Sunday, 6 September 2009

Work smarter not harder

I like genuine ideas. I am a stronger believer that the solution to all the worlds problems lies in the "work smarter not harder" realm. Of course Thomas Edisson said that "there is no substitute for hard work" and I strongly believe that also, but the point is that working hard on old brick and mortar mundane solution doesn't always translate into success, when sometimes, working a little less harder (but still hard enough) and taking the time to look at other things, or what buzz word experts would call "out of the box" thinking, more creative and innovative solutions could be reach, often yielding a better, faster and easier solution to our problems.
One walid s. Saba once told me that sometimes humans tend to look at the worst case solution because it looks simplerm and sometimes we don't bother looking beyond our noses because a solution is reached and work can be started. I.e. the more efficient solution may not necessary be the obvious one. (His literally words was that heap sort was just an instance of merge sort, just a little less obvious, and if we go up the complexity we may be onto something - I am yet to find out if he found that something but should get back in touch soon enough.....)

A cool example I found out about in time magazine was something called dial4light which is a system that allows u to switch on street lights urself. This was inventrd in a village called dorentrup in germany, where the municipality was running high energy bills and had to switch off lights in seldom used streets at night. Some villagers complained as their kids were having trouble walking home in the dark. They contacted a company called lemgo that created a modem and software dialup system that u could ring a number, enter the area code or street name and the lights would switch on for that street, and so on and so forth. That solved the kids problem, reduced the energy bills and reduced the village carbon emissions as well.

Of course like all systems that can be abused and would never work in big cities such as london (am sure some gangs in hackney would relish the idea of darker streets and useless cctv cameras), but can be pretty useful in somewhere like west stevenage, population 81.

I like it- that's thinking smarter, rather than splashing out on wind farms to generate energy that is just going to waste.