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Design007-Jan2020

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92 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2020 Flexible Thinking by Joe Fjelstad, VERDANT ELECTRONICS The month of January is upon us once again. The month is named after the Roman god Ja- nus. According to Wikipedia, Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages, and endings. He is usu- ally depicted as having two faces: one on the front of his head, and one on the back since he looks to the past and future. The electronics industry, like every other in- dustry, needs to recall its past even as it looks forward to its future. Guidance can be found and should be taken from the past. As George Santayana warned, "Those you don't remem- ber history are condemned to repeat it." How- ever, while history can provide a measure of guidance as to the past, it is not infallible. It does not predict the future with certainty. Things happen that are not always predictable. The universe has, for the last 14 billion years or so, been about never-ending change. The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus clearly understood this, having said, "There is noth- ing permanent except change." Change is not always welcome but can be reasonably predictable as we connect dots from the past and extrapolate them into the future. However, in virtually every field of human en- deavor and experience, there are inevitably found some rare events that defy experience and prediction by simply arriving on the scene, seemingly out of nowhere. This is the theme of the book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Looking Back and Looking Forward

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