Useful resources for the designer

Design Pet Peeve #6: The Incubation Principal: In small as well as large arenas of life, there is lag time between the beginning of an action or cause and an inevitable reaction or effect: in other words, an incubation period.  Have you ever placed a glass of water with ice in it on a table, and rotated the glass slowly around?  Did you notice how long it takes for the ice to start rotating as long as it doesn’t touch the glass?  Or, for that matter, how long it takes the ice to stop after you have stopped rotating the glass?  Molecules of water have to move by friction from the glass inward until they reach the ice: that’s a form of incubation common in the physical world.  On a cosmic scale, the coldest days of winter always come after the shortest day, as do the hottest days of summer follow the longest.  The same principal applies in immunology.  Several communicable diseases, such as measles and chicken pox, are at their most contagious just prior to their symptoms manifesting themselves externally.  Some say this is what is happening to the Earth right now; that we have passed a tipping point with our profligate misuse and cavalier “disposal” of the Earth’s resources, incubating our own destruction for centuries, and from now on, no matter what we do, our climate, air, water, and soil will continue to degrade until eventually the Earth will correct the situation by curing the disease: humans.  This sounds defeatist and dire for our species, and may indeed be true, but what does design have to do with all this, you ask?  Ideally, everything.

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