Skip to main content

The Victory of Quantity Over Quality

Technology and market efficiency are combining forces to give us more and more of worse and worse, and it's hard to tell what the net effect will be on our quality of life.

For us in the technology business, as well as affluent young people around the world, we have more and more gadgets, transactions, news sources and diversions than ever before. We have greater choices on where to get our news, for instance, and can drop traditional media such as the daily newspaper or network TV news show, while getting more information than ever before on our favorite topics.

Real, tangible things are getting cheaper as well. I pay less for a men's suit today in nominal terms, not to mention inflation adjusted terms, than I did twenty years ago. Food is inexpensive, and we know what the result is. In the information economy, there are vast numbers of things from software to information that are at no charge, especially if I'm willing to expose myself to advertising as part of the deal.

The growth of social media is the latest instance of the inexorable victory of quantity over quality. Why do most social networking sites seem like seedy dumps because of the irrelevant messages, obscenities and hate-mongering that are so common? On pseudo-professional sites like Linked In, there seems to be a group of people ready to pounce on any discussion topic with self-serving ads or promotions whether or not they are germane to the thread.

I'm suffering the death of a thousand cuts in the sheer number of emails, tweets, text messages, phone calls, ads, Facebook entries and more. I confess I have even been tempted to look at my smartphone when it shivers on the carseat beside me. I'm worried about how my son will be able to drive safely with so many distractions and so many distracted drivers around him.

Blogs like this one are another example of quantity beating quality. If each blogger had to justify the quality of his output by paying to publish it in a book, magazine or newsletter, few would see the light of day.

Twitter is the ultimate in quantity driving out quality. Its entire paradigm is based on a high volume of low value thoughtlets propogated by hundreds of thousands. How much time should I spend checking the continuous flow of tweets for the really interesting link I would not have noticed?

Business has adapted to technology and moved to a lower denominator, if not the least common denominator. I have business relationships driven by conference calls which last months before meeting in person, and important business decisions are communicated by terse emails.

The English language is another victim. Correct spelling seems as quaint as spats, and even grownups find it acceptable to embrace "c u soon" as an alternative to "sincerely". Job seekers routinely offer their services in emails that include misspellings on their first page or even in the subject line. Presumably these individuals eventually find a taker.

You may take it from my reflections and complaints that I am a real Luddite. To that, I say "fiddlesticks" and "flibbety floo." I may be a grumpy old man, but mark my words -- someday you will look back wistfully on the days when you thought deeper thoughts and consumed less but higher quality. I would write more on this important topic, but I need to sign off now to catch up on some tweets.

Popular posts from this blog

Key Concepts for Microsoft Dynamics 365: Tenant, Instance, App and Solution

To understand Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM), you need to learn some new terms and concepts that may be a bit different from what you know from databases and solutions that are hosted on premises. This post introduces some of the key terms and how these concepts are important for planning your implementation. While Dynamics 365 is available on premises, it is most commonly deployed on the Microsoft cloud.  This blog post discusses only cloud implementations. Microsoft has multiple clouds such as commercial and government community clouds. We start with a Microsoft tenant .  A tenant is the account you create in the Microsoft Online Services environment (such as Office 365) when you sign up for a subscription. A tenant contains uniquely identified domains, users, security groups, and subscriptions.  Your tenant has a domain name of .onmicrosoft.com such as acme.onmicrosoft.com.  User accounts belong to a tenant, and subscriptions are assigned to user accoun

Understanding Dynamics 365 and Office 365 Admin Roles

Managing Dynamics 365 instances If you run Microsoft Dynamics 365 (formerly Dynamics CRM) in the Microsoft cloud, you need to understand how your Dynamics instances relate to Office 365 and choose which of your administrators receives which roles and permissions to manage Dynamics 365. In on premises deployments, your network administrator would create and delete user accounts.  The Dynamics 365 admin would then assign permissions to users in Dynamics 365. This post explains three administrator roles: Office 365 Global Administrator Dynamics 365 System Administrator Dynamics 365 Service Administrator You may think that the Dynamics 365 system administrator would have power to do all the actions needed to manage Dynamics 365, but this is not the case. What's different in Microsoft cloud deployments is that licenses and user accounts are managed in Office 365 by an Office 365 Global Administrator.  This role is analogous to a network administrator for an on premises

Replacing Microsoft InfoPath with Power Apps

Source:  https://powerapps.microsoft.com/en-us/infopath/ Microsoft has offered a number of forms automation products over the years, and the most long running was InfoPath which was released as part of Office 2003.  InfoPath is a powerful and flexible product that stores user data in XML while offering form features such as rules, data validation, scripting, and integration with SharePoint.  The popularity of SharePoint resulted in many organizations standardizing on InfoPath for forms, especially internal forms which are hosted on an intranet such as employee reviews, leave and payment requests, and human resources forms. Microsoft has discontinued InfoPath, with mainstream support ending July 13th, 2021, and extended support ending July 14th, 2026. Microsoft has named Power Apps as the successor to InfoPath .  Power Apps has much in common with InfoPath.  Both products include integration with SharePoint.  Both are geared toward the citizen developer and do not require advan