July 30, 2013

Less Command and Control, More Network Thinking

I was reading this announcement about a green partnership to make Liverpool more sustainable, and this sentence jarred as I read it:

"One of the key recommendations from the launch event was the need to develop a single Sustainable City Vision and Plan."

I don't mean to pick on this particular initiative, it just happens to be the one I was reading that prompted this blog post. You get it all the time with pronouncements on smart cities or the Internet of Things. The idea that once everyone has just sat down and worked out the one true protocol/plan/project... then we'll reach utopia.

It's bollocks.

It's all a recipe for lots of stuff that looks like progress and hard work but in fact is just endless meetings and talking. Forming groups to commit to action is a great idea, but rather than then suck all the life out of it through bureaucracy, wouldn't it be better if the commitment was to move towards one goal in whatever way made most sense for the organisations involved?

What is more important: that we have one solution to climate-change/an-open-Internet-of-Things/social-issue-du-jour that everyone agrees upon; or that most people have coalesced around a more-sustainable-lifestyle/using-a-mixture-of-open-protocols-for-IoT/a-good-enough-solution-du-jour?

Maybe we should modify the old Internet axiom "we believe in rough consensus and running code" to "we believe in rough consensus and concrete actions".

Posted by Adrian at 10:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 22, 2013

Recent Reading

An assortment of links that I've read recently, which seemed good enough that there's a lingering tab open containing them, but not good enough that I've gotten round to turning that into a full blog post. So in lieu of that, I thought I'd just share them in a good old linkdump...

Posted by Adrian at 03:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack