Chasing a rabbit down a hole, we are not in the digital age (or the information age). Seriously…

I have brilliant friends that have gotten to a place where they were stuck. Not just in jobs, but social and personal situations as well. Being stuck isn’t bad. All of us get stuck at various times of our lives. It doesn’t make us bad people. It just means for one period of time we aren’t moving as much.

Humans aren’t sharks. Most (not all) sharks have to move to stay alive. The ultimate killing machine is fairly easily killed. I guess that is to make it fair. Or a cosmic sense of humor. Being stuck isn’t horrible. It can feel bad, but it shouldn’t. Sticky is an interesting problem. In the world of marketing sticky is seen as remarkable. The goal, the ultimate prize. That idea is sticky. I still occasionally hum (plop, plop, fizz, fizz) to myself when my stomach hurts. Or the Coca Cola song from the 70’s, it wasn’t their song (Coke) but “I’d like to give the world a Coke” is now stuck forever in my head.

The information age is here. Stuck between the proverbial rock and the hard place. Many are pushing for the move to the digital age. Some are still struggling to enter the information age and frankly its all nomenclature. There is no age. No epoch of information. No great dawn of the digital tomorrow. It’s a spectrum and we play around the edges with names and labels. Reality is we are in an age, historians 200, 300 years from now won’t call us the information age or the digital age. We have far too much information that remains analog. Far too many sensors that don’t report in a smart automated fashion.

An information age is coming, perhaps to be known as the digital age but we are the initial steps on that path, not the path. You see in the information age, information will follow us like a faithful pet at our beck and call. We will always be with and around information. The compute, screen. storage and brokering will be automatic. We won’t think about it, it will just happen. The dawn of the true information age is just ahead of us.

When the concept of a human aging doesn’t mean you wear glasses it just means the device that presents your world view makes it a little bigger, a little clearer. When the music you choose, knows your moods and plays automatically.  When the world is digital you don’t carry analog devices. Everything is connected and everything is secure. Yes the digital age will include security.

That wi-fi hot spot you know the one in the coffee shop? It isn’t secure. That house you rented on AirBnB, that wi-fi is also compromised.  The digital age will be secure. When you are a live and virtual presence in two, three or four locations at the same time securely, the digital age has arrived.

We at the cusp of the age strive ever to be in the age. To rush headlong into naming ourselves the information or digital age. To quote the great show Big Bang Theory, and the incredible character Howard Walowitz “you don’t pick your nickname, they pick it for you.” We don’t get to pick the name of our age. Besides the fact that we aren’t there yet, we don’t get to pick the name.

Let’s focus on the problem that is going to cause problems very soon. All of those analog humans that are going to leave the work force with all that knowledge. It isn’t the cool new information age technology that we lose connection with. It is how it was built in the first place. If you don’t listen to those who came before, you are never going to move as fast as you could. To put that in more blunt terms “those who don’t read history, are doomed to repeat it.” History is counting the days to retirement.

Seriously. They are counting the days. If this truly were the information age, we would have a system to capture that intelligence. As it isn’t, we are going to lose it if we don’t pay attention.

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Explicit knowledge only works if it is captured.