Sep. 5, 2016




I was watching one of the cable talk shows this morning and listened to pundits expound on the evil trolls hacking our systems. Particularly Russia, China, and Wikileaks.

What amazes me is that in this age of technology, when everyone assumes the millennial generation is techno-savvy, that they leave themselves open to this problem. We have become a society of "ignorant intellectuals". We have the technology and understand its capability but fail to learn how to use, and NOT use, that technology.

HOW does a Secretary of State leave exposed emails that may or may not directly compromise national security or if not might leave personal data in danger of being violated? HOW do one after another individuals in responsible positions leave themselves vulnerable to exposure on the internet?

This occurs because we don't truly understand the nature of the beast. We love the ability to instantly communicate, if that's what you call it, but don't want to take the time to analyze our actions.

I once had a Principal ask me why in 12 years she had only seen one or two emails from me. My answer will reveal my thoughts on this problem. I told her that she was right down the hallway from my room so why in heavens name would I compose an email that might miss nuances in my thoughts and cause confusion when I could talk to her directly. In addition emails and other electronic media exist forever and two years from now those viewing them have no knowledge of the context from which they were written.

Now, some of you will say you increase your efficiency and productivity.  I would beg to differ with you. While there are times you might accelerate a decision process (that's the three emails I sent the principal) in most cases it will have a minimal impact on the decision process or the implementation time line. What it does do is exactly why you do it. It will impress the recipients with your attention to the problem. More insidiously, over time, it will delude you into thinking you are productive. I have witnessed those who expressed what a busy day they had when in fact they had accomplished little other than sending and receiving hundreds of emails over a subject that could have been resolved in ten minutes with a simple decision.

The program I was watching was concerned with hackers committing voter fraud. The answer is very simple. DON'T allow internet voting or the transfer of voting data over the internet. It might mean that results will be several hours later but we will know they are secure. The inconvenience of having to fill out a ballot will impress on each of us the importance of our electoral process.  

I would ask each of you to try an experiment. For the next week religiously restrict yourself to five (5) emails or text messages per day. It will force you to be selective. Phone conversations are exempt because they allow you to explain points. At the end of the week look back and ask yourself how much productivity you actually lost.


Another slant from "outside the Box"