From the reading list

One of the little gems in the pile of books forming to the left of my bedside table is this one: Putt’s Law and the Successful Technocrat. Originally printed in 1981, it has been re-printed and re-titled (add: How to Win in the Information Age)… but the maxims it contains are truly timeless.

Among them:

Putt’s Law: Every technical hierarchy, in time develops a competence inversion

Putt’s Corollary: Technology is dominated by two types of people: those who understand what they do not manage and those who manage what they do not understand

As the author notes… Putt’s Law and Putt’s Corollary are “axiomatic to organizations that make extensive use of modern technology”

More jewels:

Anything that could go wrong will go wrong faster with computers

When in doubt, form a task force…if doubt persists, establish a committee

And this one, under the heading of “Scholarly Publications:” Where you see the words “technical article” insert the word “blogpost”:

The value of a technical article, when first published, is proportional to the sum of the prestige of its authors, but its ultimate value is proportional to the number of references to it

Watch…with any luck Stephen Downes will pick this up and thus prove Putt’s point…

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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