Monday, 30 November 2009
Sadly, those that don't appear to get it seem to include those who really, really need to get it. These include people in government, MPs, ministers, govt departments, consultants and agencies employed by govt departments, RDAs, quangos set up to deliver on IT and Digital Britain targets, journalists, the health service, councils, housing developers, education chiefs, teachers, communities, consumers, planning agencies, public figures...I know you don't want me to go on. However, I will say that all of the above, luckily, also include people who do get it.
But, this last week, when we saw possibly as much, if not more, lunacy coming from government about P2P, filesharing, disconnecting people from the internet (is this ***really*** 21st century Britain pushing this type of logic?) as any nation needs to in a DECADE, I saw the most crass and stupid statement of the lot.
Just for once, and only under severe pressure, I will withhold the name and organisation involved, but let me tell you I am sitting here with a 1s and 0s gun to my head (not good for a pacifist) in order to keep anger and utter frustration at bay. This is an organisation who are (or would love to be) at the very forefront of delivering NGA to the UK and who claim to get it. Do they? Well, read on.
When a teleconferencing solution was suggested for a meeting, to avoid unnecessary travel from all ends of the country and to ensure everyone who needed to could attend and had the choice to either be there in person or by video conferencing - and hell, that's not easy in this country over the network (transport or data) most of us have access to - the person responding to the final meeting date, times, venue etc said,
"I would prefer to have a real meeting with people present."
This reminds me of James May's entry to the Royal Horticultural Show at Chelsea Flower Show (pick any link you like) this year. The RHS judges took exception to the fact that there were no flowers used. NO FLOWERS???!!! Take a good look around, my lovelies. There are hundreds of flowers.
Just as being made of plasticine didn't suddenly stop those beautiful fritallaries (thanks, Joanna Lumley!!) being flowers, neither does being at the other end of a telephone line or webcam suddenly convert you into a non-person or make it an 'unreal meeting'.
To say I am furious at the incapacity of people to realise where this world has already moved on to - we will all talk on Xmas Day undoubtedly over Skype and/or new ThxSanta webcams to family and friends worldwide, gleefully sharing the fact it is free - so zillions of people already endeavour (me included) to conduct our business and lives on a daily basis over this 'ere new-fangled technology. And have been doing in some cases for well over 10 years. (Ok, you got about 4 frames an hour, but it was novel back then!)
Unless those claiming to be at the forefront of delivering NGA and educating the masses (and I include MPs, journos, and you, you and you in that grouping) get it FAST, this country is going to be left...yes, Dad, I promise I won't swear....... BLOOMING (get the reference?!) light years behind.