Category: technology |

So that didn’t happen..

The road to ruin, as they say is littered with poor planning and good intentions.1

The Drucker book I ordered never came which was a frustration in an of itself. Worse, by the time I realized the book wasn’t coming, I was knee-deep in finalizing a different project for a client. So it was that my poor little site sat here advertising a story that never came.

I am so rusty in terms of direct engagement. I have become accustomed to writing and just accepting that projects slip without actively working to manage those expectations because everyone I am working with also understands that these delays occur. Projects do, indeed, slip. It may not possible to plan for that slippage (if you could then there wouldn’t be slippage), but those delays should be anticipated. That is why it is important to not preview a project until there is enough content to at least keep momentum when those delays occur.2 I think this is one of the major reasons Patreon and Kickstarter initiatives succeed or fail. Successful projects anticipate delays and slippages and have contingency plans and communication strategies in place to keep the backers and the …

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Peter Drucker and the Changing Nature of the Modern Corporation

In brief discussion with an executive who was talking about enabling more decentralized interactions between teams, Peter Drucker’s name came up. I’ve been meaning to do some work on Drucker for quite some time. While studies of his work are more likely to be found in MBA programs, I think the volume of the work and its time span, moving from World War II through the dawn of the Internet, could be useful reading for anyone approaching an analysis of the rise and struggle of modern business and the societies who must contend with it for better or worse. Drucker is interesting because he was, in many ways, a true believer in corporations while simultaneously offering a very deep critique of the approach and dynamics that had come to dominate their organizational and functional models. I thought that I heard his name today was particularly telling as it came on the day when the CEOs of many large companies announced a drastic revisioning of their approach to their companies, their employees, and their shareholders. In their announcement, these CEOs noted that profits cannot be the only guiding driver of the modern corporation. Corporations must also focus on building …

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The Internet in the Shadow of Big Tech

I read Cory Doctorow’s interview on the Bioneers site, and I think he hits on something interesting. There has been a growing trend where the larger, established, Internet companies (Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc) have begun to warm to the idea of Internet regulation. The reason for this is simple. It keeps new players out of the Internet space. These large companies entered the marketplace without regulatory limitation and grew so large in part because there was nothing to stop them. Now, they are working with the government to help design regulations that will make it far more difficult for competitors to enter and compete. These companies built their empires on the backbone of a tax funded and government designed public network. They then expanded that network via tax breaks and almost zero regulation. Essentially, the economic system that built our modern conception of the Internet was designed to create these types of monopolies. Now, these same companies will use these new regulations to maintain their power.

There is a further danger. As these companies continue to grow and centralize that power, they become synonymous with the very idea of the Internet. Our concept of the Internet is one in …

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Getting Lost in Rabbit Holes

Rabbit Holes

In retrospect, I should have known there was going to be a problem. It seemed like such a simple thing, after all. I just wanted to switch to YAML to define my post front matter. YAML, which stands for YAML Ain’t Markup Language, has a very simple job: it provides a structure for keyed data (or metadata) that is human readable and portable1. Even more importantly, my markdown editor (Typora) has this neat little feature that lets me set up a YAML front matter section right in the post. It is a nice little bonus in what is, already, a gorgeous markdown editor.

The Python Markdown processor that Pelican uses doesn’t require YAML, but I prefer it for cross-compatibility with other platforms and processors (pandoc, Jekyll, etc). Luckily, there was a YAML plugin already designed for Pelican, so I decided to check it out. I won’t deny that I was a bit dubious about the plugin. It has been quite a while since it was updated. Nevertheless, I added it to my config and set it to build.

And crashed.

I expect this from time to time. One of the real joys of working with open …

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Breaking Away from the Fan’s Approach to Technology

Tech Reviews

When it comes to hardware and software, I think there is a part in all of us that really loves the critic. This is especially true when the product being critiqued is one that we don’t like or don’t think we’ll like. After all, the critic just reinforces how smart we are. They become the voice of the child in the crowd pointing out how silly the emperor looks with no clothes and we can sit there and say, “I know! Isn’t that stupid. Can you believe those silly fans still buy that garbage?” We get to feel smug and superior, and that can be a hard feeling to let go.

Of course, it’s a very different feeling when something you actually like is being criticized. Then, the critic is just wrong. They “obviously” don’t understand the product or its inherent value to you. Those silly fools are in the pocket of whatever company is supposedly competing with your product and should be ashamed.

This is what happens on every tech page and review site that I read. It isn’t all that surprising, either. When you consider how important our technology has become …

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© Geoffrey Gimse (Opinions expressed here are my own and are not neccessarily shared by employers, friends, or colleagues.). Built using Pelican. Except where noted, all photos are my own. Other images used on this site are in the Public Domain and available from Openclipart, or have been purchased for use via The Noun Project.