Among other things, I gave a presentation at one of the plenaries. One of the key messages of this conference was IBM's Smarter Planet initiative, and so I made the point that a very dangerous combination is that of a smarter planet combined with stupid people. In other words, it's not just about wiring the planet, it's also about having a responsible and accountable populace able to reason about complex issues and to make well informed decisions. Another theme I developed in a presentation to the executive track was that of software abundance in the face of economic scarcity. In the face of scarcity, the tradition reaction is to retreat, shrink, slash, and/or panic. Understandably so, innovation in times of abundance is relatively easy, but even just existing in lean times is hard. As Brad Perkins noted, "a recession exacerbates competition for limited resources." The thing about software, however, is that it is perhaps the most fungible and liquid of resources. The supply of software is limited only by human imagination and labor. Therefor, I argue, software-intensive systems are an inescapable and necessary element in helping us operate, innovate, and even thrive in the face of lean economic times. As Clay Williams, a fellow researcher at Watson, noted, software development is too often viewed as a cost center to be cut, rather than as an asset of strategic importance to be nourished.
Some random links for your reading pleasure. I celebrate the many ways that the populace can collaborate, from BarCamps to CafeScienfique to Pecha Kucha Nights. I spoke at a local Cafe a few years ago, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Remember my earlier postings mentioning Joe Marasco aka Barbecue Joe? He appears here with Mr. William Shatner. And, speaking of all things Trek, did you catch the appearance of Randy Pausch in the latest Star Trek?
Oh, and one final plug for a friend of a dear friend. If you are in the market for CISSP training, check out this.
Quote of the day:
[Me] I'm going to have lunch with a friend.
[Interviewer] No, I mean much further out.
[Me] Oh, that's easy. I'm going to die, everything I've possessed will turn to dust, and all that I've done will be forgotten by countless generations. But in the meantime, I expect to live a long life, full of grace and love and joy.