THERE is something special about the start to the year 2020; not only because it marks the start of a new decade, but also because of the optical reference to having sound vision. Either way, this new year should force a renewed focus on what we ought to do, and how we do it. Any recall of past mistakes should doubtless allow us to examine what we could do to make meaningful improvements.
On a personal note, I have resolved to improve my work-life balance while keeping an eye on future goals. A valuable lesson learnt from my occasional travels, it is to find the things that we can improve on and try to make a difference. A return trip home typically affords an opportunity to reflect on interesting observations, conversations, and opportunities to make improvements.
Just today, I made the following observations:
1) Excessively cold settings for the air conditioning system at some business places;
2) A pedestrian crossing a major highway to access a bus stop, with no nearby crossing available;
3) Being chided by a shop assistant for not waiting after buzzing the doorbell to pull on the door;
4) Noticing section of a crash barrier still unfixed after several months.
In case you may be wondering what these chosen reflections have to do with computing issues, I would simply ask that you consider whether computers, or any other technology, are deployed to serve their own needs, or to make our lives easier in some way. No action we take should sacrifice our long-term benefit, or cause harm in the short term. Our continued development demands this level of thinking. Ideally, our actions should follow our conscious and determined plans for improvement. Otherwise, we are not being sufficiently mindful to claim being aware of our present, far less our future.
From the earlier observations, you may join the dots and discern the following:
1) An excessively cooled office environment represents a waste of energy. It also risks the patrons catching the common cold while transacting business;
2) The lack of coordinated action in citing a pedestrian crossing and ensuring road safety is a shared responsibility;
3) Simple signage such as “press and wait” could avoid damage caused by fruitless attempts at opening a door;
4) Response mechanisms after an incident say a lot about our level of preparation. Even the choice of materials used may suggest our thought processes.
Over the course of this year, a substantial focus of this column shall be devoted to apparently unconnected items that when taken together, reveal some insights regarding our state of awareness, planning, and resulting action.
Editor’s note: Dr.Lyndell St Ville is an ICT Consultant with a background in environmental and resource science. His expertise includes systems analysis, planning, and capacity building. To share your views, contact the author at: www.datashore.net or via The VOICE.