Extinction by design

There was this excellent tweet the other day … yes, I know, it must seem like I live on Twitter – but insights like this are the reason I hang around there so much. In time some of the clever will rub off, and in the meantime there are cat pictures.

Anyway, back to the point:

@noelito “If a charity is to achieve its goals – to solve a societal problem – then it should be extinct by 2024”

This was a snippet from an article in the Guardian by Will Horwitz, which you should just go and read basically.

A few months ago, at the usual Geek Wonk interface meeting* we had a thought – what if we walked into each new role with that attitude? In five years, this role will no longer be needed; I will have designed something that frees me up to go and do something else instead. Better yet, what if we got to say this in the job interview? Where do I see myself in 5 years time? Well, I’ll be walking way having designed myself out a job, that’s where.

We were rather pleased with that one. There was some high fiving around the table, and then we felt a bit silly. But we still like the idea. We like it because we’re hired to solve problems that shouldn’t exist**. Tools should just work. Data should just be available. Patterns should just reveal themselves. Information should just be presented in a way that makes sense, instead of making people work for it (or more likely give up and move on).

How can we make this happen? Maybe we need more education. Maybe the answer is better data visualisation, more understanding of what the consumer wants to know. Perhaps in another 10 years we will have neonatal brain chip implants to feed the facts in directly. Maybe we will finally achieve the definitive artificial intelligence, a constant companion who knows what you need to know, when and why.

Or maybe we’ll still be drinking cappuccinos and complaining about how we don’t have the tools. I do hope not, though.

*Posh coffee in the staff canteen
**In a well ordered society, if I ruled the world etc etc


About jargonaut

Unashamed geek lost in policy land. Frequently required to believe three impossible things before breakfast, and implement them by tea time.
This entry was posted in Future Landscape, Ramblings, The Geek Wonk Interface and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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