Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Not even realising the goose is golden

Come on UK Gov PLC, get your head out of your bottom on science and technology and lets see some kind of cohesive plan for support and business development in the UK, if you're not sure what to do then come and see me, I'm a lot cheaper and more clued up than all those mealy mouthed arts graduates working for you in Whitehall.

Vince Cable the business secretary has criticised the Government today over a "lack of vision" regarding where the country is going to go after it sorts out the financial mess left by the last Government. He also commented on a lack of support for key technologies. Interestingly I notice today that Raspberry Pi, a UK technology project I've talked about on several occasions now has seen a massive spike in interest and demand this week, at one point they were selling an estimated 700 computers per second. At £20 a pop there is no reason at all why the Government shouldn't be all over this project like an evangelical preacher with crystal meth and a male prostitute, putting cash in, diverting school IT budgets, training people and building software to ensure that it becomes a global phenomenon; I bet they won't. Pretty soon Asus or Samsung will be knocking out sub £20 PC's and that will be the end of that.

I can't heap all the blame for a lack of vision onto the Government though, schools and teachers need to shoulder some of it too. Coincidentally, over the last 3 months, I've been visiting schools and talking to headmasters, one of my stock questions is "what strategy or plan do you have to take advantage of the changes to the ICT curriculum?" - guess what, not a single school I spoke to has a plan (at least not one that the Headmaster knows about anyway!) Most of the time I get a goofy response like "Oh computers, don't know much about how all that stuff works but aren't iPad's wonderful" - PATHETIC!

Don't these plonkers know that there is a revolution going on under their noses and they're not doing anything about it, how long will it be before school kids don't actually need books and education is just another social network experience? How will our children compete in a future technological landscape if they lack the basic skills to innovate in this area, we are a small country with few natural resources and our most valuable assets are the brains of our people, will they program or will they be programmed?


Archdruid Eileen said...

But if the future growth industry is posting up on Facebook pictures of yourself while drunk, we're gonna be the hub of the world's economy again.

Steve Borthwick said...

AE, A culture of not inspiring people to innovate and experiment is the problem, not Facebook. In many ways if Facebook (or Twitter or Google or Salesforce.com) were UK companies or even if we had one single significant global internet scale company then I would have less to complain about. How will we build such companies in the future if our young people are not inspired to do so, do we just rely on the City of London and blind faith? ;)