Progress is great

I’m constantly amazed at how technology keeps improving and things keep getting easier. I’m reminded of this tonight by the RSS feeds of all of the sites I keep track of on the net. It used to be that I would have to go to each one of them to see what was new. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind that I am both an internet geek and an information junkie. I have lots of sites to keep track of. With the latest version of Safari from Apple, I can simply subscribe to the RSS feeds and it will tell me when there has been an update! This has cut 20 or 30 minutes a night from my web time, and that’s a good thing. I am posting this entry from a program called Xjournal. Not only do I not need to log onto Livejournal to post, it will automatically tell me when one of my friends has posted as well! The technology that made new things possible is now being automated and I can spend my time doing something else…
This reminds me of a book I’m reading called “The Earth is Flat” (thanks dad). It is a fairly thorough explanation of the rise and causes of outsourcing. One of the biggest causes is the digitization of data and the automated processing of it. It is trivial to send the data to India these days, so it is in greater and greater quantities. Tax returns, radiology readings, news wire operation, and of course programming are all done overseas now. The upside for them is obvious, they get hired to do work, and they do it well. Our benefit is multi-layered. We of course get less expensive labor, but we also get more time. Accountants that used to be bogged down with the minutia of tax codes can now spend more time with clients in planning and organizational meetings. Yup, technology is a wonderful thing, I highly recommend the book, it’s been very good so far and I am learning lots.


5 replies on “Progress is great”

What about all the people who used to have jobs, that don’t now because someone overseas is doing it for less money?

And, lots of IT work is not being done well in India. Or so I’ve gathered from listening to all my friends in IT bitch about talking to techs in India (and Venezuela) who are useless and unintelligible.

Hmmm, the unemployment rate is around 5%, so yeah, what about all those people that used to have jobs? They have apparently gotten new ones. I’m also willing to bet that whatever job they got still pays better than what you can make in Bangalore or Bombay and that they still enjoy a better standard of living than you can have in those cities. Instead of worrying about Americans loosing jobs in the most dynamic, most successful economy in the world, how about thinking about all those Indians that are now working and contributing to their massively underdeveloped economy? People don’t want to see what an amazing job this is doing in reducing poverty in not only people, but their society at large. The people aren’t just making money, they are contributing net worth to their (and our) economy. This is infinitely better than just handing them money.

As for crappy service, I seem to recall getting lousy help from Microsoft, Covad, Comcast, Nvidea, TI, and Verison, all before the great outsourcing trend started. They were terrible, aggravating, and not helpful even though they were in the good old USA. Language issues are a problem, the people I spoke to could at least understand me and me them, but it still didn’t help. The fact is that customer service does, for the most part, suck no matter where the people are located. Being Indian, Venezuelan, or whatever is a handy “reason” that people throw out there for getting lousy service, but how does that explain your car mechanic or doctor’s bad service? As for the IT end of things, I doubt that anyone we know is dealing with actual IT engineers, the reason that Cisco, TI, HP, and a whole bevy of other technology companies have moved significant parts of their operations over there. Most people’s experiences are with “Help Desk” types, and I’ve covered that… I can assure you these these companies would not have invested billions over there if they were getting shoddy work done… Cheap labor will only get you so far, you need to get results, and they’re getting them over there.


The WORLD is Flat…

I’m reading that book too… or maybe I was. If its agreeable to your Free Market tastes maybe I won’t have the stomach for it. A professor colleague of mine reccomended it to me. The main thing he came away from the book with was a sense that the US was heading for a fall if we don’t upgrade our educational systems fast.


Re: The WORLD is Flat…

I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, only the first two chapters, but I’m sure that there’s a lot to be gotten out of it, not just free market stuff. I always love to hear about poor countries doing well, and India is doing a dramatic turnaround. They have a ways to go, but they are making serious progress. It seems to me that whatever bad effects outsourcing may have on us, it is more than made up for by what it has done for them…


Re: The WORLD is Flat…

Keep reading it! Maybe you’ll get a taste for how I would like to fight poverty! It really works, I’m not so sure why people don’t want to see this…


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