Communications breakdown

I was listening to the podcast the Kunstlercast a few weeks ago. James Howard Kunstler and Duncan Crary “have a ramble ‘n rant episode on the robitification of our communications landscape, that wasteland of overcomplexity and hyperdependence of modern technology.” I so related.

In my job, I use a lot of computer databases. But inevitably, I need to call various government and association contact by phone. Talking with someone, I often find information that an entity possesses, and it is NOT on the website. Ironically, a lot of government agencies initially set up their pages so they could offload staff.

Of course, GETTING to that person is a treacherous thing. I swear that half the people who perform those long-winded introductions never actually tried to then call their own office to see how frustrating it is to use. Worse, I’ll get to the “if you want X, dial 1” part, and, as often as not, I don’t want ANY of those choices; I generally pick something at random. Others give a bunch of names, often without titles; generally, I’ll pick the second one, for no reason except that the first is often the CEO and probably can’t answer my question anyway.

The real problem is that, in the state budget cuts, a lot of institutional memory is being lost; NO ONE, at least that I could find, knows the answer to the question.
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Oh No! Gilligan Is Dead! I Read It On Facebook! True enough: Bob Denver died – SEVEN years ago this week. Whereas Art Modell, who “enraged fans when he moved the Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore,” where they became the Ravens, actually died THIS week.
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Some Led Zeppelin.

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3 thoughts on “Communications breakdown

  1. James Howard Kunstler often has something to say worth listening to. The man does not have any new or brilliant ideas, rather he states the obvious that no one wants to think about in brutal terms. The problem with the man is that he is just plain nasty and enjoys being obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious. Ask anyone who has had any sort of personal dealings with him, or ask plenty of folks who have attended one of his presentations and been hit with his essential nastiness after asking a question. I suspect his happy nastiness is what makes him able to express the uncomfortable obvious with such glee.

  2. It is a problem with databases – the raw information might be there, but not the back story. Many organisations are losing corporate memory through a combination losing experienced staff and too frequent reorganisation.

  3. Hey Dan,

    Jim has a soft, sweet side too. I’ve known him personally for years. Also, his observations on how “hip hop costumes” make grown men look like babies is pretty original. It’s in the book I wrote. You can probably read that section online if use the “Search inside this book” feature at Amazon or Google books.

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