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Hi John - Great post and timely as I just watched Andrew MacAfee's related TED presentation yesterday. I did walk away, enjoying the analysis, but found the conclusion a bit pollyannish. I think we should all be a bit concerned about letting the systems 'run the show' without human intervention - that can lead to runaway situations which machines chase optimization in a way that is destructive - like automatic trading sell-offs. We shouldn't forget that as good as the algorithms are and will get, they are 'predictive' based on assumptions and can lead to self-fulfilling prophecies that reinforce biases of algorithm designers. There's also the Black-Swans you point out and unknown-unknowns - we can't assume too much. If we can replace journalists with software agents that can write 'perfect' articles, sure we can replace CEOs, CFOs, etc with imperfect records and bloated salaries.... very inefficient! This takes us to a pretty dark place. At it's core this thinking is Anti-Social. If, in our quest for reduce transaction costs to increase access to goods and services for people (a social good), we accept increasingly high-levels of unemployment (reducing buying power and status of people), this is going to disrupt the social compact. Unless we are moving to a Utopian candy mountain, unlikely, I agree that we need to re-think and re-organize the enterprise. We need to shift from hierarchical/reductionist system thinking to networked/collaborative systems. I wrote an article on this in a tech journal last year - It cites your work on the "Shift Index". Best Regards, Dave
Hi Irving, Great post. I think you may enjoy my related article on InfoQ - It outlines the need for Joint Socio-Technical Optimization in the face of Complexity and Change. Best, Dave
Hi Chris, I like your post and the emphasis on emergence from interactions/conversations. You might be interested in my InfoQ article - Social Collaboration + Lean Integration = Agile In short, I think the challenge of our time is real-time interaction processing to support feedback, decision support and adaptation. Best, Dave
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The data management market is definitely growing and will continue to do so, but it's worth noting that the term 'relational' and 'database' are and have been changing as an inevitable part of product maturity and convergence. Hadoop and NoSQL are accelerating this evolution. In the end, it's not what you store, or how you store it that matters to business - it's what you can do with it. Traditional databases are being abstracted below virtualization layers that facilitate synthesis across data of all types. This is good for business.
I agree with your general point regarding the NOSQL/Hadoop 'goldrush'. However, with all due respect, you are heavy-handed in broadly discounting these technologies - it's too early to predict what these powerful tools may or may not inspire. As to SQL, it has both its purpose and its limitations, let's see how the paradigm holds over the next ten years. My guess is that if SQL doesn't evolve to co-opt related capabilities, which will become requirements, it will slowly move to irrelevance.
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May 17, 2011