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The Rise of Opaque Intelligence

For some time now, as my students can tell you, I've been cautioning against over-reliance on technology.  This may sound surprising from a fellow who started his technology career in the time of card-punch machines, analog computers, and what is arguably one of the most significant advances in computing, the iBM System 360.  And who, by the way, is constantly surrounding by and uses technology.

However, I've noted a tendancy for the species to suspend judgement when technology talks.

A recent post in Marginal Revolution, The Rise of Opaque Intelligence, fits with my thinking.  I call your attention to it at the risk of being accused of conformational bias.

Posted on Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Drogan's Ninth Law: Once it's out there, it's out there.

Well, according to a wonderful article, The Cobweb, in the January 26th issue of The New Yorker, "it ain't necessarily so."

Once it's out there, it's out there. 

Posted on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at 11:49AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


I'm scheduled to lead a discussion on networking for Dr. Ferritto's Orientation for Graduate Studies course.  To prepare, I'm writing a note on the matter that draws not from published material, but from my own experiences.  I'll publish that here upon completion.

However, serendipitously, I came across Schumpeter - The Network Effect. (2015, January 17). The Economist, p 66, an interesting (most articles in The Economist are) and useful article that I call to your attention.

Posted on Sunday, January 18, 2015 at 05:57AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Drogan Notes: Communications

It’s hard to know when I began to think about communication in a serious manner.  I peg it at my first job out of college as a systems engineer for IBM.  I’m fairly certain that I didn’t think of it in that manner.  I thought of flowcharts (communicating with people) and coding sheets (communicating with computers), both of which I learned little of in college.

As my career developed I expanded my communication repertoire to formal presentations, one‑on‑one conversations with business associates and customers, writing of proposals, reports, and marketing material.

When I retired from IBM I became associated with Baruch College.  This second career introduced me in a more formal way to communicate, especially through my long association with the Bernard L. Schwarz Communication Institute.

I’m indebted to all those along the path of this journey who encouraged, criticized, taught me, and, perhaps most importantly, encouraged and gave me the freedom to explore communication and its higher embodiment, conversations.  I’ve been from script to spark charts (Tufte), from simple flowcharts to complex causal loop diagrams.  And I keep learning.

I've put together a collection of papers, blog posts, the odd e‑mail, and lecture notes on the subjects of communication and conversation.  These are presented in chronological order.  Some of this material looks incomplete.  Indeed it is.  Learning is never complete.  Minimal editing has been performed on the original material.

The first paper in this anthology is a paper written to help me prepare for an April 28, 2006 conference.  Doubtless I will add to this as time goes on.

It is hoped that this collection might serve as useful reference and example.

If your interested, $12 from www.lulu.com.

Posted on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at 06:20AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Big Shift in Strategy

Your attention is called to:

  1. Hagel, J. (2014, December 15). The Big Shift in Strategy - Part 1.
  2. Hagel, J. (2015, January 6). The Big Shift in Strategy - Part 2.

Hagel has a set of provocative ideas for dealing with the world of rapid, complex, often opaque change.

Posted on Sunday, January 11, 2015 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions

In a rapidly changing business landscape, executives need the ability to quickly spot both new opportunities and hidden risks. Asking the right questions can help you broaden your perspective — and make smarter decisions.

Schoemaker, P. J. H., & Krupp, S. (2015, Winter). The Power of Asking Pivotal Questions. Retrieved January 3, 2015, from http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/the-power-of-asking-pivotal-questions/

Posted on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 10:16AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

You don't know how easy this game is until you enter the broadcasting booth.

Mickey Mantle via John Mauldin, December 31, 2014.

Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 03:25PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment | References1 Reference

Good character never goes out of fashion.

John Mauldin, December 31, 2014

Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at 03:20PM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment


“I asked myself if my talent, which I had always thought so sacred, was so special after all,” she recalled in 1964. “I decided it wasn’t. I realized that this was just my way of making a living. I began to see that I couldn’t deliver my best all the time, nobody can, and that I shouldn’t punish myself for my mistakes.”

Irene Dalis (1925-2014)

Posted on Monday, December 22, 2014 at 11:13AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment

Nouriel Unplugged - Rise of the Machines: Downfall of the Economy?

The following is from an e-mail exchange with a number of interlocutors.

My sense is that Roubini, Brynjolfsson, McAfee, Wladawsky-Berger, and others are talking about a significant restructuring of the economy as a subsequent stage of development following on the agrarian > industrial > services sequence.  This restructuring, as Ken points out, has, as did the other restructurings, significant social impact.
It’s not just the development of income inequality, which we all know about, but there seems to be the development of a capability gap which, while likely always there, has been underscored by the authors mentioned above.  I doubt the area of the two squares is proportional to the data, but I often think in pictures and this is what emerged.  IC means the combination of income and capability.

There is a bridge between the two groups and people move back (see The Vanishing Male Worker: How America Fell Behind) and forth over that bridge.  How they move back and forth is related to the prior topic of discussion between several of you.  Whether people want to move back and forth is a different and equally interesting question.

I am unable to imagine any alternative to the above picture short of revolution.  Under the assumption that revolution is not desirable, then some way must be found to manage the IC structure for maximum mutual benefit (Dave’s “We are each better off when all of us are better off”).  Trickle down?  Socialism?  Single party rule?

Final point.  It’s generally true that the Higher IC consume more resources per capita than Lower IC.  What are the resource limitations that should concern us?

May you live in interesting times.”  Supposed Chinese curse.
Posted on Thursday, December 18, 2014 at 08:20AM by Registered CommenterJames Drogan | CommentsPost a Comment
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