Thursday, January 16, 2014

THE EVE OF DISRUPTION

Christmas Eve and New Years Eve have come and gone.  I had a wonderful time in London the next 2 generations down.  Jack my grandson was 5 times older than the last time I saw him, walking around and getting into everything.



Back in Dubai, the local authority has announced a BIM initiative which has caused a bit of a stir.  We have renamed out local Revit User Group to Emirates BIM User Group (EBUG ?) and lots of chit chat going on.  One of our members wrote a short article which the magazine editor chose to title "Agents of Disruption".  Which sparked off a bit of discussion.

Is disruption a good or a bad thing ?  What about innovation, change, technology ?  Events like AU & RTC always include celebrations of the latest cutting edge gadgets, they're always looking to predict the "Next big thing".  I am not against this, just mildly suspicious.  As a species we have hurtled down the road of population increase and habitat modification at an alarming rate.  1000 years ago, more people and more technology seemed to be a desirable goal, not that people thought in those terms.

I'm just going to copy-paste a comment that I posted to "EBUG" this morning.  It conveys my attitude of "mild suspicion."



It's interesting how people latch on to "buzz words". The term "Disruptive Technology" is tossed around with gay abandon. Everyone wants to ride that wave. Shades of David & Goliath. But do we really want a world of continuous disruption, accelerating consumption, constantly changing value systems? 

Those at the forefront of BIM are talking about people being more important than software. Those resisting BIM are saying that we shouldn't abandon hundreds of years of experience. Perhaps they are saying the same thing from a different viewpoint. 

It seems to me that the "push it downstream" attitude is in many ways a relatively recent development. Forty years ago when we drew with pencils, we had to make decisions in a logical order. There was no undo button, no cut and paste solution for rehashing the design at the last minute. 

We should beware of thinking ourselves to be superior just because we are "early adopters". Let's not get drunk on the idea of grabbing "market share" by being the first in the queue. BIM will "succeed" if it becomes an inclusive way of working, accessible to all. Perhaps we should be focusing on continuity rather than disruption.



PS  For those who remember, the title refers to a rather strange song by Barry McGuire which dates from my mid-teens.

2 comments:

  1. Great song!
    But did you know there was a (terrible) movie staring Gregory Hines by the same name?
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101831/
    Wow! Just looked it up on Rotten Tomatoes. It was so bad it's not even listed!

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  2. No I had no idea about the movie. Hadn't thought about the song for years either. Strange how ideas just pop into your mind sometimes.

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