Seminar 5 – “Get Digital”
“There will come a time when it isn’t ‘They’re spying on me through my phone’ anymore. Eventually, it will be ‘My phone is spying on me’.” – Phillip K. Dick.
Atoms to bits? Interactive, automated cars? Cyber wars? Could the seemingly endless progression of computing possibly overtake us? Wages haven’t fallen sufficiently? Our politicians’ understanding of the modern digital world is redundant and counter-productive. “Get Digital”, the last of our DICE seminars, raised plenty of food for thought and viewpoints for debate. It is perhaps true that I didn’t grasp every concept and maybe some things were of a slightly more elevated capacity than I am accustomed to. One fact was unmistakeable however. The latest advancements in the digital world aren’t waiting for anyone’s endorsement to take off, they are moving as though they have a life of their own. I have many thoughts on the seminar, in this post I will refine them into two main areas, what interested me the most and what left me wondering.
Information is almost a part of our diet at this stage. As a matter of fact, an extension of our respiratory system could be a closer comparison such is our daily rate of consumption. Apparently we intake 174 newspapers worth of information a day (Alleyne, R. 2011). In order to retain some of it, our interests often serve as a filtering system. A lot of what Martin Curley (Vice President – Intel) said really stuck with me. I thought his dissection of Moore’s Law and the comparison he made between it and the airline industry was thought-provoking. As well as this it was interesting how he pointed out that “older bastions” such as the education system were not moving on with the times to a similar measure as other aspects of life. Upon considering this afterwards I thought what a prospect it would be to witness the acceleration of technological advancement should it be implicated at a higher level into the learning process in our schools. It is already happening organically as Clare Dillon (Developer and Platform Group – Microsoft) illustrated through her anecdote on her baby’s tablet skills. One other idea, though slightly undeveloped was interesting too. Martin Curley’s description of Intel’s goal to “enrich the lives of everyone on the planet” and his reference to Red Bull’s “space program” show that the influence and power of multi-nationals is growing rather than receding. I thought the fact that businesses are now established in an unprecedented level of authority was a noteworthy piece of information.
Constantine Gurdgiev is clearly an accomplished economist. I am evidently not one with sufficient grasp of such matters to challenge his economic concepts. However, I must say that in (and indeed perhaps because of) the limited level of understanding that I have, I was left wondering by some of his ideas. For example, if we gear transport systems towards higher earning professionals, will there be benefits for the less financially well off of the country? Also, although I feel that we should welcome and celebrate success, what level of endorsement do we need to establish in order to accommodate for the more prosperous people in society? I’m sure Constantine has answers to these questions and his points must be understood in context but I thought it valid to include them. I certainly see where he is coming from with regard to his criticisms of Ireland’s bankruptcy laws though. Back in 2009, before proposed reform (McGee. H, 2012) the Irish Independent ran a story detailing how prominent business men were seeking domicile elsewhere in order to avoid Ireland’s bankruptcy laws which “are loathed by creditors and debtors alike” and according to Gavin Simons, partner and head of Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency at law firm BCM Hanby Wallace “serve no one” (McDonald. D, 2009). It seems that with the probability of a greater level of businesses failing like Constantine predicted, we will need to be careful not to discourage entrepreneurship through out of date financial penalties.
Computers in the future might weigh no more than 1.5 tons – Popular Mechanics (1949).
Back in 2009, Boomsberg Business Week Magazine ran an article saying that ‘Cloud Computing’ was “shaping up to be one of the most significant advances in the computing universe in decades” (Hamm. H, 2009). Before the first day of DICE, I had never heard of the term ‘Cloud Computing’. The computing world wasn’t been waiting around for more technologically lethargic individuals like me to catch up. With the prospects shown by Clare Dillon in her “a vision of the future” video, it seems it remains hesitant to extend the courtesy. “Get Digital” sparked interest and left me wondering on some things. Perhaps it can be said though that its most important contribution to my train of thought was the reaffirmation that in order to compete in the business world, you have to stay up to date with how fast technology is changing things. Which by the looks of things, takes a significant level of stamina. A more appropriate conclusion on the seminar cannot be found than that of Fergus Gloster, (Marketing Director Europe -Marketo) “Matches end, this doesn’t”.
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