The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Infolust - the 8th deadly sin

Trendwatch coins the phrase in their latest briefing...infolust. A great way to describe our thirst or perhaps appetite for information. We want to know where we can buy the cheapest or whether we have the best or who is wearing what and where is our favorite celebrity. The more we get, the more we want and the web obliges, pouring technology like fuel on the fire. Blogs, mashing, social networks, RSS feeds, mobile messaging all contribute to keep us connected or at least make us feel connected to the rest of the world. A brave new world...quite unlike the one we were used to a mere decade ago.

Spoke to an interesting young person today. He graduated in biotechnology but works with Internet companies today. Asked why the jump from biotechnology to the Internet, his reply was academic books don't make money. His parents wanted him to get a degree. He offered the opinion that the traditional approach of getting a degree, going to work for a respected company and working your way up to the top is old thinking. The new breed of savy young entrepreneurs want to start companies in their twenties, make their millions three years later and retire at 30. I've learnt never to judge another man's opinion or be skeptical of the most outlandish idea. His argument that the Internet has broken barriers of race, background, culture and age and anyone can potentially make money given a bit of brains, luck and money is hard to argue...since we seen a couple of stellar examples. Sounded like me talking 20 years ago...the scary thing is I still think the same way.

The most interesting dilemma that I was left with to ponder on my own, is how should I influence the future of my own children. Should I take the traditional approach and put them through college and some kind of degree or should I teach them CSS and PHP. Incidently, both of them, not quite in their teens, have blogs, write rudimentary HTML and have dabbled with Photoshop. My son has created and posted his multimedia game video online while I was away last year. I remember asking him where he had downloaded the clip when I first saw it. I later learnt he spent a couple of weeks using a free framegrabber, Windows Moviemaker and stitched together a pretty slick production complete with soundtrack, multiple scenes and credits. None of their skills were a result of their dad being a geek, neither can I ascribe it to some genetic transfer. Simply kids learning new survival skills in the modern age. As parents, we have to be careful to pass on what is relevant from our own upbringing and not impose outdated thinking and prejudices. I wonder how many parents stop to think that way. What's your filter?

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