I am a sceptic. Part of the awkward squad of troublemakers.
People who ask questions and who won’t stop asking.
People who won’t take bullshit for an answer.
People who are not preprogramed to follow certain paths, unquestioningly.
But to question everything.
Such as, “What the feck’s that all about then?”
I’m in good company. Many people who have made a difference have been fully paid up members of the awkward squad.
People in the awkward squad might sell dog food, but we know that we shouldn’t eat it ourselves.
I used to tell people.
“If you must exaggerate, try and remember this one thing”
“What’s that then, Marty?”
“Never, ever, believe your own bullshit or you’ll ending up having to eat it”.
I remember when Cloud first appeared on the horizon, a marketing idea that was to popularise the expression “put it on the cloud”.
I vaguely remember Larry Ellison being asked about Cloud.
If I recall rightly his reply was along the lines of ‘Cloud? Oh, you mean connected mainframes and data centres?”
He saw it, others saw it, and I saw it. It had been done many times before.
But cloud was new, exciting, vibrant and well, vague enough for the market.
Only that it wasn’t and isn’t new.
The only thing is, a handful of stylists and hacks were let loose on what already existed, and they came up with a new idea, that wasn’t new, creative or innovative.
It was just repackaged. Old wine in new bottles.
I have the same issues with marketing terms such as business intelligence, virtualisation and big data.
Can you imagine Steve Jobs peddling such rebranded and rebadged crap?
Big data brings all the promise of being better informed by having access to far more data.
But for most things in the commercial world quantity of data has never been the issue.
If anything, we’ve had too much of it and for far too long.
We’ve been doing big data for years.
Previously we called it Very Large Data Bases.
We have been handling some forms of highly structured data for years.
We used to call it things like text management, document management and knowledge management.
Not that it matters too much.
We are still looking for real insight, but most of us are overwhelmed by countless gigabytes, terabytes and petabytes of data, and much of what we get is recycled, repackaged and ultimately repetitive.
We are drowned in data, low-utility information and marketing hype.
For all the good that the information we receive does us, we may as well be more dog.
As Ad superman Dave Trott asked, what the feck does ‘be more dog’ mean?
It doesn’t mean anything.
We could write a whole litany of the endless succession of IT snake-oil merchants that have passed through techy-tinsel-town flogging yet another dead-horse as the latest and greatest Kentucky Derby favourite.
But that’s just hokie. Even the media and the presses are in on it, up-close and intimate collaborators in keeping reality from us, by burying us in shit.
Remember the joke about the mushrooms?
“Keep them in the dark, feed them bullshit, and watch them grow”
Well, it came true.
Like life reflecting comic art.
Actually, most of us are still starved of knowledge and insight.
And, as for wisdom?
What’s that then?