With the benefit of hindsight

14 Jan

My first blog of 2018 ‘Unintended Consequences and Digital Dilemmas’ reflected on the recently aired ‘backlash’ against addictive smart phones and other concerns around popular platforms.

There is always an undercurrent of discontent and discomfort around disruptions engendered by new technologies and it’s far too easy to blame lack of foresight on those who have pioneered new online systems and digital devices. This time around, however, there’s an interesting reaction from within the tech community itself.

There’s a growing realization that this innovative industry needs to be far more than ‘clever clogs with computers’ obsessed with technological novelty and inventing yet more uncalled for stuff. “Hey Google. Who needs wireless woolly mittens to tell your smartphone you have cold hands?”

 It’s not just the digital industry that’s learning to focus on real needs. Across all sectors the question ‘And your point is?’ focuses minds on real purpose – ‘what exactly are we really trying to achieve?’ Even (some) economists are learning to strip away layers of substitutes for common sense and question mechanistic devotion to dogma.

In these ‘hindsightful’ hours there’s space to reflect that if there’d been some adherence to basic principles we’d not now need remedial actions. And, more than that, there is scope for those blessed with sharper minds to restate those principles.

My blog on the Medium platform points to an example of some basic principles for inspired local leaders. I also reflect on the relative deafness of macroeconomics – the fluffy blankets of average ignorance cloaking the insights and priorities of hugely diverse local economies and communities that still lack the freedom to seize their destiny.

A toast to 2018: Greater Granularity: delight in diversity.




2 Responses to “With the benefit of hindsight”

  1. Walter G M Willcox January 14, 2018 at 12:46 pm #

    As another example Government’s ambivalence to the development of future-proof and fit-for-purpose hyperfast broadband systems largely ignored the dire warnings from Dr Peter Cochrane to the House of Lords Select committee in 2012 “One of the biggest Mistakes Humanity has made” http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/9bf43d3c-d27c-4f77-9fb1-368ff8ba1c0d

    Public servants attempted to counter the EVIDENCE but today we are still contemplating a Universal Service Obligation of ONLY 10 Mbps !! Had true symmetric fibre been deployed then there would be no need for yet another sticking plaster now.

    • GroupeIntellex January 15, 2018 at 11:19 am #

      Thanks Walter – particularly for mention of the s-word – symmetric. Whilst some may argue that online communications are, unlike any other discourse, predominantly one-way the rapidly growing use of cloud services and remote processing (MS Office 365 et al) plus heavy data uploading (video blogging for example) renders asymmetric services unfit for future use.

      The headline USO of 10 Mb/s (headline download speed) comes with only a small fraction of that capacity devoted to upload traffic – a consequence of over-reliance on copper connectivity. The reason why this limited ‘service floor’ has been such a struggle to negotiate in the UK is that any higher ambition would clash with providers’ desire for maximum, asset utilisation – an objective that entirely overlooks the country’s deeper need for economic and social development. Recent encouragement by the UK government, however, has made many more people (and investors) aware of the real meaning of Full Fibre and the extent to which citizens have been sold short.

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