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resilient like a fox    venkatesh rao   ribbonfarm.com   LIFT 13, Geneva
You are resilient if you keep getting up after getting punched down         Mnemonic image: classic Paul Newman scene from...
HOW do you get back up?WHY do you get back up?                          3
“The fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows one big thing.”                                                   -- Archil...
After being punched down…Gets up for new adventure                      Gets up for old passion                           ...
Story 1:The three stonecutters and the cathedral                                           6
Story 2:The three stonecutters at Chesterton’s Fence                                               7
Story 3:The three stonecutters and the Dogs of VUCA** Viciously Unpleasant Canine Adversaries                             ...
Moral of the storyIt is not clear whether it is better to be a fox or a hedgehog.Just don’t be a turkey.                  ...
Resilience 101 Concepts•   Fox vs. Hedgehog vs. Turkey•   VUCA -- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity•   Illegi...
Fox vs. Hedgehog• Seven Little Comparisons• …And one BIG comparison                             11
1         Hedgehog resilience in nature: PandaKnows one thing: how to look cute for wildlife photographers                ...
1   Foxy Resilience in nature: sea birds at Mira Flores    Know: “4-Hour Fishing” by Tim Seagull Ferriss                  ...
2   Hedgehog Resilience for humans    Transition Village, Val David, Quebec                                            14
2   Foxy Resilience for humans    Jugaad Movement, India                                 15
Theory of3                                             Everything         Conservation        REALLY                      ...
Pointillist                                 Better at3         Disposability         prediction                           ...
4    (with apologies to Tolstoi)    Resilient hedgehogs are all alike. Every resilient fox    is resilient in its own way....
5And speaking of Tolstoi…     “*Isaiah Berlin+ postulated that while Tolstoi had the     talents of a fox, he believed tha...
Hedgehog 5      Tolstois                           Pure Hedgehogs      Some startup founders              Dante      Thoma...
6             Fox          Hedgehog           Inconsistent    Consistent           Unreliable      Conscientious          ...
Cathedrals                     (Hamiltonian)7          TOWER OF               GOTHIC HIGH          BABEL                  ...
Sacred1      Adventure             Love    Fox                            Hedgehog      Boredom               Betrayal    ...
four laws for foxy resilience         Law 1: Build on contradictions, not values         Law 2: Preserve memories, not ide...
Law 1: build on contradictions, not valuesRemember: “Enterprise” meant “adventurous voyage” (Sinbad the Sailor)before it m...
Law 2: preserve memories, not identitiesMint condition 1918 Russian stamp   Wabi-sabi bowl, courtesy web-japan.com(valued ...
Law 3: seek motifs, not truthsGlobalization understood through container as motif                         vs.Globalization...
Law 4: pursue adventure, not loveGlobal Orbiting Device (GOD)     Strongest weapon in the world                           ...
four consequences of foxy resilienceConsequence 1: Build on contradictions, values will emergeConsequence 2: Preserve memo...
Thank you!Email: ribbonfarm.com/contact                                30
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Resilient Like a Fox

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Slides from my talk at LIFT13 in Geneva.

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Resilient Like a Fox

  1. 1. resilient like a fox venkatesh rao ribbonfarm.com LIFT 13, Geneva
  2. 2. You are resilient if you keep getting up after getting punched down Mnemonic image: classic Paul Newman scene from Cool Hand Luke 2
  3. 3. HOW do you get back up?WHY do you get back up? 3
  4. 4. “The fox knows many things, the hedgehog knows one big thing.” -- Archilocus 4
  5. 5. After being punched down…Gets up for new adventure Gets up for old passion Attributions: Fox: Rob Lee Hedgehog: Lars Karlsson Turkey: Yathin S Krishnappa Gets up out of habit 5
  6. 6. Story 1:The three stonecutters and the cathedral 6
  7. 7. Story 2:The three stonecutters at Chesterton’s Fence 7
  8. 8. Story 3:The three stonecutters and the Dogs of VUCA** Viciously Unpleasant Canine Adversaries 8
  9. 9. Moral of the storyIt is not clear whether it is better to be a fox or a hedgehog.Just don’t be a turkey. 9
  10. 10. Resilience 101 Concepts• Fox vs. Hedgehog vs. Turkey• VUCA -- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity• Illegibility and Chesterton’s Fence• Cathedral vs. Bazaar• Leadership vs. Collaboration 10
  11. 11. Fox vs. Hedgehog• Seven Little Comparisons• …And one BIG comparison 11
  12. 12. 1 Hedgehog resilience in nature: PandaKnows one thing: how to look cute for wildlife photographers 12
  13. 13. 1 Foxy Resilience in nature: sea birds at Mira Flores Know: “4-Hour Fishing” by Tim Seagull Ferriss 13
  14. 14. 2 Hedgehog Resilience for humans Transition Village, Val David, Quebec 14
  15. 15. 2 Foxy Resilience for humans Jugaad Movement, India 15
  16. 16. Theory of3 Everything Conservation REALLY Carry one Mindset bad at lifestyle prediction everywhere First-Principles Single modelThinking thinking Permaculture One identity for all Hedgehog situations Consistent Mind Values Creates by eliminating contradictions Autonomy Learn for fundamentals Locavorism Backyard Drones and chickens 3D printers and rabbits 16
  17. 17. Pointillist Better at3 Disposability prediction Thinking Adapt than lifestyle to Mindset location hedgehogsHacking Embrace Multiple-Model Transience Thinking Changeable Foxy IdentityExpedient Values Mind Creates by accepting Learn for contradictions Interdependence leverageArbitrage, “4 hour Globalism “get rich quick” week” schemes Run away from trouble Run towards opportunity 17
  18. 18. 4 (with apologies to Tolstoi) Resilient hedgehogs are all alike. Every resilient fox is resilient in its own way. Hedgehogs are predictable Foxes are unpredictable 18
  19. 19. 5And speaking of Tolstoi… “*Isaiah Berlin+ postulated that while Tolstoi had the talents of a fox, he believed that one ought to be a hedgehog” -- Wikipedia 19
  20. 20. Hedgehog 5 Tolstois Pure Hedgehogs Some startup founders Dante Thomas Friedman Asimov, Clarke Neal Stephenson James Collins (Good to Great) Values Steve Blank (Four Steps…) Alexander “Cathedral” HamiltonFox Talents Hedgehog Pure Foxes Shakespeare Antitolstois Bruce Sterling Nicholas Nassim Taleb: Justin Pickard Thomas “Bazaar” Jefferson Nate Silver John Boyd (OODA loop) Tim Ferriss Philip Tetlock Fox 20
  21. 21. 6 Fox Hedgehog Inconsistent Consistent Unreliable Conscientious Duplicitous JustHedgehog Selfish Communitarian Irresponsible Responsible Scheming Trustworthy Gullible Skeptical Open-minded Doctrinaire Resourceful Miserly Adaptable Hypocritical Fox Worldly Naïve Interesting Boring Adventurous Homebody Imaginative Predictable 21
  22. 22. Cathedrals (Hamiltonian)7 TOWER OF GOTHIC HIGH BABEL TECH Fox Hedgehog FAVELA CHIC CARGO CULTS Bazaars (Jeffersonian) 22
  23. 23. Sacred1 Adventure Love Fox Hedgehog Boredom Betrayal Profane 23
  24. 24. four laws for foxy resilience Law 1: Build on contradictions, not values Law 2: Preserve memories, not identities Law 3: Seek motifs, not axioms Law 4: Pursue adventure, not love 24
  25. 25. Law 1: build on contradictions, not valuesRemember: “Enterprise” meant “adventurous voyage” (Sinbad the Sailor)before it meant “institution.”Mission: To go boldly where no man has gone before!BUT: Prime Directive! Don’t interfere with pre-warp cultures 25
  26. 26. Law 2: preserve memories, not identitiesMint condition 1918 Russian stamp Wabi-sabi bowl, courtesy web-japan.com(valued by Hedgehogs) (valued by Foxes)More damage = lower value More damage = higher value 26
  27. 27. Law 3: seek motifs, not truthsGlobalization understood through container as motif vs.Globalization understood through World is Flat axiom 27
  28. 28. Law 4: pursue adventure, not loveGlobal Orbiting Device (GOD) Strongest weapon in the world (WMH – Weapon of Mass Happiness) Two pieces of art by Hojun Song 28
  29. 29. four consequences of foxy resilienceConsequence 1: Build on contradictions, values will emergeConsequence 2: Preserve memories, identity will emergeConsequence 3: Seek motifs, truths will emergeConsequence 4: Pursue adventure, love will emerge Act like a fox, your inner hedgehog will emerge! (but seriously, don’t be a turkey) 29
  30. 30. Thank you!Email: ribbonfarm.com/contact 30

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