Bulletin 25 October. On building a firmer foundation, and wibbling

My kingdom for a platform

Humans are magpies: we love shiny things. Trouble is, one of the curses of the technological revolution is that we have become inordinately good at creating them, in both hardware and software, and we can’t help but be distracted by them. 

Consider for example, publishing a book. For hundreds of years, this was the domain of the few: authors such as Dickens relied on magazine publishing first and foremost, whereas now, “why don’t you self-publish” opens the door to a complex and overlapping variety of platforms. In audio and video, the story is the same, as it is in cloud computing: AWS has built a business by offering every possible option.

The result is a feeling of bamboozlement for the few, even as the many succeed. It also distracts from the point: I don’t think technology addiction is as big an issue (though it is big) as time people waste in their billions, lured into low-level procrastination via technological tools.

We want to produce, but in doing so we find ourselves consuming, forgetting what we came here for. At home, we call a certain moment in the supermarket “going into a wibble” when, overwhelmed by options, we end up standing, slack-mouthed, in the middle of the aisle. Completing the shopping becomes the challenge, and meanwhile ‘they’ have us exactly where they want us, helpless in their grasp. 

I’m coming to believe that recognising this phenomenon, and other behavioural displays, is essential to plotting a route through this. Distraction, deflection and false debate has overtaken our politics only because we are not yet sufficiently hardened to it (in a nutshell, we are all being played). We’ll work it out, and when we do, these will no longer be such powerful weapons to be used against us. 

Gosh, that went a bit dark. Meanwhile, I finally managed to scrabble enough… oh wait, I just need to take a phone call from someone who is offering free alarms to people living in my area… that actually did just happen, now where was I? Ah, yes, I finally managed to scrabble enough wherewithal to get the final chapters of Smart Shift online. In a nutshell, technology needs to be handled with care. 

The landing page is here, and you can read my retrospective thoughts on it here.  Bottom line: don’t let anything get in the ay of what you want to do. 

All the best, Jon


Also published on Medium.

Bulletin 25 October. On building a firmer foundation, and wibbling

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