The takeaways that stuck with me this week after reflecting on the readings, videos, and slideshow presentation is that change is inevitable and leaders need to stay current to the technological advances in their own workplace. I also believe that these changes or advances wrought by technology should encourage leaders to find ways to leverage technology to strengthen the bonds and connections between our team members rather than relying on technology and/or artificial intelligence (AI) to do just about everything. To paraphrase Weinberger’s (2011) chapter 9 thoughts in Too Big to Know, not only is the internet possibly making us stupider is terms of deep thinking and acquiring knowledge but I also fear that advances in technology and especially AI will make us lazier in terms of maintaining our social bonds. While it was distressing to see little mention about the poor and disadvantaged in the world in this week’s literature since I am curious about who gets left behind during these technological leaps, at least most cultures in the developing world have maintained the importance of ties to family and friends which help to hold a society together. I enjoyed Weinberger’s (2011) five ideas about the networking of knowledge (open up access, provide the hooks for intelligence, link everything, leave no institutional knowledge behind, teach everyone) and the two that appealed to me were increasing access and teaching everyone. I am in agreement with Weinberger (2011) in that we should open up the knowledge portals and institutions that are still reticent about sharing their holdings on the internet. I also like the concepts of teaching everyone since that should also be a focus for leaders in the workplace and this is an area that could use a boost since it troubles me to see some people left behind the technological learning curve through no fault of their own.
Before submitting my post last week about intellectual property and copyright, I did not know that since 1989 in the U.S. that all works are automatically copyrighted, even if the author does not desire copyright protection and it was nice to see this issue covered by Weinberger (2011). Copyright protects the rights given to authors of “original works of authorship,” including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works and this protection is available to both published and unpublished works (U.S. Copyright Office, 2012). The term of protection is the life of the author plus 70 years in the U.S. and the life of the author plus 50 years per the Berne Convention (n.d.). This time limit varies country to country but it can be no less than the Berne Convention provisions for signatory countries (WIPO, n.d.). I agree with Weinberger (2011) that reducing these copyright protection time limits will assist in the sharing of knowledge but the biggest obstacles are business groups in the form of collective management organizations. These groups such as the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America act in the interest and on behalf of the owners of copyrights by providing administrative and legal expertise and managing, collecting, and disbursing royalties. While I am not advocating for authors to give up their copyrights and decline the protections of the collective management organizations, I believe a reduction in the number of years copyright protection is provided to say 25 years after the author’s death would free up a tremendous amount of data and open up access to more researchers and purveyors of knowledge. Ben Hammer
U.S. Copyright Office. (2012). Copyright basics. Retrieved from https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf
World Intellectual Property Organization. (n.d.). Berne convention for the protection of literary and artistic works. Retrieved from http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/berne/
Weinberber, D. (2011). Too big to know: Rethinking knowledge now that the facts aren’t the facts, experts are everywhere, and the smartest person in the room is the room. New York: Basic Books.