Is The World Fragile?

Is the World Fragile?

During a recent flight to Europe for business, I was provided with the time and opportunity to read Nassim Nicholas Talebs latest book Antifragial. If you aren’t familiar with Taleb’s work, he is best known for his writings titled The “Black Swan” and “Fooled by Randomness“. Having read both of these (as well as his other lesser known titles), I was not surprised when Antifragial fell into line with these prior works which all focus on the concept of randomness and the need to embrace the unknown rather than trying to explain it away. As Taleb attempts to make the point that all the systems we create are in fact “fragile” systems prone to failure yet we act surprised when they do fail as we have convinced ourselves (falsely in his view) that we understand the risk in these systems.

One of the primary examples he makes is Wall Street and the meltdown we saw in 2007/2008. Here he points out we thought we knew it all with our complex mathematical models and back rooms full of quants with their super computers. Yet even with all of this, how is it possible the event could have even occurred?

This is where Taleb points out to the reader that we will never know what we don’t know until we know it (i.e. until it actually happens). So his basic summation is why waste the efforts of attempting analytical reductions of the risks if we will be simply lying to ourselves, or so Taleb attempts to convince us through a constant stream of (implied) facts.

While there is a “truth” to this, it reminds me of the “chicken and the egg” debate as each side can be an equally valid argument logically. The same to me holds true for risk modeling, as yes there is always a “long tail” to risk meaning an extremely small calculated risk can lead to an amazingly large impact. However to not know the “short tail” risks seems irresponsible to me also.

For me the missing piece of the puzzle is the ability for “man” to lie to him/her self and believe the lie as reality. There is something buried in our primordial minds which allows us to believe in false economies provided by statistics as numbers don’t lie right? Well the one thing we forget when we say that is “man” does [lie] and especially to himself.

Yet concept aside, the writing of the book is near poetic in frame and far better than prior works which were cumbersome and jerky. Believe that this is due to a second writer cleaning up Taleb’s thoughts into cleaner pose than in his prior tomes. This makes for a much more enjoyable read as Taleb tosses (his perceived) facts at the reader in what seems to be at jeopardy lighting round speed.

While I don’t buy into all of Taleb’s arguments, the basics of randomness is an interesting study, Taleb places a lot of information in the users hands for consideration. From here the reader can make up their own mind as what to accept and not. In short, if the unknown is of interest and you don’t mind a bit of one sided ranting, than this book is for you…

Are We An Effective Team?

Are We An Effective Team?

During a recent international trip I had the chance to watch the Tom Cruise movie “Obviation“. Set in a dystopian future where the Earth as we know it was destroyed in a battle with Alien invaders wishing to steal our resources. Cruise (in the hero role of course) plays Jack Harper a drone repair man opposite of Andrea Riseborough as Victoria Olsen who is his communications officer.

To be honest, I didn’t find the writing of the movie very good, and won’t give away any spoilers in case you want to see it. As for this post, the key point to take way is just knowing they (both Jack and Victoria) are a “team”.

In the story Vicca (Victoria’s nickname) communicates with “Sally” on an orbiting space station where she receives daily instructions for herself and Jack. During these conversations everyday, Vicca is asked by Sally “are you and Jack an effective team“? The general response back from Vicca was “yes, we are an effective team“. This word interaction plays out over and over everyday with Sally repeatedly asking and Vicca responding in the affirmative. While the movie is based upon Joseph Kosinski’s Radical unpublished Comic works, it is unclear to me who packed these particular lines into the script.

As I found the lines extremely interesting, for example when Sally would make the query (are you and Jack an effective team), Vicca would light up like one of Pavlov’s dogs in her response with “yes we are an effective team“. Now I realize that Riseborough is an actress and this was a fictional movie yet it got me really thinking of the subtle conditioning this produced by the use of these trigger words along with the positive affirmation created by the required response from Vicca to Sally.

This got me looking at the magic of the words, as the key lead in is “we” which not only joined Jack and Vicca together, however also Sally and the “cause” together as one. This is a testament to the strength of the word “we” which is often over looked especially when intended as an affirmation. Next is the word “effective” as this makes clear the expectation of the “we“.

This is because when Sally asks “are we effective“, she is implying she [Sally] is, and seeking an affirmation they (Jack & Vicca) are also. Think about it, this would be very hard to say no to, therefore this incites agreement which pushes one to achieve compliance. The final key word in this mix is “team” which brings together the “effective we” into something with structure. As here it [team] is used as a verb meaning to “Come together to achieve a common goal“.

As written in my blog ( before, the human mind is very suggestible and even in the brief time watching this movie, I the viewer was also drawn in by this phrase. I too wanted to be part of this “effective team“. This is what I found interesting as it was not my intent to be drawn in as I was, yet I found myself either unwilling or unable to resist the suggestions of these words. In this I found myself in the end being part of this “effective” team and when it broke (you will have to watch the movie to discover why), I too was broken.

All in all it fascinates me as to how simple words formed into repeated affirmations can have such an impact in what turns out to be very little time. As yes we ARE an EFFECTIVE team

Free Is No Longer What You Get…

My father taught me an old adage when I was a kid, it went something like “you get what you pay for” alluding to the idea of if it’s a cheap price, then it’s a cheap product and the bottom of this barrel were those things which were free.  As growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s the idea of free was “trash” as that’s all which you got at that time for free as we sat at a time of clear business models where “a dollar spent was a dollar earned” and the idea giving something for nothing was limited to the “free sample” in the Dixie cup at the grocery store deli counter.

Yet that was then and this is now, where a lot of things are free especially in the digital world as once you create it there almost isn’t a cost to replicate it.  This has been a game changer for the business community in that the younger generation has grown up with this model and takes a different viewpoint than their parents and grandparents.  As free to them is more of a norm then a novelty as they are expecting free more and more often and in fact this “entitlement” feeling even bleeds over to the physical product world [from the digital].

Yet when writing the word entitlement in the last paragraph, the quotes were used to call this out as this is how the boomers see it (which includes yours truly).  Yet the realization which I’ve come to that is exactly what it is, a perception and not necessarily a reality as in the adage my father taught me regarding “you get what you pay for“.  The epiphany here is if it were not for recognizing this, I would have been stuck in a flawed paradigm (as many people are).  As what makes for great is seeing the world for what it really is, as many people make up their worlds with their own belief systems much as the early Europeans did by claiming the world was flat!

Yet back to the “free movement“, what the driver happens to be in “free isn’t me” is the fact it is instead all of us together and this is what free does as it brings us together.  Well maybe not everyone, yet the many rather than the few in fact are coming together because of “free”. Now, one man’s free is another man’s opportunity as even the icons of capital, the venture capitalist are supporting the praises of “if it’s free, it’s for me mentality” as the reward is later culled in the popularity.  As just download the latest version of Angry birds on your iPhone and you will see the little banner at the bottom telling you how to cover up the grey with a new hair color.

While I won’t even say we are in the advertising 1.0 marketplace, we are however headed there as we will buy things which we value and/or make life easier and more fulfilling.  As in the figure of speech, many things will be free, however it will be “good stuff” which makes it all the better.  Today we see pioneering efforts in the game space here, where you can play the game and achieve the higher levels in due time maybe, or you can pay to jump ahead.  Empty achievement I can hear you ole timers saying out there, as in the day you sat in front of that Atari 2600 for months to get to the supreme level of Frogger right?.

Well let me ask you a question, what was the goal?  Was it to sit glued to the tube for months “or” get to supreme level of Frogger?  Again the later and our young friends buying upwards is nothing more than them buying the skills of others as you have education right, and you may even have a student loan to prove it so what is the difference?    In fact personally I find this interesting as well as creating a reinforcing loop in the “free is for me” mix.  As in the Atari days we weren’t collaborative, we were in fact islands where today’s kids are social animals as there assuredly is a Facebook page for shy introverts to prove it.

As by “buying up“, today kids are in fact shorting the cycle time and allowing for greater achievement by acknowledging the knowledge and abilities of others.  This is allowing them to play forwarded at a far faster rate than was possible in the past.  Therefore allowing them to reach new levels of understanding at a quicker pace than possible in the past when they were islands.  Now if business just understood this…

Problem Solving – Is the Last Straw The Sum of the Whole…

We’ve all heard of the age old adage of the “Straw Which Broke The Camel’s Back“, however what does this mean other than forming some grotesque mental image of a poor suffering animal.  As the one thing in practical terms is it seems that from a practical view, is the last straw is really no different than the first.

What am I getting at you might be asking, well the answer is pretty simple in that when things go wrong people tend to look to the “last thing” which went wrong as being the problem.  However this is typically not the case as “problem events” are in fact the culmination of many sub events which add up to the whole.

As we’ve waxed in these pages before, a problem is typically comprised of 7 correlating events which lead to the main event (failure).  So in fact each of the 7 (straws) are of equal importance to the whole rather than just the last (straw or event).  As the importance in this scenario is to understand the pattern of events rather than just the “last” event.

As many of you I spend my professional day solving problems, typically complex, high impacting ones for multinational companies.  In the past week saw one of these where the last event clearly could not have caused the greater event which left people standing around guessing while money was lost.  As the group of people working the issue had a difficult time getting their minds around the fact “one thing didn’t break it” as there wasn’t nor would there be a smoking gun.

This in turn lead to a form of “paralysis” on the part of many and slowed the recovery process as no one could identify that last straw as it was really no different than the first.  It’s here when we are trying to solve a problem it’s critical to step back and look at the big picture to take it all in first.  From here we can then catalog the straws (events) which might have made up the greater problem and look at the “sum of the straws” rather than seek them out individually.

By taking this course of action, we can figure out quickly if the answer is really a “solution” rather than a “resolution“.  As in trouble shooting we look for the last thing which changed which broke it to be the basis for our “resolution“.  Where if wasn’t the last thing, yet the culmination of the last (say) seven things then this “answer” will become a “solution” instead…

Steve Jobs the Book…

Steve Jobs The Book

So it goes to saying that I have to agree with John Siracusa (Ars Technica & HyperCrtical fame) that the choice of Walter Isaacson to write the Steve Jobs biography was a bad pick.  In writing this, I struggled with the idea of being a “Monday Morning Quarterback” as the thoughts came to mind.  As it’s always easier to make  a call after the fact than before.  Yet the struggle won on the side of calling this as I saw it, as what has been lost to the betterment of man because of this needs to be shared.

As one of the key points here is while Steve like all other guys put his pants on one leg at a time.  He clearly had the ability to view the world in a different light in his ability to make the normal, extraordinary.  Yet one of the best aspects Walter offers is the wisdom of Steve’s father that “the back side of the fence needs to look as good as the front“.  Well folks it seems like 40 some years back this was a common comment as I can remember my farther saying the same to me, yet Steven Jobs I am not.

As don’t get me wrong, as Walter is a good writer as books about Einstein as in Albert and Franklin as in Ben are very good books.  Yet do you see something in these two subjects?  Yes, both are dead and therefore are not very good conversationalist so how do you get information?  Yes, the simple answer is “research” as this is what Walter happens to be good at, in fact very good.  Yet here the metaphor which strikes me is that in the movie “Contact” where the heroine played by Jodie Foster upon realizing her travel says “they should have sent a poet”.

As for the Jobs book, they needed to send an interviewer, a David Frost, or (don’t laugh) Oprah Winfrey as the key miss was in asking the right question.  Walter sat and listened to Jobs, he lacked the ability to ask Steve what Steve didn’t know to say.  As how do you know what makes you great if you don’t know (realize) that your great?  Well unfortunately the opportunity to get into an amazing mind has been lost by that very mind as remember Steve picked Walter…

Importance of Free Speech as January 18th Will Live In Infamy…

Free Speech

As this is the second American Revolution and the shot heard around the world as the American people shouted, loudly did they shout to their elected officials. In turn, the volume was so loud they [the elected officials] could not stick their heads in the sand as with health care and the many other things they feel they “know better” then the people who elected them.

With this, both SOPA and PIPA have been tabled, yet what does this mean? As is the war over and won by the people, or is this just a battle while the political overlords lay in wait for us “the people” to settle back into our daily slumber allowing them the ability to sneak these ill deeds in the backdoor.

Well unfortunately it’s the latter as any good negotiator worth their salt knows the term “defend and delay“. The political overlords (i.e. the left leaning big media purchased politicians) tried to “defend” their position yet unsuccessfully, so what’s next? Yes, you guessed it, “delay” as people tend to forget and big bangs as a redux on the same topic is very hard as the “vogue” factor has worn off with the first go around.

As this is the difference between a “battle” and a “war” as you can think of the war as being a “long period of boredom” punctuated with “short bursts of pure insanity”. As the first battle is always memorable (good or bad), yet the second is old hat where the excitement has long left. Thus the way to win a war you ask, the answer is simple out wait your enemy. As the media companies aren’t going anywhere tomorrow so they have nothing but time on their hands with deep pockets to.

As I wain here in a negative light, there is a lot to be learned from a battle like this when 13 million voices speak at once the sound is deafening and is the main reason this fight is so important as it’s not about pirated movies or someone torrenting the latest Lady Gaga songs. It’s about the ability to do what we just did (yes I was one of those 13 million voices) as this is what freedom is about, it is what America was founded upon. Should the media companies find this important to their business model than may I suggest China where this is allowed and as I walk down any street there [in most of Asia] are dozen street vendors wanting to sell me pirated movies so what have they accomplished?

As I’ve waxed here before, pirating is a commercial problem and not a social one, therefore social means such as free speech should not be compromised for commercial gain period. As the “right” to speak and present openly is a basic human right, even if some choose to abuse this “right”, it does not give others the right to take this away from us…

Copyright Gone Too Far…

Copyright Gone Too Far...

With the SOPA Black Out behind us, it amazed me how much I rely on Wikipedia as it just never dawned upon me, however my point is that with any luck people got the message, so the people who are elected to represent us, “us” the people of the Unites States of America and not the liberal Media Companies which bank rolled their campaign war chests.

As my point here is we’ve gone too far with copyright and patent laws as while we require both, things are out of hand now.  The idea of both was to protect unique ideas and innovations to foster the willingness of people and companies to invest in creating them.  This “protection” was initially intended for a limited scope and defined a “reasonable” amount of time before entering the “public domain” to be owned as well as enjoyed without financial impediment or limit.

Now let me say this, cut me and I will bleed capitalism, so this isn’t a socialist thing as by the nature of “capitalism” it should be open as competition is key to capitalistic success.  When we limit the availability to open access of knowledge, then we are limiting competition.  Remember that in the days of old (pre-Internet) is when these [laws] were crafted meaning they are a bit long in the tooth.

It’s also worth noting we can’t do away all together with the protection of intellectual Property where everyone and their brother can set up a “Pirate Bay” site.  However the economic and distribution models need to change as we are now operating in a global economy and the rules of the road in these faraway lands are different than our and our elected officials are that silly to think they are change this with a simple rote swipe of the pen, if this where the case, then they should pass a bill which bans world hunger as they would have more success in that.

As the only thing SOPA will do is form an Oligarchy here, where the few will control what the many have access to as we are headed to a slippery place in the new world where while information wants to be free, it in fact costs a lot and someone has to pay the piper.  As in the old days, yesterday’s news was still worth something as a day old paper still had value; magazines were handed down, etc.  However in today’s world where electrons comprise the manifestation of our information instead of pigmented inks.  They are however are shackled at the ankles by pay-walls which  much like the scenario of Logan’s Run gives it all information only a limited time to live…

CES Isn’t All Just Fun and Games…

Human Genome

At this yeas CES (Consumer Electronic Show) there were far more than just the standard fare of new TV sets and personal “I” something gadgets to full-fill our never-ending desire to  consume content. Yet there was something far more profound, however it almost went unnoticed which is a sad statement as here was the ability to sequence a human genome for around $1,000 dollars! Folks this is almost akin to the discovery of fire regarding its importance to mankind.

As two companies, Ion Torrent and Illumina will be releasing desktop devices to allow the medical practitioner to do this in their office.  In short, this means no more diagnostic guessing when it comes to figuring out what ails us in a serious sense as well as what drugs will work best an how much.  This is a huge win for humanity and in some ways comes up just short of immortality.  Once we start crunching numbers, the sky’s basically the limit as our knowledge of the interconnections of our molecular biology will grow by leaps and bounds.

Yet with all of goodness there are two issues in the first is our ignorance as when the newest games take center stage while technology such as this lands on page B34, something is wrong.  Now yes I do understand the existence of the game in some fashion has supported the technological ability of these devices to come into being [by making the electronics cheap], yet we still as a society sit with the cart in front of the horse to many things regarding what really matters the most.

The second is more technical in nature, in that as the data grows [from crunching the numbers] so does the need for software to digest and process the output of this data in a constructive way.  This is where I believe crowd sourcing will come to play as in collective computing to solve this problem.  As the more minds which come to bear on a challenge such as this with fingers typing at the keyboard the better.  It’s here however strong social frame works will be required as for all this to work in a constructive manner, there must be order and this might just be the hidden value of the social network. As sharing what game you’re playing is one thing, however just think if we could use the same network to share the cure for cancer.  Yes this as Aldus Huxley would say is a brave new world which no one would argue especially those in need of cure…

Consummation or Separation…

Consummation or Seperation
Consummation or Seperation

The question is will it be consummation or separation?

One of the things which have struck me recently in the area of social dynamics is the idea of “consummation or separation” as this is simply a nicer way of rephrasing my father’s saying “son you have to shit or get off the pot“.  While yes it is less colorful in verse, it yet carries the idea in a more graceful context that there is in fact an aspect of “social intercourse” where the parties involved exchange “empathy” in the form of engagement.

This is one of the reasons the airlines will always remain in business too, as I do not care how great web-based video conferencing technologies becomes, the fact of being there, face to face with a hand shake pressing skin is the critical success factor as complete empathic exchange can only occur in person and not some you-tube like channel.  While rote data maybe exchanged via various media “channels”, they only serve as a method of social “foreplay” if you will in the creation of excitement, yet not completions.

In fact when we query our friend Webster on the topic of “Consummation” we will quickly find he claims this to be the “finish” or the “completion” of something which was mutually started.  This in itself is interesting as in the “consummation” of a marriage is actually the end of it?  While not written by Webster, the implication of importance here is the fact that “consummation” is really the beginning of an “anew” state whereas there was “separation” there is now singularity which takes place in this empathic social dynamic as either your together or your apart, there exists no grey area.

This is a critical aspect of negotiations as you’re either with me or against me [i.e. consummation or separation] as there exists no middle ground as pointed out by John Nash [Nash Equilibrium] as unless there is mutual [consummation] the first one to blink will lose…

Can Everyone be Great…

Can Everyone be great
Can Everyone be great

Popular or Great?

It seems today that in the era of Apple’s mantra of create “great” things and everything is all that plus some, there might be a bit of confusion in our ideology as if everyone is great then in reality isn’t everybody just the same?  As when we go back to our friend Webster we find all roads for “great” in turn cross with the reference of “large” as in “of a kind characterized by relative largeness” or “remarkable in magnitude, degree, or effectiveness”.  So if everyone was “large“, would everyone be great well the answer is no as then everyone would just be normal.  In sorts, “great” can only be an exception and never a norm so to say one should only do “great” things is to me misleading.  As do you want your trash man to do great things, the simple answer for most of us is no, you just want him to make your trash go away right?

In short we like the idea of great things such as winning the lottery, yet we still (for the most part) do the “popular” thing and go to work every day to pay the rent.  As this is the important point out of this as we find there is a universal fight between the concepts of being “popular” and those of being “great“.  As for example let’s take the famous Golden Arches, yes the venerable Mickey D’s as in MacDonald’s as are they “great“?  I’m doubting you will find too many (if anyone) which will say they are (who are consumers of the product).  Yet, if you ask these same people if they are “popular” you find a whole different story as yes they are and in turn too people happily hand them their hard-earned money.

As even popular things cannot happen in mass as there must always be a measure of scarcity in the creation of popularity or even greatness as for these two to exist they must “exist” in the minority and not in the majority.  Because once a “minority” reaches a “majority” state, the exception is now the rule and what once was the expectation is now the norm.  So then to say everyone should do great creates false promises as should we not be shooting for just being popular at general best?

To further this example, let’s go to Hollywood for another case study as how many celebrities are “great” versus being  just “popular”  as you may even say “boy that was a great performance” however does one performance make them great or does it simply support their popularity?  Case in point, Madonna and her modern-day clone Lady Gaga, as were/are they popular?  You bet and in being popular their music was/is enjoyable however I can guarantee you if you checked the current replays of Madonna songs will come nowhere near that of the Beetles and when Lady Gaga starts sagging (in more ways than one) the same will be the case as they are popular and not great which means they have a shelf life.

While some say this maybe a mincing of words, I on the other hand claim we as a society are fooling ourselves with dreams of grandeur as we should strive to do our best, however we should not fool ourselves with the rest…

Opened Verses Closed Competition Cycles…

Competition Cycles
Competition Cycles

Not all things are created equal and that goes for competition too…

Having written just recently about the Food Network show “Chopped” as its focus (intended or not) is to create losers, yet on the surface this would seem to be the case for “all” competition.  However this isn’t the case as all competition is not created equally if you will and that is what we discuss today as some forms are “open” while yet others  are “closed”, so what does this mean in the bigger scheme of things?  Well first let step back and look at each.

Here the Open Competition Cycle: Is a kin to the professional “Football” player as he has many Sundays (with any luck) to ply his craft before feeling the outcome.  In other words if he has a bad week and loses the game, he gets to “play again” to make up for it and therefore lives in a world of averages.

As we can see here our grid iron hero is a product of his average production and therefore even though he may “lose”, he is not a loser if you will.  This is an important distinction to make when we start to look at the next scenario so we see how it fits together and how in the end we can leverage it or at least avoid stepping on it.

Yet the Closed Competition Cycle: Is the professional “Russian Roulette” player who keeps playing till the first time he loses and then that’s it, done and over with no more playing.  There’s no playing average here on a losing basis as in our Football playing friends example as here it’s all or nothing.

While I don’t personally know many of these professional Russian Roulette players and there is most likely a good reason for this, the fact is we play “Russian Roulette” far more times then we think it’s just that our mortality isn’t on the line for the final wager.  As in the Chopped post if I was a high end restaurant owner, would I hire a “Chopped” chef?  The answer would be no way as human nature has an unkind side to it and before you know it the place would be referred that restaurant with the “chopped” chef.

Now it’s not to say that some of these folks haven’t gone on with or too reasonable employment after being “chopped” as in the end this isn’t Russian Roulette after all.  However tainted goods they are as we all (I would think) have that “thing” [or things] which has tainted us in some way as we are human after all.  However my point and the reason for using the “extreme” analogy of the Russian Roulette player   is that in this case no amount of money is worth a human life so the imbalance becomes clear.  However life typically isn’t that simple so we make mistakes.

When I say “mistakes”, I mean our eyes typically become larger then our stomach’s when it comes to things such as this and we make the “wrong” decision in the end which leads to us regretting it. Again using the show “Chopped” as an example, what is its goal?  If you answered find the best chef out of four your wrong, as the goal is to entertain the viewer and they want the drama and that is created by losers.  As look at the break down, you basically spend 55 minutes watching people lose (note how even during the process they point the failures out rather than the kudos).

The extreme of Russian Roulette is also used to point out that the issues isn’t in taking risks as if this was the case, no one should drive and we should all fly.  It’s first and foremost understanding the risks and second understanding the reward or the relative estimation of in advance so a balance can be made between the two.  As its here when discussing this I always seem to hear, “well with thinking like this we wouldn’t have gotten to the moon”, to that I retort “thank you for agreeing with me”.  As after the puzzled look, the answer is a simple one as this [kind of] thinking is what got us to the moon, in that while as pointed out the risks and rewards were both very high.  Yet they were in “balance” as significant controls where in place to “balance” the risk.  In other words this wasn’t a Myth Buster attempt at taping a bunch of Chinese rockets to a chair and simply “hoping” for the best…

Dallas Redux…

Dallas Redux
Dallas Redux

We once used film cameras, drove manual transmission cars and read paper books. Ah the old days...

For those old enough to remember the Dallas TV series and the year the writers could not figure out how to end the season so they just made a “dream” sequence washing away the meaning of the entire season and pissing off the entire series viewership because it was if they wasted their time. This alone was interesting as this in the end as, hey Dallas was fictional.  So why where so many people upset when they were hood winked by the writers as isn’t this what fiction is about [make believe]?  However that isn’t what we are here to wax about  as it’s about what happened in 2007 around  Google’s legal dispute with a coalition of authors and publishers over Google Books which was put on the shelf while the parties hashed out a settlement agreement which was later announced in 2008.  However the settlement seemed to be anything but settled as  it attracted  a massive backlash which convinced Judge Denny Chin to reject the settlement earlier this year.

So here we sit after three years of pretending to work together to try and get the settlement approved, all parties are now back in courts and guess what?  Yes you won’t be surprised to know at each others’ throats as that’s why we pay lawyers right? However yet again, we aren’t here today to wax Family Feud style over this basic nonsense which this represents, however to discuss what it means to create “intellectual property” and release it into the wilds of the world if you will.

As at the heart of this is the fact Google scanned books (which they believed where copyright orphaned) and made the contents available on the internet.  As the one thing you will note that I’ve stayed away from is the commercially of this as Google didn’t place a price on this by asking for money, however they are in the advertizing business and need content to drive visitors and one could see how this could be win/win as there is a problem out there that people are refusing to see.

This problem is that the printed book is dead done and over and the generations coming up will not know how to use them.  Laugh will you, feel free to however set your 16 year old behind the wheel of a manual gearshift car [if you live in the US] and bet dollars to donuts you get an interesting stare.  Second is hand them a roll of film and ask them to do something with it.  Least I also need to point you to the viral you-tube video of the young girl frustrated with the printed magazine as she tried to swipe its page to no avail.

It’s here in a world of unlimited search now powered by things such as Siri which knows better than me, that my two-year old grandson will never know what that funny section [index] in the back of what was those wasteful single use devices which cost the life of many life-giving trees just to end up in a landfill.  So the question begets us as do we allow many lifetimes of information to simply lay waste because of our jurisprudence, or is information really free…