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Making the World Work Better: The Ideas That Shaped a Century and a Company by Jeffrey O’Brien, Steve Hamm, Kevin Maney

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Understanding

Data reflects behavior. Maps provide context. Seeing and mapping together paint a decent picture of what, where, when and even how. “Converting information to understanding,” as Venter put it, is the process of figuring out why. It’s following the chain from cause to effect. This quest can easily occupy a life’s work. It’s where entire bodies of science reside. It’s insanely demanding. Sustainable, replicable progress is impossible without it.

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Any model is an attempt to understand complex behavior. Physical models, such as this early glider being tested by the Wright brothers, are invaluable but can be very expensive and often come ...

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