No More Suits; IT Worker Shortage Will End Soon
Quality programmers are hard to find exactly because our leading programmers keep raising expectations. Ten years ago, even a superstar programmer isn't going to be able to set up a national bookstore because the web infrastructure just isn't available yet. It's somewhat similar to athletic inflation in the Olympics. Today's runners just run faster than runners 50 years ago. We know more about how to train (& have better drugs :-). And computers give even more leverage because reuse of talent (good code) is relatively easy.
So can we keep getting smarter forever without a paradigm shift? We have been through the industrial revolution and now we're in the information revolution. What's next? Or more fundementally, what is intelligence?
I think what people call intelligence has a lot to do with the ability to concentrate. Are chronically distracted people intelligent? I've spoken to people who can't hold a conversation for 10 seconds! In other words, I don't think it's really important what you choose concentrate on, but if you can concentrate you'll probably be considered intelligent. After all, I think that people who concentrate a lot literally perceive more clearly.
Hypothetically, let's say you are a superstar programmer but then you see that the competition is getting too strong. You're no longer going to be able to bring in the big bucks. Let's say that another field opens up. If you can apply your skill in concentration to the new field then you'll be able to pick it up faster than anyone else. So, I don't think fundementally smart people need to worry about making money. They'll always be on top because they can perceive quicker and more clearly where the top is. However, let's imagine life speeds up a lot more and that paradigm shifts that used to take a generation now happen more often; Internet time reduced by another order of magnitude.
Might competition itself be made an object of concentration? Can the behavior of an ultimate competitor be boiled down into a simple description or diagram? If so, what would that mean?
Maybe I'm an idealist, but I think that everyone could have more wealth (be more satisfied) if folks were meticulous about avoiding the destruction of wealth. What really bugs me is when I'm having a good time and someone else barges in and does something stupid. "Gee, you've written such a nice piece of software. How about if I sell it and give you .05%? I want to build a new castle so I'll need my fair share (50%)." What's Gates going to do with all his money?
To sum it up:
- Concentration is like abstract intelligence.
- People should try to learn how to compete more optimally, not just within their chosen field but in general.