Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The times they are a-changin'

It really doesn't seem that long ago that floppy disks were just about the only option for data transfer. Now we live in a world where high capacity cards the size of fingernails, USB drives and free cloud storage are commonplace. Moreover internet connections can be found in even some of the most remote locations.  And the speed of change doesn't show any signs of letting-up.  Investigations, for example into graphene, promise even greater steps in storage capacity to come.

We don't like change, but are remarkably good at adapting to it. Dan Ariely writes frequently in his books of his unfortunate accident which scarred him for life.  This has provoked him to explore the idea of our ability to adapt, with some remarkable findings.  I won't spoil the surprise, but his book, The Upside of Irrationality, details some intriguing examples of how the human body adapts after injuries and explains why  hedonic adaptation might underlie our desire to consume.

At other lines of enquiry we realise the world is changing around us at an ever increasing rate. However we embrace this change. It means great opportunities for doing something new and different and puts into reach explorations that wouldn't have been possible 5 years ago. The wealth of data and opportunities is phenomenal, but that also means that the need for joined-up thinking is greater than ever. The old models don't always hold true and shouldn't be applied blindly.  That said many older ideas can be applied to new problems.

 If you haven't already, it's time to start swimmin'. But don't worry - we can help.

Dan Siddle 
Research Innovation Specialist

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