The Disturbance Business

I had a fairly exhaustive discussion about some of the topics I’d posted on here, with one of the guys in the neighborhood recently. He asked why I bother.

It was a pretty simple/easy response for me. I often use these blog posts as a way to organize my thoughts on a subject or issue. Yeah, he said, but why? My answer, well because I’d like to either get things changed or make sure people understood that the status quo isn’t the only way it could be. Yeah, he said, but why?


I’ve seen a couple of things over the last week that both resonated with me, and I think are the reason why. The first was a quote from Alan Turing, used ne in the movie The Imitation Game, it was used a few times. It’s not that I associate what I write has any real significance, it’s also not that I equate myself with the like of great people like Turing. It’s simply that often, the best ideas come from people you least expect.

More directly though, last night I watched Atul Gawandes’ annual BBC Reith Lectures, “Why Do Doctors Fail?” at the JFK Presidential Library and Museum on October 16, 2014. In the introduction, Sue Lawley for the BBC, referred to the John F Kennedy quote

Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought

This seems to me to be a fairly accurate description of a lot of peoples thoughts on a wide range of topics todays pressing topics, local, national and International.

When introducing Gawande, Lawley describes his work as being “as much about attitudes, systems and human behavior as it is about medical research”, Gawande is self described as “being in the disturbance business”. This is pretty representative of my 41-years in Computing/Information Technology, I’ve been in the disturbance business. So, for 2015, I re-confirm to these three things.

  1. Be Thoughtful
  2. Be Imaginative
  3. Challenge the status quo.

Ken Weiss does a good job of breaking down the disturbance business over on the Mermaid’s Tale blog.

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