Oh gee, I think I’ve become a Kurmudgeon. Or maybe a naysayer. Or maybe just a Buttoned-Down Corporate IT Technocrat. Or maybe, and this is most frightening of all, PC – and I don’t mean “politically correct” – but rather the character played by John Hodgman in the “Get a Mac” advertisements.
But I know I’m anti-establishment, because I marched and protested the Vietnam War. I actually participated in a sit-in demonstration. I crossed a police barricade during an anti-war protest in Madison Wisconsin (ok, so it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was drunk, twenty-three years old, on my way to work, and headed to get a cup of coffee to sober up – I still “crossed the line”, ok?). Gee Whiz, I almost burned by draft card (oh my gosh, am I that old, that I still have a draft card?) How could a militant activist plebeian, farm-kid like me become the ultimate embodiment of “The Man“?
Yup, we’ve had a few recently in Seattle.
And they are all younger than me.
Worse yet, their campaign staff – who are now working on their transition teams – are college kids or twenty-and-thirty-something young people who have all these odd and annoying habits.
They use I-Phones. Gee, I can’t even spell I-Phone (correctly). We corporate IT types use proper BlackBerrys or proper mobile phones that fold out when you want to talk. (Although I did give my wife an I-Phone for Christmas – does that count?)
They use Macs. Yes, Apple Macintosh computers – (not the Ronald McDonald type of Mac). We corporate IT types use proper Windows XP computers manufactured by prim and proper corporations like Hewlett Packard with proper advertising campaigns, thank you very much. (My always-suffering wife is a Mac person – does that count?)
They don’t use anti-virus software. Anathema! Heresy! My Chief Information Security Officer is writhing on the floor. There ARE viruses which affect Macs, he says. And how about all those I-Phone (I still can’t spell it right) apps which are written by hackers and can be downloaded? Oh wait, I-Phone hackers aren’t trying to create bot armies, they’re just trying to modify the software in the phone and bend it to their will. Gee, does that make Apple Engineers and Programmers and Executives Buttoned-Down corporate IT types like me?
These kids – they tweet and twitter and blog and facebook (is that a verb?) and post video they take with their danged I-Phones to YouTube and create legends for their innovative use of cell phones to collect last minute ballots on election night.
Where is my defense from all this anarchy? Where is my official City of Seattle Information Security policy when I need it? Where are my guidelines for the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter and Blogs (oh my)? Where is that holy grail of all Chief Information Officers and Buttoned Down corporate IT types – “standards“?
At least I can take comfort and wrap myself in my reduced budget (Macs and I-Phones cost more to buy and manage) and my economic development (gee, Microsoft DOES employ 40,000 people in the Seattle area and it DOES, after all, make software for Macs, too).
They are challenging my policies, these kids. They are challenging my assumptions. They don’t care for my technology standards. They have taught me how to spell iPhone.
They are challenging my very identity as the Chief Technology Officer for the City Government of Seattle.
And I love it.