Tuesday, 3 June 2008


It's not often I shill for clients on da blog, but I liked this thingette from IBM employee Sacha Chua so I've put it here. Later on today, if I'm lucky, a few of the delegates from this year's Arab Advisors Fifth Annual Media and Convergence Conference will swing by to take a look at it, because I'll have pointed them here.

They'll also be able to read the thought provoking article here, which my mate Gianni turned me onto.

Sacha is a self-confessed member of what we old people like to call Generation Y. It's not a term with which I'm particularly comfortable, but then I've heard even worse epithets. I happen to hate, with a passion, 'digital tribe' and even worse is 'digital native'. The idea that someone grew up in a digital world is interesting, but I don't think that labelling and boxing them is desirable or even funny, clever or mature.

As it happens, I grew up in a digital world myself, but a strange and fast-moving digital world where I was filled with round-eyed astonishment at the things happening around me. I grew up in a world where my school didn't know what number base would be the number base of computing, so I was forced into calculating in binary, octal and duodecimal. Crap - hex won out. I learned to use a computer with a card reader, then a teletype. Later on came coding punch tape for CNC turret presses, eight inch disk drives, 20lb portable computers, memory chips the size of aeroplanes and all the rest of it.

It might not have been Facebook, but it wasn't exactly an 'analogue upbringing' either.

Which might be part of the reason why I find it so intensely irritating to have to watch telcos and telecom vendors trying to 'get to grips with the kids'. They'd be well served to just try a little wide-eyed curiosity themselves and start exploring this brave new world we've all been building, rather than just trying to shoe-horn it into old fashioned revenue models from their heady circuit-switched days.

Here endeth the geek session. Back to being silly tomorrow... promise...

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