JUL 13, 2010 10:03pm ET

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Technologists in Foxholes

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I've been leafing through my 40th anniversary special issue of Smithsonian magazine, which is dedicated to "40 Things You Need To Know About The Next 40 Years."

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Comments (3)
Jim yet another of your thought provoking articles. Great stuff. The following statement caught my eye "that it's now incumbent on individuals to manage their own health outcomes and not just passively be told where to go and what to do about personal health".

Before the advent of "modern medicine" isn't that the way people managed their health care? There were no doctors or MRI's or the plethora of drugs that we have available today and yet people survived. Yes, with much shorter lifespan but the increase in life expectancy is not significantly attributable to technology but to a basic human behavior, cleanliness.

Controlling obesity is the latest pursuit of government and industry. But once again, perhaps human behavior is the way to address this "growing" problem.

I think a correlation can be made with the role of information and its relevance to society. We like to believe that information is the life blood of business and over the past 30 years it may have been. But we are now inundated with information and but we are limited in our capacity as humans to manage it. Privacy, security, control, quality, relevance and trustworthiness are characteristics that are evolving ever so slowly.

Our adoption of medical health records is crawling along at a snail's pace and yet we perceive things are moving faster. We could have had medical records 20 years ago so what happened? Human behavior needed to change and that's a slow process.

So in spite of our perception of the speed of technological change we as humans are still limited in our capacity to change. As my grandfather used to say "you spend your whole life learning and then die stupid".

Posted by Richard O | Wednesday, July 14 2010 at 4:41PM ET
Jim, You mean this might not be lucrative??

I think your prediction that skills will merge, emerge and then be automated (and/or outsourced) creating a subjective and situational environment to navigage our careers applies to many outside of Information Management as well, maybe most.

Will this trend slow down? are there other constraints besides human behavior in this pace of change that would help us manage it better if we were aware of them?

Posted by Ed U | Wednesday, July 14 2010 at 7:22PM ET
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