How Outsourcing Kills Innovation
When companies outsource their manufacturing, suppliers close or move, engineers learn different skills, local colleges drop job-training courses, and the whole ecosystem shrinks.
What's the Latest Development?
When one fisherman doubles his efforts, he doubles his catch. When the entire fishing village doubles its efforts, the fishery will be quickly depleted. Harvard Business School professors David Pisano and Willy Shih worry this is happening to the American economy—it is being depleted of its innovative spark—due to the rush to outsource manufacturing. "When companies outsource their manufacturing work, suppliers close or move, engineers learn different skills, local colleges drop some job-training courses, and the whole ecosystem shrinks."
What's the Big Idea?
What can be done to ensure that innovation and know-how remain plentiful raw materials? "In the private sector, [Pisano and Shih] argue, companies should spend more on creating products and less on marketing; articulate a credible long-term strategy to Wall Street and stick to it; accept that R&D outcomes are hard to predict; reinvigorate basic research; and add a committee dedicated to science and technology to each board of directors. For federal policy, they warn against trying to pick winners among existing companies and industries."
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A NASA astronomer explains how astronauts dispose of their, uh, dark matter.
- When nature calls in micro-gravity, astronauts must answer. Space agencies have developed suction-based toilets – with a camera built in to ensure all the waste is contained before "flushing".
- Yes, there have been floaters in space. The early days of space exploration were a learning curve!
- Amazingly, you don't need gravity to digest food. Peristalsis, the process by which your throat and intestines squeeze themselves, actually moves food and water through your digestive system without gravity at all.
Carl Sagan liked to smoke weed. His essay on why is fascinating.
- Carl Sagan was a life long marijuana user and closeted advocate of legalization.
- He once wrote an anonymous essay on the effects it had on his life and why he felt it should be legalized.
- His insights will be vital as many societies begin to legalize marijuana.
A growing body of research shows promising signs that the keto diet might be able to improve mental health.
- The keto diet is known to be an effective tool for weight loss, however its effects on mental health remain largely unclear.
- Recent studies suggests that the keto diet might be an effective tool for treating depression, and clearing up so-called "brain fog," though scientists caution more research is necessary before it can be recommended as a treatment.
- Any experiments with the keto diet are best done in conjunction with a doctor, considering some people face problems when transitioning to the low-carb diet.
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