How we work, why we work, what we work on…the answers are as varied as the people on the planet.
There is a bit of a conflict in my life. that being what is the normal day. With my wife, who grew up very Swiss in traditions and culture, the day has a schedule. I think I touched on it this morning when I explained that Switzerland has a schedule that the entire country seems to follow.
My life, pretty much has been a blend of all elements of life there is no rigid or set times to much of anything – rather, “these are the elements I have to do each day, that discipline for mind, body and soul” that have to get done to keep me balanced. It does look different and operate differently than what the norm might think is normal
I don’t see much of the regular world doing that, also people are surprised when I mention small village Switzerland is very much like how I grew up as a kid. There is great value in how the social fabric of people interacting happens.
But the world has changed with the Internet. Today’s Internet is an interesting tool to me. Sort of a poor mans collective intelligence. You can ask a question and get an answer to almost anything. The days of social interaction and cool on the Internet ended for me in about 1996-98? You saw the shift form pioneers and early adaptors, and the first creaks of the mass market coming into the web.
Today, mobiles, less type, and more images are how data is transmitted. If you look at the United States newspaper industry – it has been ravaged. Reporters, writers and good photographers – have given way to data scientists, brand managers and SEO optimizers. Deep news that is fair and unbiased simply is not as profitable and throwing out an agenda.
What is has created is no shortage of people manipulating images, color, compositing unrelated parts of images and then creating advertising copy and words to help you sell whatever it is someone wants to sell, even if the product itself can hold up to the image and distortion, shall we say, social distortion that is being created with our data streams.
You get strange looks in Switzerland if you pull out a laptop and start typing. In the café, I am not sure what they thought of the strange guy typing away, sipping his prize of a cup of coffee and smiling, while seeming animated with whatever he was trying to type. I think of the social decorum and how we and many parts of Silicon Valley work and have worked for a while. While the CEO of Amazon has called back in remote worker, probably because I think you can have 1 in 5 people actually work well remotely and be highly productive – it takes a certain mentality and discipline.
How do you test to see which person would make a good worker? When they find you can work remotely, one out of five will say, “wow, you probably get a lot more work done and are far more productive.” Then usually three or four out of the five would say, “must be great to watch TV whenever you want!”
The later is NOT the type of people who can work remotely very effectively. (Actual market research data I just gave you)
Most of the world is the land of the mobile. I used to think the tablet market would be great – but the reality is that it is a good display tool, and you can do some amazing work on it – but the laptop seems to be the smallest space I can do all the various work on. Thus, I could care less about a mobile – except that data is optimized for mobile use. (Aka – compress the crap out of it – how many people have devises capable of hi-res imagery and/or uncompressed audio)
So the cell phones come out and are what they are. The football club players are coming in – it is the Portuguese community coming together in a small town in Switzerland. What is interesting is that how people come together socially is no different than online behavior. It is just that walls of distance and the ease and ability to click “off” another human is so easy.
Each time I think about this, I keep remembering Ethan Zuckerman’s research on how technology is taking us farther apart, and/or together with people that think the same way.
We do the same thing with people in real life, just that we tend to be more polite in how we try to get rid of them in our lives. I am not sure which, if any, is actually a good idea.
Someone once said, “there is good in everyone, you just have to wait longer for some to let it out.”
I guess that is how god thinks of all of us? The irony