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Habits of the High-Tech Heart: Living Virtuously in the Information Age Paperback – June 1, 2004
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About the Author
- Publisher : Baker Academic (June 1, 2004)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 256 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0801027810
- ISBN-13 : 978-0801027819
- Item Weight : 14.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.58 x 8.75 inches
- Customer Reviews:
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This book was frustrating because you _could_ see the veracity of a number of issues that Schultze brought up, but, at the same time, they were intermixed with more dubious issues. Furthermore, rather than addressing the issues as he brought them up, the author spent seven chapters painting a gloom-and-doom picture in which you desperately _wanted_ to know how to address these problems, and then, in a rushed final chapter, he provided a general series of solutions (the titular habits) that address the issues only indirectly. ("Each one is suggestive rather than definitive, since I, too, am lost in the digital miasma.") In fact, the book is less about the habits than about the perceived problems that Schultze suggests that the lack of these habits create--and, unfortunately, it feels as though the causality link can be rather tenuous at times during the book.
Much of the book is hit-or-miss. Some valid points well worth considering are brought up, but amidst other points that are weakly or speciously argued and considered. The conclusion itself feels somewhat lacking: although the societal problems may indeed result from individual failings, there is a lack of a sense of how to propagate the solution-habits to a level where they are effectual instead of leaving islands of attempted virtue in a societal sea that is more virtual, as well as a lack of conviction that the habits will address everything that's been raised.
Dr. Schultze offers some sobering thoughts for chief information officers in all industries as well as the CEO's. He has managed to focus on the very heart of what our technical world has done to unravel the cloth of our character. It was uplifting and encouraging for me after 20 years in the industry to realize that others are noticing this trend - a trend that needs reversal. His observations align well with the reasons many software engineers are looking at agile programming practices (e.g. extreme programming, SCRUM etc) which establish their foundations on direct interaction between developers, nurturing the courage to do the right thing and realizing the basic humanity of developers themselves.
In pure economics alone, we are finding the deception of our quest for more computing capacity. While upholding Moore's law to double computing capacity every eighteen months, industry has also realized that the cost of research and development has doubled every 18 months as well. Basic arithmetic tells us there will be a breaking point. Dr. Schultze tells us without explicitly doing the math we can look into our hearts and see another breaking point - a breaking point of common decency and the human spirit.