There’s a lot of buzz around teaching people to code, and around using low code platforms, but I think this is sometimes misdirected. It assumes that the problem is a skills gap, that people need more digital skills so they can build great tools and services. I don’t think that’s necessarily right or fair. You can field entire teams of people from your organisation who can already use spreadsheets and emails. Instead of focusing on teaching them new tools, what if we focused on how to use those existing tools more effectively? On how to build processes that are sustainable and consistent?
He has a blog that feels like it has time traveled from an earlier part of the internet-era — full of long, poorly structured missives that contain a flood of ideas and references — like something from those modem powered Bulletin Boards of 20 plus years ago. Now much as it pains me to say so there are a lot of good ideas to be mined in his blogposts. It isn’t easy — his writing drips with arrogance and to be honest he isn’t a great writer (and someone really should introduce him to the idea that less is more!) but there is a lot there that anybody who has been pushing a reform agenda in public service in the last decade would recognise as sensible.
‘This is a solar-powered website, which means it sometimes goes offline’
Taking it a step further, British writer and climate activist George Monbiot sees succumbing to despair as a moral failure. “By throwing up our hands about the calamities that could one day afflict us, we disguise and distance them, converting concrete choices into indecipherable dread,” Monbiot wrote in April. “We might relieve ourselves of moral agency by claiming that it’s already too late to act, but in doing so we condemn others to destitution or death.”
Cichon’s find shows us that when thinking about their overall impact on the planet, it’s not helpful to think in isolation about producing 2 billion iPhones. Instead, we should think about a counterfactual: What would have been produced over the past 12 years in a smartphone-free world? The answer, clearly, is a lot more: a lot more gear, and a lot more media.