Sunday, May 17, 2009

Information Blackholes

This is a continuation of my previous post.

Information forms the basis for actions that we take. Doing the right thing counts for a lot -
no matter where you are, what you do. And you are often defined by what you did and what you did not do.

Information is what bureaucratic hierarchies are based on: the higher you are in it, more the information that you have access to. That information is the basis of your power. Remember the professor's pet-students?

There are people who derive power artificially, by sitting on active information. Collaborating with such people can be a trying and exasperating experience.
They can be broadly classified as -

1) Information Sponges
They do this accidentally and unknowingly. To soak it up and hold it is just their nature. If squeezed, they will let it out. :) Sponges also leak unknowingly: spill what they can't hold or when in trouble. This alleviates crises on occasion.

2) Information Black-Holes
They actively suppress information and use it to derive a competitive advantage. To capture it through their gravity and never let it out is their definitive trait. Often, though not always, they lack any other redeeming qualities and hence it is sometimes for survival that they do what they do.

It is difficult to be proactive and perform effectively in the company of information-suckers. You will often be left gasping for air in the information vacuum created.

But the Information-Suckers also take a lot of the load off your back as well; they end up doing more work, being unable to ask for assistance without sharing the information on occasion! In their zealous quests for exclusive information, they unknowingly and sadly install themselves as points of failure...

Make an active effort to share information when possible and avoid Communication Breakdowns. Never be an Information Black-Hole; instead, be an Information Supernova!

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