A group of offshore wind companies have pledged that the technology will generate electricity as cheaply as fossil fuels in Europe within a decade – but only if policymakers across the EU take the steps needed to ensure such growth as a matter of urgency.
The pledge(pdf) and the challenge to ministers are designed to reposition offshore wind as having a strong future in the EU. The European commission has tended to emphasise gas as the priority source of energy security.
The companies include the renewable energy arms of General Electric, Siemens, RWE, Iberdrola, Statoil and Vattenfall.
In an open letter, chiefs or senior executives from the 11 companies wrote: “Offshore wind will be fully competitive with new conventional power generation within a decade. The industry is on track to achieve its cost reduction ambitions and will be an essential technology in Europe’s energy security and decarbonisation objectives.”
Maybe you know the feeling.You’re out and about somewhere, doing something you either really need to do — like online banking or trying to catch a flight out of O’Hare — or something you really want to do — like trying to navigate the byzantine complexity of America’s private healthcare insurance system or figuring out how to actually use frequent flyer points for your benefit — and it suddenly hits you. Something or someone is making whatever you need/want to do harder instead of easier. For me, the feeling usually bubbles up pretty fast.Design rage.
OK, maybe ‘rage’ is a little strong, but you get the idea. I’ve noticed that when that rage-y feeling does arise it’s usually not symptomatic of something that’s missing from my life, but instead tends to be driven by the inadequacy of things that already exist…
Beginners or people who don’t think they are particularly creative often get frustrated at how slow they are at coming up with ideas.
This is often because they only start thinking of ideas once they have something to work on — this is way too late.
Let me explain.
Today while I was working at Starbucks writing this article, what do you think caught my eye?
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your creative project is to pick a topic which is too big.As an artist and designer I keep making one mistake time and again. So if this article sounds like me giving advice to other creatives… it is actually an attempt to keep myself from making this mistake yet again.
Big topics often lead to small results, small topics foster great results.And here is why: Your project is limited by the time and energy you have.
I’m an expert on how technology hijacks our psychological vulnerabilities. That’s why I spent the last three years as a Design Ethicist at Google caring about how to design things in a way that defends a billion people’s minds from getting hijacked.
When using technology, we often focus optimistically on all the things it does for us. But I want to show you where it might do the opposite.
Where does technology exploit our minds’ weaknesses?
I learned to think this way when I was a magician. Magicians start by looking for blind spots, edges, vulnerabilities and limits of people’s perception, so they can influence what people do without them even realizing it. Once you know how to push people’s buttons, you can play them like a piano.
For example, imagine you’re out with friends on a Tuesday night and want to keep the conversation going. You open Yelp to find nearby recommendations and see a list of bars. The group turns into a huddle of faces staring down at their phones comparing bars. They scrutinize the photos of each, comparing cocktail drinks. Is this menu still relevant to the original desire of the group?
It’s not that bars aren’t a good choice, it’s that Yelp substituted the group’s original question (“where can we go to keep talking?”) with a different question (“what’s a bar with good photos of cocktails?”) all by shaping the menu.
Moreover, the group falls for the illusion that Yelp’s menu represents acomplete set of choices for where to go. While looking down at their phones, they don’t see the park across the street with a band playing live music. They miss the pop-up gallery on the other side of the street serving crepes and coffee. Neither of those show up on Yelp’s menu.
Many cool Valley companies have engineering-first cultures, but Facebook took it to a different level. The engineers ran the place, and so as long as you shipped code and didn’t break anything (too often), you were golden. The spirit of subversive hackery guided everything. In the early days, a Georgia college kid named Chris Putnam created a virus that made your Facebook profile resemble MySpace, then the social-media incumbent. It went rampant and started deleting user data as well. Instead of siccing the F.B.I. dogs on Putnam, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz invited him for an interview and offered him a job. He went on to become one of Facebook’s more famous and rage-filled engineers. That was the uniquely piratical attitude: if you could get shit done and quickly, nobody cared much about credentials or traditional legalistic morality.
The hacker ethos prevailed above all.