Thursday, 4 December 2008

The Tyranny of Instant Access

I have just spent a few days in Boston at a conference I have been intermittently attending for almost 25 years. The opportunity to learn some new science was a "reward" for all the other stuff I have to do!! :-) As is normal, the other stuff didn't go away and I found myself waking up to new e-mails, skulking in the back of lectures with either my iPhone or laptop using the free wi-fi (when did conference organizers think that would add to learning capacity?) dividing my time between where I was and a place over 3000 miles away. That kind of geographical immediacy is a bed rock of the new digital age. We assume everyone is there all the time and get ever so slightly bent out of shape when they are not. I came to enjoy the evenings when Europe went to bed and I got to drink with friends without constant interruptions!! Arriving back in the UK I found that our little sandpit community has acquired a life of its own. We set out to use as many of the tools of the whatever number web we are currently on to maximize the effectiveness of the sand pit and ensure that the very best project get to the end of the week. Now my web pages are full of enthusiastic people wanting to do great things. Kind of restores your faith in the power of people to use technology really. :-)

David

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