The Social Side of IT Conversations


Jon Udell's Interviews with Inovators submission for this week is a conversation with Simon St Laurent. St. Laurent isn't someone you'll necessarily meet at the next O'Reilly conference you go to. Jon singles him out as an innovator because of his use of local blogs reflect and enrich the life of a community. Jon says, "Day by day, and year by year, he's showing his fellow citizens that political blogging doesn't have to be bombastic and divisive. It can be a civil dialogue that informs and unites."

On his blog, Jon asks why IT Conversations and our sister channel Social Innovations Conversations are different channels for different audiences. He quotes Dean Kamen from the Globeshakers series on SIC:

Given the enormous rate at which technology is moving forward, almost all the 'Can this be done?' questions have essentially been answered by 'Yes.' The much tougher question right now isn't 'What can we do with technology?' --- it's 'What should we do with technology?' That's a much harder question involving practical issues, moral issues...the haves and the have-nots, in technology, education, and health care, are diverging.

People who can develop new technologies ought to start thinking, more than they have in the last few decades, about where it's appropriate to deploy the energy and passion to develop the next level of technology. There are just so many video games that we need, and just so many luxury leisure-time products that we need.

If societies start to recognize that we really do get what we celebrate, and we start celebrating the right things, we'll see a much more effective use of our available technologies and a much more appropriate and focused set of developments of our future technologies. Instead of focusing on what we can do with technology, we should focus on how to be responsible to each other, to the environment, to the future of this delicate little planet.

I can cross post shows from SIC to IT Conversations and I'll try to do that more often. If you run across SIC shows that you think other IT Conversations listeners might enjoy, contact me.