The technology detox thing still bugs me…

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Technology detox redux Winking smile

So I am still thinking about the Parade magazine article (Technology Detox) from a couple of weeks ago and it still bothers me. It bothers me from the perspective of three things:

  • What is technology
  • Why is it bad
  • What does a detox really mean?

When I started my professional career I was a school teacher. People always said to me (summer’s off – that is pretty cool, but the reality was I never got a single summer off. I had education and other requirements that forced me into working most of the summer. Companies, when you work for them, pay you time off in many cases. Is that an organizational detox?

Then I started wandering even further afield wondering what exactly we meant by technology. So I decided to create the great technology detox list. The top ten things that poison our minds that we should in the end stop using for our detox. Let’s go for 24 hours on this first run of technology detox.

Top offenders for detox

  • Stop lights – give me a break people. When roads come together we should decide on a case by case basis who gets through the intersection we don’t need this technology gizmo
  • Doctors and all their technology – let’s stop using them right now. 24 hours no doctors. You are never sick until the doctor tells you after putting you through a bunch of machines, right?
  • Television – the great babble box – unplug it for 24 hours
  • Radios in the car – sit in a traffic jam like your forefathers did in the horse and buggy days, staring blindly off into space. Put the car in park first thought.
  • Oh for that matter, you shouldn’t be in a car you should be in a horse and buggy so get out of that car and find your horse.

Yes the sarcasm is dripping and it is intentional. At what point do we reduce below a functional level. Technology is all about moderation. If you can’t go more than an hour without checking your email – there is something else wrong and it isn’t technology.


Another in my long time series–are you the smartest person in the room>

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I’ve talked about the concepts in this blog many times. I call it “the smartest person in the room syndrome.” It’s a sad disease that impacts many people that I have respected over the years. In the end, they fall victim to this and are lost to oblivion. The sad thing is they might even read these words and apply them to me, or other people around them. They would never apply them to themselves. The journey of a 1000 steps doesn’t begin sadly with the first step, it begins when you realize that you need to take that first step.

The long and winding road. (sorry and apologies to the Beatles). I began my computer experience with a TR-80 computer. (for those of you who played games on the Trash 80 LOAD HAMMURABI)! I moved from that to a Commodore 64 and then to an Apple IIC. The apple IIC was nearly portable (except for disk drives, external monitor and a battery). For years I was a mac guy. I had every single Macintosh for hears (SE, SE-20, IICI, II, Quadra 700, Quadra 900 and a number of Powermacs).

Then I moved into the PC world and started playing with servers and PC’s. I stayed loosely connected to Apple (Ipod Touch) but moved into the mainstream PC world. Then it was servers and disk and connecting to this and that. For years I was a messaging connection guy (connect this mail system to that mail system).

Out of that world into the consulting world (well you could do that) but always seeking guidance looking for someone to help me put everything together in a consistent structured and strategic manner. To many people I work with have the answer. None of them actually can sit in a room and work with the other people that have the answer and produce a new answer (that represents a blending of ideas). Since they are always right why should they compromise.

Its interesting to me this change over time. Something that I wish I understood at times. But one thing is for sure. The future that is coming will be better than the past we leave behind!.


What does friendship mean to you?

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To me it means being there. No matter what happens you are there for the people in your circle of trust. The thing about a circle of trust is however, that it has to be reciprocal. If it is not, then of course there isn’t a circle of trust. After years of building a circle of trust I am at the point of letting some of the people go.

It makes me sad that some of the people I trusted in fact didn’t act the way I did towards them. So I move on from trusting those folks. They will never know that I don’t trust them. They are too wrapped up in their own glory and success. In the end it is a sad fact that they will always be about them rather than about the team they could have been a part of.

Which is sad for them.

But right now, it is really sad for me.

I miss the old days when we all were in the circle and things moved forward. But I now accept that the circle is forever broken. I miss the halcyon days, but they are now gone. I am moving on to different things. The door that was opened by my trust is now locked against entry.

If one of them is reading this, although I would doubt they would cast themselves into this bin, then a simple apology would do at this point to being rebuilding the circle of trust. A simple “I didn’t treat you the way you treated me” would begin to heal the wound created. It wouldn’t fix the circle over night. That will take time.  Arrogance begets a child called hatred. Selfishness and “self aggrandizement” begets a child called bitterness.

The path we walk defines us as human beings. If our path has others at our feet then we are failures. The greatest achievement is to be considered a human being.

Good luck to those leaving the circle.



Some more Syncverse Ramblings…

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The missing piece of the icloud puzzle.

The cloud shouldn’t be platform specific. (ooh that sounds like lot like the “java” dream or the network computer dream or for that matter the Google chromebook dream).

But the cloud is becoming the new battleground world wide. I am not sure that is of value to anyone at this point. Frankly I think it is a horrible corruption of what could have been if it continues.

  • The cloud should be free
  • The cloud should be open for all to use
  • The cloud needs to provide a unified structure for multiple platforms to co-exist

In my blogs on the Syncverse I talked quite a bit about the opportunity for freedom that the cloud represents. Its more than a technology view and approach it is the opportunity to make the world a better place.

icloud, while interesting is simply an extension of the “apple” sexy to the internet. It doesn’t add value for any other platform in fact it really takes away from others – by forcing the casual consumer into a locked down vendor specific cloud.

So the question is how do we move from the consumer based “iCloud” world to one where the Syncverse is a useable and viable option?


More on information and Knowledge management

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Myth two

Everyone has information we need!

It is a great myth that everyone has something to contribute. By definition a number of people in any organization will be lurkers, people who don’t actually contribute anything to the conversation. A certain number of people are the “well you should have done” or after the fact contributors. It begs the questions below about an information system:

  • Who can contribute to the system?
  • What can they contribute?
  • What happens next?

The who of contribution of the contribution is important. First off the system should have a way to verify who contributes information. If we don’t know who is putting information into the system we can’t really determine the what of that contribution.

Driving to what people can contribute is important. The reality of information is that most people have something to say about virtually everything, but they are only authorities in small number of areas. Knowing who they are allows us to determine what they can contribute.

Finally the reality of information is also what happens next. Information published but never used shows a lack in one of two areas.

1. The information isn’t applicable

2. The information isn’t accessible

Applicability of information is a multi-faceted issue. The first component of the ability to apply the information is the relevance of the information

Architects and what they talk about…

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The concept of Human Dynamics and architects. or the intersection of thinking about it, and talking about it with others! It is the secret sauce that architects learn very early, influence and lead versus manage and persuade.

The interesting problem is the way architects often pursue the persuasion (I saw Mr. Popper’s Penguins over the weekend so I had to use the p words in honor of Polly).

Some of the architects I know pursue arguments like a bull in a china shop expecting people to cave to their arguments because they are loud or sometimes because they are in the room or have a specific title. That makes me sad. But it is a problem in many more proffesions than architecture. I remember feeling that way when I was a school teacher as well – “the way things are, is the way things are.”

I am planning on a blog series around the broader concepts and ideas incorporated in the overall concept of Human Dynamics and architects, as well as the overall impact of that on the profession architecture.

Comment away if you have thoughts…

Fair Dulcina, where are you?

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Where do we go from here? Seeking balance in software architecture leaves me with a question about tomorrow. You see, you can achieve short term balance, but in the end that isn’t really the balance of the overall situation. It is a temporal balance that can be snatched away from you easily. The balance both of the architect, architecture and overall solution implemented requires more than a temporal balance. It is a critical long term application of the right answers.

This brings me back to the concept of the “balanced architect.” I’ve talked about communication patterns for years now. Good and bad things that people do. Negative organizations and organisms that breed the negativity rather than growing new ideas. I’ve been reading a book about irrational thinking and the more I realize what is irrational around me the more I begin to wonder.

Doing things the same way over and over isn’t balance. It is more irrational than anything. When we expand the search for balanced software solutions, we have to consider the irrational situation we are often in.

What is balance and how do we achieve it in an irrational world?

  • Do things in a new way.
  • Consider the options.
  • Consider the negative data.
  • Don’t surround yourself with people that have the same attitude in life that you do.
  • Find the new path if the old one is blocked.
  • Think globally and act globally where possible.
  • Act locally if required.
  • Be a better person Smile

“Look upon my works ye mighty and despair.”

Sometimes I do.