Opinion: Modernization of Government

I work for a government entity as a contractor and I have found that my experience with this entity provides a very interesting glimpse into the reality of today’s government. The unfortunate reality is that our government is very much seated in the past. A reactive blob of people and money that moves slowly toward an ever moving target.

Organizations that profit, those that win are proactive, forward thinking, and ripe with change. Their actions determine their own futures. Infrastructure is built and designed according to their own agenda, rather than being fastened by another’s platform.

The new administration wants to, at least from what I have seen, enact widespread change and an overall shrinking of the unnecessary machine that cranks on and on. For this agenda, I wish them luck. And if this were their saving grace for other stances, then so be it that they move toward those goals. However, I believe this issue of government modernization to be at the forefront of our new reality.

We must adapt, accept change, and be unpredictable. Systems are only as strong as their weakest link. And, unfortunately the government has many weak and costly links unseen to the powers at be.

Where I see this link is in the modernization of infrastructure pertaining to the information technology of our most critical defense platforms. These systems and contracts are generally performed as an outsourced contract to a major corporation or group of corporations. And, unfortunately the contract process is what drives this slow to change realm.

Staffing, turnover, and attrition combined with an architecture designed to close the borders of all vulnerability present an inherent risk to the evolution of our tech ecosystems.

The private sectors are moving past this realm and are simply leaving our governments behind. Disruptive changes are not foreseen and many times not reacted upon until the government has begun to adopt an already outdated process or system.

Summing it up, I believe that if there is anything good that could come out of the new administration, it may be the fact that scrutiny-laden eyes now view all existing systems and infrastructures. That the button pushers of yesterday may have to find work elsewhere tomorrow, to make room for the next evolution of technical infrastructure development.

A quote on modern life from Jon Foreman and “The Economy of the Garden”

I recently read a very intriguing article by Jon Foreman, the lead singer of a popular band called Switchfoot. Not only has he made a name for himself on the stage, he’s also made a name for himself among the modern philosophy community. The best quote, in my opinion, from all of his writings comes from a Huffington Post article titled “The Economy of the Garden” (part one and part two):

“…our unquestioned commoditization of all that we interact with has striking implications for the things that cannot be bought or sold. Greed, envy, sloth, pride and gluttony: these are not vices anymore. No, these are marketing tools. Lust is our way of life. Envy is just a nudge towards another sale. Even in our relationships we consume each other, each of us looking for what we can get out of the other. Our appetites are often satisfied at the expense of those around us.”

Sure does make me question why I went into the field of marketing. I love advertising and I love stuff, who can blame me? Fast cars leave me in awe of their engineering prowess and design character. But why? Is it because I’ve fully bought into the highway just beyond the garden? Is slow growth unattractive to society now? I believe it is and I believe that we’ll continue to ignore what we should really appreciate until we are forced to face the reality of our own destruction, caused by our newly minted, crisp, packaged, and very fake economy.