Your phone, laptop and i-pad are dead. Can you make it through an entire day?


Just for a day…

The WordPress Daily Post challenge…I usually don’t play but this one is easy – and it’s 0449, I’ve just had a mega-coffee and can’t go back to sleep after an early start to listen in on Dr Sarah Sewall’s presentation at the COIN Center on civilian casualties and their mission effect. It references her recent report ‘Civilian Casualties’ however the link provided for the report either either broken, mistyped or CAC access coz it doesn’t work for me…

I was sufficiently intrigued by her comments that reducing civilian casualties is not a binary ‘me or them’, ‘either/or’ equation and that there are ‘win/win’ approaches that do not prescribe operational effectiveness in reducing civilian casualties. An insight gleaned from some of the text comments made during the presentation is that there has to be a balance between force protection and achieving the mission which I think we all accept but what do you do when your force protection measures themselves jeopardise the mission i.e where those measures undo or erode the force’s credibility or acceptance with ‘the people’…? More to follow on this if I can source a copy Dr Sewall’s report….

Anyway back to the Challenge “...Your phone, laptop, tab, ipad and desktop are dead. Will you make it through a normal working day and evening? What would you miss the most?...” The answer is so simple…quite simply: none of the above…it’d a be a great opportunity to catch up on professional reading, go to the gym, go for  a staff wander and doing some face-to-face networking and maybe even tidy my desk (apparently there is one there somewhere under the accumulated detritus) but I only have a day so maybe not…

I remember a few years back an organisation-wide email asked for feedback on the likely impact if email got switched off for an unspecified period…every other response including much gnashing of teeth and predictions of the collapse of civilisation as we know it…our boss simply asked if the ‘switch-off’ could start that week: “…we’ll just have to fall back on good old-fashioned written correspondence, signal traffic, and maybe even picking up the phone or getting out of the office to actually talk to people…don’t see it as a biggie at all...” As handy and convenient all this e-connectivity may be, we should be letting it endanger personal communication nor should we rely on it to such an extent that we become dysfunctional if we lose it…I wonder if the drop-off in physical letters is one reason that NZ Post is set to close shops…? I don’t practise what I preach here but I firmly believe that there is a ton more value in a physical written letter than the tending-to-casual nature of email….

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