Tania Samsonova, a frequent NewPath Network attendee, has won third place in the BlogIdol.ca blogging contest. Her entry on "What's Important in Enterprise IT?" spells out communication and collaboration as being key to succeeding in the business world. Especially interesting is her take on new immigrants integrating into North American society, a very important piece of the cultural puzzle that faces all new immigrants -- how to fit in well, but not lose your identity.
I've been reading several interesting articles and listening to some fascinating podcasts over the past few weeks. I thought you may be interested in what is going through my mind lately:
1. A terrific article called "Against Transparency" by Lawrence Lessig published back in 2009 makes a pretty strong case against more transparent and open government. Lawrence Lessig's basic argument is that information that government releases may be detrimental to democracy and our way of life. Information that is ruthlessly opened prematurely by government may actually cause instability and loss of credibility in government. A suggestion back to Mr. Lessig -- encourage government to get its act together and run programs and services in a codified and accountable way, enabling more accurate and timely data to be uncovered rather than reams of Excel spreadsheets and PDF files full of spurious, potentially misleading data.
An argument can be made that citizens will call the government to fix the faulty open data and in some cases that may be true. But unlike open source systems (ever see nuclear power plants run on Linux?), once incomplete, inaccurate open data is out, the genie is out of the bottle and he's very hard to contain. And misinformation tends to stay around on the Internet for a persistently long time.
2. The "Great Reset" by Richard Florida is another thought-provoking piece (and a book). Among one of the arguments that Mr Florida makes is that we all should start renting our homes rather than buying in the post-crash economy. He proposes co-ops of home rentals that make it easy to traverse the continent as needed for work, moving without fear of house prices moving up or down. I have to wonder how that will affect families with young children when they don't actually have a place to live for more than a few years. Not having to worry where you will buy next will spur the economy, he says, with even more disposable income than ever since mortgages simply "go away." Someone's gotta own these places, and Mr Florida supposes those will be corporations or groups of people effectively creating time-shares for regular non-vacation like homes. It's an interesting read, worth your while to crawl the net reading some other opinions on a highly controversial thesis.