Tag: complex problems

Confession of the deliberately barren

I watch a young parent labour a double pram uphill. A toddler on the left and a baby on the right. Ecstasy wells up. I get rivulets of joy gushing from my toes up my calves and thighs and a

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A paperless conference

A paperless conference sounded like a great idea. Just think of the trees. And this was a conference FOR the trees. And the fish. And the birds. The World Parks Congress, held every 10 years to remind us that we

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Safe areas of ignorance

I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t have a skill they pride themselves on. Even just a small range of actions they know they can reliably perform well, with or without pressure. Simple, elegant expertise: tying a rope, milking a

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Latecomer

It’s 8:45am. The fishers sit silently, some studying the floor, others gazing out to the still waters visible from the hotel’s balcony with a (real? imagined?) longing for a day’s lost wages. All are dressed neatly, shirts tucked in, hair

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The Virtual Dive Machine

The final plenary speech at a very large conference. This scientist bears a superficial resemblance to another in the public eye: an ageing rock star who also has added a podium to his stage. Bald, spare, charismatic. He tells us

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