I used to email Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, about my first job, my own PHB and other cartoonish goings on. Scott, if you’re reading this, I didn’t stop writing because I forgot; it’s just that I eventually got a job that didn’t remind me of Dilbert.
But I’m still always reminded of something Scott Adams wrote in The Dilbert Principle. Here’s the quote:
If you could connect your computer to a vast network of information, how would you use this service?
A. Gather valuable scientific information.
B. Improve my education.
C. Demonstrate my complete lack of personality by spending countless hours typing inane and often obscene sentence fragments that can be viewed by people just like me in “real time”.
Always choose C was the rule I remember when we took multiple choice tests. Yes, while we have the best intentions to choose A and B, damn it, C is just… it’s just so easy.
Why does C win? And what if we really want to give A and B a fighting chance? A big part of it is what Marshall McLuhan said. Yes, the medium you choose influences how you communicate and how you think, whether pen and paper, phone, keyboard and screen, email, twitter, or chatroulette. Good book on all this is The Shallows, by Nicholas Carr. And this is all related to what we’re working on at Chatfe.