efficiency have come through whole system design.

Po: - treat fashion garments like perishables.........Amancio Ortega, who operates the third largest fashion retailing empire in the world (Inditex), runs his business as if it is selling perishables, ie new stock arrives in store twice a week, as opposed to his competitors offering 4 collections per year. Furthermore, if a garment is not selling, it will not last more than a week in the store. This helps explain why the average customer visits his stores (Zara) around 17 times per year, as opposed to the average number of 4 customers visits in fashion retailing. Furthermore, his company has the ability to take a design from a sketchbook to the store in 15 days. This has resulted in 80 percent of his stock being sold at full price, compared with an industry average of 60 percent. This means that he nets, after tax, 10% of sales turnover compared with his average competitor's 6.4%

Po: - advertising is a pointless distraction...............Amancio Ortega prefers to use prime retail sites, in-store imagery and carefully controlled window displays to tempt customers. The company spends less than 0.3% of revenue on advertising, compared with an average of 3.5% of revenue in other fashion houses

Po: - books are data...............Google has digitised & datafied millions of books so that the words, etc can processed by computers and analysed by algorithms. Since the mid-15th century the book industry has been based on the assumption that humans read, rather than on analysis of datafied text. In 2004 Google, whose focus is on "users' clicks" rather than access to publishers' titles, decided to digitalise, etc every book (around 130 million since the start of the printing press) they could get hold of and allow the public free access to books through the Internet. It linked up with some of the world's top libraries and developed scanning machines that could turn pages so that scanning millions of books was viable. This "datafied" of the books by using optical-character-recognition software that could take a digital image and recognise the letters, words, sentences and paragraphs on it, ie datafied text - rather than producing a digitised picture of a page - so that it was able to be processed by computers and analysed by algorithms. The text was indexable and searchable. Thus the data that can be used by humans for reading can be used by machines for analysis. Some interesting flow-ons include

i) datafication has made plagiarism easier to discover

ii) culturomics (a new academic discipline, ie computational lexicology that tries to understand human behaviour and cultural trends through qualitative analysis of texts. One finding is that around 50%f of English words that appear in books are not included in the dictionaries).

iii) using the datafied text from a textbooks scanning project to improve its machine-translation service, ie

"...It can treat translation as a giant math problem, with the computer figuring out probabilities to determine what were their substitutes for another between languages..."

Victor Mayer-Schonberger et al 2013

 

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