Categories
technology

Elon Musk: Selling Utopian Technological Fantasies

Context: Elon Musk Insists on Autonowashing, Says Tesla Will License Autonomy to Anyone Commercial value is, perhaps, always a function of the difference(s) between aspiration and reality. Marketing as entrepreneurial exercise of relatively shameless self-promotion always and already presupposes the existence of some future state and well-polished (generally Utopian) fantasy upon which narrative (and prospective […]

Categories
culture

The Professionals

Witness the arrival, if perhaps nothing new, of insular communities of professionals that are each and all existentially oriented towards the replication and self-validation that tribal membership provides. The self-replicating and self-validating patterns and symmetries as games of practice and behavioural grammar become both the symbol of membership to a specific group and the self-conscious […]

Categories
technology

Managerial Surveillance

Context: Bosses putting a ‘digital leash’ on remote workers could be crossing a privacy line I wonder if it would be all that difficult to demonstrate that each extra technical and surveillance-oriented component in a system of management and governance is actually more of a burden and cost than is the uncertainty invoked by remote […]

Categories
business Organisation Philosophy

Organisational Competencies

Context: Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? The brilliant systems (i.e. organisational, operational) theorist Russ Ackoff once framed an uncannily similar issue along the lines that our organisational systems are in general exquisitely well-structured to continue producing precisely the wrong kind of thing. We might constructively decompose the problem into one not dissimilar […]

Categories
culture

Diversity in Organisational Leadership

Monocultural or ideological hegemony in organisational leadership is a recipe for disaster. As a general observation, when organisational systems fall into overtly biased configurations and power symmetries, it is rarely a consequence of willful misdirection. From the interior surface of a half-mirrored labyrinth of self-validating justification and institutional logic, this kind of monocultural percolation may […]

Categories
business

Why Venture Capital Does Not Deliver

Context: Why venture capital doesn’t build the things we really need The aesthetics of commercial self-interest and valourisation of accelerated profit making (and taking) detached itself some time ago – and in many if not most instances – from the functional utility of providing what is actually needed. The selection mechanisms in place work extremely […]

Categories
systems

Octopus Farming: What is the (actual) product here?

Work into refining the viability of octopus farming continues apace. I doubt that there is any other animal on Earth the farming of which would so closely resemble the cultivation of extraterrestrial life. Reflections on a big(ger) picture: In what ways does accelerated aquaculture only continue to generate the problems which have led to the […]

Categories
technology

Cyber Security and Governance: to Centralise or not to Centralise?

Cyber security is a fascinating and rapidly evolving problem-space. What possible solutions exist in regards to coordinated governance and oversight? If a centralised software and hardware development methodology iss used – compliance to formal standards could be assured but the (logically and materially inevitable) emergence of vulnerability and exploit would mean that this systemic coherence […]

Categories
business Philosophy

Business Systems, “Best Practice” and Self-propagating Bureaucracy

Questions could (and should) be asked of the extent to which systems, architectures, models and programs can be (and are) produced for the primary self-interest of the organisations which provide those solutions. Bureaucracies and (all of) their diverse hierarchical predecessors, for instance, are classically-versed in the dark arts of creating systems and mechanisms that generate […]

Categories
Philosophy

Blind Chance

Good fortune or success may be more often a matter of statistical probability than of human intention or intervention.

Categories
technology

Utopia, Dystopia and Technological Forecasting

As the frequency of technological change accelerates, the amplitude and range of uncertainty is concurrently amplified.

Categories
culture

Entrepreneurial Hubris in Silicon Valley

It is a gargantuan investment and leap of faith to assert, predict or seek to influence technological trajectories over a time scale of centuries.