"Elegance is not a dispensable luxury but a factor that decides between success and failure." Edsger Dijkstra
Through out his scientific career, Dijkstra, the sage of software programming, insisted on simplicity and elegance in computing and mathematics. His Shortest Path Algorithm formulated in 1956-57 is used in services like MapQuest that finds the shortest way to drive between two points on the map. In a techno-mobile world of today, it is also used to solve problems like network routing, where the goal is to find the shortest path for data packets to take through a switching network. Shortest Path Algorithm is also used in more general search algorithms for a variety of possibilities ranging from automated circuit layout to speech recognition. This multifaceted application demonstrates his hallmark of "simplicity being a prerequisite for reliability." Edsger Dijkstra might be the modern day computer sage, emphasizing elegance but point be noted that evolution always favors elegance. In other words evolution is driven by the Law of Least Effort. It advocates that life and well designed machines will naturally choose the path of least resistance or "effort". Ancient Vedas speaks about this principle as the principle of economy of effort or "do less and accomplish more". It is this principle that has been the driving force behind our evolution. From hunter-gatherer, to agricultural, to industrial, post-industrial and now our evolution into Knowledge Age is a story of the Law of Least Effort. It is a story of Evolved Elegance. "Contemporary society may be described as a knowledge society based on the extensive penetration of all its spheres of life and institutions by scientific and technological knowledge" Prof. Nico Stehr.
He claims, the economy of a knowledge society is largely driven not by material inputs, but by symbolic or knowledge-based inputs. Hence, knowledge [not information] is the key economics of our existence and story-telling is one such symbolic input.
To evolve, we need to re-invent ourselves. We need to be elegant story tellers. At Skyline, our story is "Innovation in the Downturn". It is during the economic downturns we immerse ourselves in new ideas and inventions only to emerge with high design elegance. This story has served us well. Limited resources means more attention is given to every purchase and therefore the best new ideas and products have a better chance of success during a downturn because the competition can't provide the same value.
We live in an era of dminishing value of information. Unless information is infused with meaning, it is an information over-load. It is human inspiration that gives meaning to information. "Storytelling is like fortune-telling. The act of choosing a certain story determines the probability of future outcomes." Michael Margolis.
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Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka