What to do next ?

Interesting NY-Times piece by William Gibson from back in August. (Thanks to Edward at Nixon McInnes)

“I ACTUALLY think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions,” said the search giant’s chief executive, Eric Schmidt, in a recent and controversial interview. “They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.” Do we really desire Google to tell us what we should be doing next? I believe that we do, though with some rather complicated qualifiers.

Me too. In fact this whole epistemological knowledge-modelling quest has been about the fact that information is always interpreted in the context of a purpose, and that purpose is about making some decision to act, where deciding to act may of course include deciding to further communicate information or ask another question. The answer as a piece of information is never an end in itself.

Complicated qualifiers ? Tell me about it. In just the previous post I yet again used the phrase “life is just complicated enough”. In fact this leads into the Nils Brunsson “decision-rationality equals action-irrationality” paradox too, the management-hypocrisy or scientistic-neurosis angle.

Interesting piece by Gibson, really pointing out the downside of too much transparency and permanent connectivity in media whose business-architecture we as individuals are not as much in control of, as we might think we are. Add these to the downsides pointed out by Jonathan Zittrain in the earlier post. The media technologies are ever newer, but the human social issues are “nothing new under the sun”.

Oh, and thanks to David Gurteen for tweeting the link to this Steve Denning piece, also about Google, warning how too openly social teams may be poorer at delivering on projects.
(Note to self – The Real Hierarchy – HBR, wayback.)

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