Chapter 2. Technology's Trespass

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers.

Pablo Picasso

Relationships. Communication. Connection. Collaboration. This is how we fill the spaces between us. Communicate comes from the Latin word communicare, meaning "to share." So it follows that as the nature of the way we communicate changes, so too does the nature of our relationships. Over the past decade, the intercession of technology into our interpersonal synapses has radically altered what goes on in the spaces between us, has changed the way we do business, and has given us easy access to information, creating a double-edged sword that cuts both for and against us.


Back in the days of feudal capitalism, running a company like IBM was a far simpler proposition than it is today. Remember the blue suits? IBM used to be famous for its strong corporate culture, so impressed on everyone who worked there that the blue suit became the de facto uniform of the workforce. Everyone knew when Big Blue walked into the room. Their suits stood out as strongly as a coat of arms draped on the backs of a medieval lord's archer brigade. If you worked at IBM, you knew what armor to put on every morning. Enforcing a companywide point of view was easier when the old fortress mentality still held sway. You could communicate policies, values, rules, goals, and perspectives to your workforce through vertical channels. You could post notices, hold meetings, and have retreats for managers, ...

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