What is the IT Skeptic for?

Nothing like walking the dog on a rainy night to bring on some introspection. Why do I do this? What is the IT Skeptic's purpose? What do I hope to achieve? Make your own guess, then read on for a list of useful tools for you.

The IT Skeptic sets out to do two things:

1) test ideas.

2) contribute ideas ("SkepTools").

I test all ideas, my own and those of others. I believe that ideas are hardened in the fire, that people's thinking is made stronger by battling into a head wind.

Examine the idea. Kick it around. See how durable it is. There is way too much fuzzy thinking in this century and the final third of the last one, thanks to post-modernism, crap education, media mind-rot, and the most self-absorbed generations in human history.

Well not here. Here we make a stand for evidence, reason, and common sense, on three levels:

  1. New Age ideas pop like bimbo gum-bubbles: it doesn't take much to demolish them.
  2. The crap peddled by the deluded, the over-enthusiastic, and the unscrupulous is pretty easy to demolish too, and fun with it.
  3. Then the stronger ideas need close scrutiny and a good poke as well, to expose their weaknesses, to improve them. Good ideas are not brittle, they are antifragile.

It may not seem like it, but I like to lose an argument. If your reasoning and evidence is better, I respect that. That's how I learn, and that's how readers of this blog learn. We help everyone.

Note: The argument will not get personal on this blog. Personal attacks are unwelcome and I try really hard not to stoop to them myself. If you go ad hominem - if you call me wrong without debating my reasoning, if you call me a liar or worse - then I've been known to bite, but I generally try to just ignore such people.

That's what true skepticism is about. Seek the evidence. Test the reasoning. Apply common sense.


Secondly, I hope to contribute ideas of my own. Not the grand intellectual constructs of ITIL, COBIT, ISM or USMBOK. I don't have the memory, brilliance, drive or attention span to achieve masterworks like those (though I have tried).

No, we're talking more compact offerings. I try to offer strong individual concepts that are each of them a useful tool, that each do one action: to split a problem, shine a light, rotate a view, break down a task. A range of SkepTools.

I throw these ideas out there, for people to subject them to the same treatment that I would. I want them tested, examined, stretched, strengthened, improved.

I used to hope for Big Ideas, but now I understand I produce Compact Ideas, and that's fine by me so long as people find them useful, they deliver value. I want to evolve and package a single idea that you can use as a day-to-day tactical thinking tool.

Some of the SkepTools provided for you include:

One day I'd like to finish
- Direct: a policy framework
- He Tangata: a cultural change framework

I hope these SkepTools ideas make useful additions to your thinking toolbox.

And I hope this blog challenges you to re-examine and justify your own ideas on a regular basis - they'll be stronger for it.

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