Support for my ‘complexity disaster’ hypothesis.
I recently noted after the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster;
Our world is addicted, dependent on oil. A complex problem. And what are we doing? We make it even more complex.
Here is the support I found (came across) via greenresearch.com in my hypothesis of ‘complexity disaster’ - that by solving a complex problem with complex approaches and not solving the problem itself in its entirety. We don’t get rid of this complex problem plain speaking, delaying the breaking point. We merely make it several orders of magnitude more vulnerable to human error.
Humans are prone to err. Changing only at the precipice of the problem.
“The current news cycle links continuing coverage of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, whose cause remains uncertain and whose solution so far elusive, with puzzlement about the cause of a recent 1,000-point plunge in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
It may appear that these two traumas have nothing in common. Indeed, the havoc in the stock market will prove ephemeral, while the devastation of the Gulf oil spill could be with us for a generation or more. But they are linked by the role technology played in each of them.
As the New York Times noted, the oil drilling platform that exploded and sank in the gulf “was described before the accident as one of the most technologically advanced drilling platforms in the world.” Drilling for oil miles below the earth’s crust and a mile below the sea was once inconceivable. But now it’s a proud triumph of technological advancement. In the case of the stock market plunge, suspicions center on the role of computer-driven flash trading, the esoteric and technologically sophisticated mechanism for making profits by deploying more computing power than one’s competitors in the market.
The common thread joining these two stories is the ability of technology to elude the understanding of its creators, and its power to wreak havoc beyond our control.
It was over two years ago that the $7.2 billion dollar loss inflicted on Societe Generale by a rogue trader evoked for me the Exxon Valdez and the principal that technological sophistication brings power that tends to outpace our ability to understand it and leaves us unprepared for the consequences of its misuse.
It would be a good thing if our technophilic society learned humility from these episodes.”
‘Stages of Grief’ of the media industry, and whether or not iPad Apps the pre-lude to HTML5?
// Story-to-story navigation on iPad //
Web-analytics types push time-on-site and pageviews-per-visit as measurements of a reader’s engagement. It’s fine to have someone following an occasional link in Twitter, but the real money, some argue, is in dedicated readers who spend lots of time with your content. And to that end, a number of sites have been working on their internal website navigation to push users from story to story, rather than asking them to head back to a list of headlines first.
On news iPad apps, that story-to-story navigation has become the norm. The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Associated Press, USA Today, NPR, Reuters — their apps all allow (and in some cases emphasize) swiping or tapping from story to story rather than Back and Forward, web browser-style. (The New York Times’ app is an interesting exception.) I suspect that’ll lead to more stories consumed per session — and I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t see more news companies taking that lesson back to their websites.
“HTML5 is aimed at making it easier to build wikis, drag-and-drop tools, discussion boards, real-time chat, search front-ends, and other modern web elements [like Quake] into any site, and have them work the same across browsers.”
Thus I am thinking, like Jeff Jarvis, who pointed out that he is wary of the illusionary move from the web to apps (with control) could be fatal. I think, … no, I strongly believe, that it is yet another stage of the grieving process the industry is going through.
Stages of Grief
- (1) denial, (ie saying people still read their daily newspaper in the morning)
- (2) anger, (ie Rupert M. said that content should not have been free in the first place)
- (3) bargaining, (ie Paywalls, metered content, Apps for platforms - following the eyeballs, saying that such [closed controlled] platforms are the future)
- (4) depression, (ie letting people go who write your stories and digg up scoops, closing of newspapers and satellite offices, blaming it all on declining ad rev)
- (5) acceptance (ie those who were let go start blogging, blogging/content networks hire or poach journalists/reporters from NYTimes et al, established tech columnists from big papers acknowledge publicly that they read TechCrunch … daily)
Just a brain blip again. Hope it makes sense.