In seven days' time, the mayhem so commonly associated with the lead-up to Christmas will be over for another twelve months—although the busyness of preparing for holidays, Boxing Day sales and other distractions will no doubt replace the void.
This year, more than ever before, I feel under siege, by the marketers of technology. The march towards e-everything is becoming a little tedious, and it's starting to get in the way of meaningful interaction and learning. I'm no luddite—my iPhone and Macbook Air are useful productivity tools—but I draw the line at e-readers, Google Glass and other gizmos.
A couple of days ago I caught up with a friend over breakfast. We met each other 15 years or so ago, when we worked at the same company, and we've kept in touch periodically since. While standing at the counter to order, I noticed several groups of people sitting at tables. The scene looked a little odd, and then it dawned on me. In each case, every person was looking down, at an electronic device. Humans are social beings. What happened to the art of conversation? Are electronics actually getting in the way of progress in some cases?
The reading of books, and pondering of events, situations and possibilities is a case in point. Rosemary McLeod sums it up so well. Books are for reading, and the experience of reading is as much tactile and sensory as it is a journey of discovery. I can relate to McLeod on this point, and hope that none of the gifts under the tree bearing my name contain e-anything. I'd rather pick up a book, feel the pages and devour the story. Simply it's more relaxing.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and boardcraft; our place in the world; and other topics that catch my attention.