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Friday
Dec012017

the database problem revisited

I am very indebted to my friend Rob Walters, a computer telephony engineer and author, for telling me all about the 'database problem'. Indeed it is one of the founding laws of creating databases: there shalt only be ONE database. You have a calendar in your office and one at home. You update them both, kind of, but sooner or later one slips ahead...and then you get real problems. Neither database becomes absolutely reliable. Things start getting stressful...

Multiple access points for communication are a form of database problem. You have the mobile, you have the home phone, you have twitter, facebook and email- and maybe instagram, linked in and pinterest too. Each one allows communication. Of course you can keep everything on your mobile and keep checking through all of them- kind of like having four calendars on the wall all next to each other- still overkill and still room for missing things.

Many people I know have given up having a home phone and the mobile becomes the main portal for everything. The problem is- it's never off. And there is no hierarchy of communication. Everything from the utterly trivial to earth shattering is 'normal' for it. Noise increases. Stress increases.

Always aiming for one database is an ideal worth striving for. Unattainable perhaps, but all steps in this direction are useful. Communication technology 'uses us' more than we 'use it' when we service multiple databases, wasting our time keeping them all updated.

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