On vacation I do not read the newspapers or view the internet. It is one of the joys of being on vacation and part of my digital detox [see ‘Digital detox with a deep vacation‘ on August 10th, 2016]. We usually take a large pile of books with us and this year was no exception – our shelf of books is shown in the photograph. One novel stood out in particular: ‘Drive your plow over the bones of the dead‘ by Olga Tokarczuk. One passage that resonanted with me was ‘Newspapers rely on keeping us in a constant state of anxiety, on diverting our emotions away from the things that really matter to us.’ Many of us suffer from a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) but in practice most changes reported in the media that directly impact our lives happen so slowly that we miss very little by disconnecting for a few weeks and it releases us to think.
Olga Tokarczuk, Drive your bones over the bones of the dead, Fitzcarroldo Editions, 2022.
I am on vacation and off-grid so just a picture this week. It is a night time view from the cottage we stayed at in 2017 on the Lizard in Cornwall. If you have withdrawal symptoms from this blog then follow the links to find out why you need a vacation too!
posted on April 19th, 2017.
Digital detox with a deep vacation
posted on August 10th, 2016.
posted on July 29th, 2015.
I am on vacation for the next month so I will not be writing new posts. Instead I have decided to delve into my back catalogue of more than 500 posts [see ‘500th post‘ on February 2nd, 2022] and republish posts from ten, five and one year ago. The short post below was published on September 15th, 2012 under the title ‘Innovation jobs‘. It seems as relevant today as it was in 2012.
Yesterday, I listened to an interesting talk by Dr Liang-Gee Chen, President of the National Applied Research Laboratories of Taiwan at the UK-Taiwan Academic-Industry & Technology Transfer Collaboration Forum organised by the British Council. He presented some statistics from the Kaufmann Foundation, which demonstrated that nearly all new jobs in the USA are generated by new companies. When you combine this with my conclusion in my posting on ‘Population crunch’, that we need a higher level of innovation in engineering, then we need to review the education programmes provided for our engineers to ensure that they include innovation and entrepreneurship. These need to be integrated in engineering education programmes [see Handscombe et al, 2009]. We seem to have lost the plot in the UK and retreated to teaching engineering science, design and management orientated towards the employers with the loudest voice, i.e. multi-nationals, who are not likely to be the source of innovation jobs that will pull us out of the global recession.
Handscombe, R.D., Rodriguez-Falcon, E., Patterson, E.A., 2009, ‘Embedding enterprise in engineering’, IJ Mechanical Engineering Education, 37(4):263-274.
A regular reader of this blog commented last week on the enjoyment she gained during the pandemic from their daily walk around a local lake which reminded me about a recent experience on one of our regular weekend hikes around Moel Famau, which have been real rather than virtual for some months now [see ‘Virtual ascent of Moel Famau‘ on April 8th, 2020]. It was an unseasonally warm day and there was a strong scent from the daffodils in the broad verge next to the farm track that we were walking down. The impact of the scent on my sense of well-being was almost like a form of synaesthesia [see ‘Engineering synaesthesia‘ on September 21st, 2016]. I am on vacation this week, hoping to slow down [see ‘Slow down, breathe your own air‘ on December 23rd 2015], climb some hills and feed my consciousness some different sensory experiences [see ‘Feed your consciousness with sensory experiences‘ on May 22nd 2019].