On April 19, 2012 at Harry’s Hofbrau in Redwood City, the STC Silicon Valley Chapter hosted STC Fellow DJCline’s presentation “Photographing the Future: A Retrospective.” The conversation with a smart, funny crowd covered photography, emerging technology, the future of technical communication and globalization. Here are some excerpts:
Change Management Myth
The only constant is change. If you are working for the same company for more than ten years, you know you are in trouble. You might have changed, but it is harder for larger companies to change. You are not an expert on change. You are an expert in trying to avoid the inevitable.
On the other hand, if you are constantly working with new people and technology, you are an expert on change. It cannot be managed. It is like a wild animal. It is never clear if you are hunting it or it is hunting you. Your odds are better because you will recognize when the odds are in your favor.
I look for emerging technology that is new or used in a new way. It has to be more than a sales pitch. I look for events with more than one sponsor that would be of interest to a general audience. The events can be business, civic, diplomatic, education or political events. I’m interested in the implications of what is being proposed.
The Things I Carry
The less you carry, the less you will lose. I use a small SLR and notebook. It is small enough to wear around your neck. I carry an extra battery and a smaller holdout camera for video if necessary. The image quality is suitable for web and print. I avoid using a flash because it does not accurately catch the way people normally look, unless you live in a lightning storm. Large cameras intimidate people. It also is easier to get through security if your lens doesn’t look like a bazooka.
The notebook is lighter and cheaper than a laptop. A computer virus will never eat it. I go back to the office and write the story online. There is nothing I cover that needs instantaneous uploading. I want to think about what I am writing.
Cell phone cameras are improving but not quite there yet. Besides, are you really going to record an hour of video holding your hand in the air? What if you want to step out for a phone call or text message? What if your battery dies and you cannot change or charge it?
I believe the key to survival is access to technical communication. The better we are educated the better off we will be. Getting the best information so people can make the best decisions results in more efficient use of resources. If we can make better use of our resources there will be enough food, water, shelter, clothing and money for the seven billion people on the planet. If we don’t, Malthusian laws will destroy us.
Moore’s Law may save us. It has shrunk the need for a computer’s raw materials and energy from a mainframe to the desktop to the laptop to the mobile device. Is the next step a wearable implant?
The smaller the device, the more powerful the network must be for storage and distribution. Even if we use less silicon, will there be enough bandwidth for seven billion people online at the same time? How will we manage the spectrum? Will we create electromagnetic pollution? Can we continue to build ever bigger server farms?
The laws of thermodynamics may sink us. If we continue to use energy at an increasing rate, the resulting heat and pollution will raise the sea level. Most of those seven billion live near the ocean and will have to move. How well your community communicates will determine how well you survive.
Please join us on May 24, 2012 for the next SVC Meeting; to be held at Santa Clara IHOP, located at 4200 Great America Parkway in Santa Clara. The meeting starts at 6 PM. This month’s topic is Qontext with Samir Ghosh.
Copyright 2012 DJ Cline All rights reserved.