Monthly Archives: September 2010

Take a good look at that microwave oatmeal you’ve been eating. It’s loaded with salt, corn syrup, palm oil and coconut oils–the two deadliest oils on earth. But it’s high fiber, you say? Terrific. You can die of a heart attack during a perfect bowel movement. Use oils very sparingly. Even my pals at Pritikin say you can use a little olive oil. That means a little, Chef Boy-ar-Dee.

Technology will change faster than we can teach it. My son studied the popular programming language C++ in his home-school year; that knowledge could be economically useless soon. The accelerating pace of technology means his eventual adult career does not exist yet. Of course it won???t be taught in school. But technological smartness can be. Here is the kind of literacy that we tried to impart:

??? Every new technology will bite back. The more powerful its gifts, the more powerfully it can be abused. Look for its costs.

??? Technologies improve so fast you should postpone getting anything you need until the last second. Get comfortable with the fact that anything you buy is already obsolete.

??? Before you can master a device, program or invention, it will be superseded; you will always be a beginner. Get good at it.

??? Be suspicious of any technology that requires walls. If you can fix it, modify it or hack it yourself, that is a good sign.

??? The proper response to a stupid technology is to make a better one, just as the proper response to a stupid idea is not to outlaw it but to replace it with a better idea.

??? Every technology is biased by its embedded defaults: what does it assume?

??? Nobody has any idea of what a new invention will really be good for. The crucial question is, what happens when everyone has one?

??? The older the technology, the more likely it will continue to be useful.

??? Find the minimum amount of technology that will maximize your options.

Despite decades of IT investment in information technology, the direct correlation between those investments and the financial performance of the business has eluded senior decision-makers,” said Anitesh Barua, distinguished teaching professor and lead researcher, University of Texas at Austin. “This is the first study that quantifies the relationship between incremental improvements in data and key performance metrics of businesses today. Previous studies tell us neither the magnitude of the effect on performance nor what it takes to improve the attributes of data. We are encouraged by our findings and expect the business community to take notice.