The Stupidity Effect And The CIO - InformationWeek
Government // Mobile & Wireless
10:30 AM

The Stupidity Effect And The CIO

Is the Internet making us really stupid and really dangerous? And what, if anything, can CIOs do about it?

Alex S. Jones, lecturer on the press and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, recently spoke to Harvard alumni in Seattle, and he pointed out that the invention of the printing press presaged 150 years of war, upheaval, turmoil and anti-scientific sentiment. He then compared the Internet to the printing press and presented the possibility that another century and a half of upheaval is on its way.

Centuries after its introduction, it's easy to overlook the turmoil caused by the printing press when it was first introduced. Rather than use the printing press to increase the spread of, say, scientific papers written in the then lingua franca of Latin, the original mass publishers "used the technology to make people stupider," Jones contends.

The clear implication is that our own "Gutenberg moment" is nigh; that the ability for anyone to publish anything may send society into a protracted decline from which it may take decades or centuries to recover. Based on ample evidence of stupidity in the public sphere fueled by the Web, it's easy to come to the conclusion that the downward spiral has already commenced.

Jones didn't offer any precise forecasts for how that might unfold in practice or prescriptive advice for how to cope, except to recommend that we recognize we're in the midst of an historic shift, that we attempt to preserve our values throughout that shift, and that we talk to one another about what we might do to counteract the negative trends that may arise.

The relevant questions for Enterprise Efficiency readers: Should IT professionals prepare their enterprises for 150 years of turmoil? If so, how?

The answer to the first question is obviously yes. That’s part of your job, to prepare for turmoil. That’s why the practices of disaster recovery, business continuity and information security were invented.

But how do you defend against stupid?

Read the rest of this article on Enterprise Efficiency.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends for 2018
As we enter a new year of technology planning, find out about the hot technologies organizations are using to advance their businesses and where the experts say IT is heading.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll