Sunday, February 10, 2008

Autism and Empathy

Cambridge University's Professor Simon Baron-Cohen is the first cousin of Ali G. impersonator, Sacha Baron-Cohen. He is also the a world expert on Autism. He defines

..."empathy is without question an important ability. It allows us to tune into how someone else's feeling, or what they might be thinking. Empathy allows us to understand the intentions of others, predict their behavior, and experience an emotion triggered by their emotion. In short, empathy allows us to interact effectively in the social world. It is also the “glue” of the social world, drawing us to help others and stopping us from hurting others."

The word “empathy” was invented by Titchener in 1909 as a translation of the German word “Einfuhlung,” itself a term from aesthetics meaning “to project yourself into what you observe

Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright devised an empathy quotient for adults with Asperger Syndrome, a highly functional form of autism. This empathy quotient is not static. As parent and any human with a a creative streak , a high EQ develops further and further... Here is our son revealed empathy at his Bar Mitzvah:

Monday, February 04, 2008

Cloverfield and the human product managers

Michael Stahl-David, Lizzy Caplan and Jessica Lucas in Cloverfield

In the movie Cloverfield, New York city is shown through a home video camera. Young, good , career youth, in love , with the noble character traits and winners in a just society, running from an incomprehensible disaster, that kills them . It’s unstoppable. None of virtues, goodness, intelligence, science, military arts can save them and us.

At least Cloverfield is shown in the picture: it is an irrational monster, resistant to any destruction man ever was capable to use against his enemies.

In real life, the monsters causing tragedies an disasters can not be seen. The stock crash , the sub-prime mortgage crisis, left rich entrepreneurs unable to pay for their dental treatment. They are not officially broke. They are those pauperized and thrown to live from month to month salaries, at the age when they should have had retired.

Early reports are saying that Cloverfield made an estimated $41 million week one from Friday to Sunday, not counting the holiday on Monday. A January record that some say, will change Hollywood forever.

But the movie producers are no immune either to incomprehensible disasters. They just told us the news, and became momentarily rich, they are the visionaries.

What this has to do with a Product Managers? We meditate. What are we doing is for these times? What is the value that sells today and why? What products the people need today, in the Cloverfield consciousness time? Will we buy the same perfumes, the same soft drinks as before?

We are not watching the same movies, we do not hear the same news. We act as if the humanity is finite in time. We have a global warming, yet the cold weather upsides down an entire China.
We need disaster proof products, survival products, mega insurance products. Surely, they can do nothing to stop Cloverfield coming.

Hasbro has announced that the monster from Cloverfield is now available in toy form

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AI and ML for Conversational Economy