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On Slippery Ice


“There was once a young man who dreamed of reducing the world to pure logic. Because he was a very clever young man, he actually managed to do it. When he had finished his work, he stood back and admired it. It was beautiful! A world purged of imperfection and indeterminacy. Countless acres of gleaming ice stretching to the horizon.  So the clever young man looked around the world he had created and decided to explore it. He took one step forward and fell flat on his back.

You see, he had forgotten about friction!  The ice was smooth and level and stainless, but you couldn’t walk there. So the clever young man sat down and wept bitter tears. But as he grew into a wise old man, he came to understand that roughness and ambiguity aren’t imperfections, they are what make the world turn. He wanted to run and dance. And the words and things scattered upon the ground were all battered and tarnished and ambiguous. The wise old man saw that that was the way things were. Something in him was still homesick for the ice, where everything was radiant and absolute and relentless. Though he had come to like the idea of the rough ground, he couldn’t bring himself to live there. So now he was marooned between earth and ice, at home at neither.” – From the Terry Eagleton script for the movie “Wittgenstein”.


On Slippery Ice

The Truth about ChatGPT and Friends — understand what it really does and what that means

October 23, 2023
On 10 October I gave an (enthusiastically received) explainer talk…
On Slippery Ice

Yes, 2-speed IT is real, but not like you think

September 9, 2021
The idea of 2-speed IT has been doing the round…
On Slippery Ice

Is Your Consultant a Parasite?

June 1, 2021
Good consultants do exist. But so do parasitic ones. This…
On Slippery Ice

The many lies about reducing complexity part 2: Cloud

May 29, 2021
The world has been getting a lot more complex, most…
On Slippery Ice

Gossip, Trust and the Information Revolution

March 6, 2020
Our massive use of IT (the information revolution with its…
On Slippery Ice

IT is us

March 1, 2020
The amount of IT we have brought in the world…
On Slippery Ice

A tipping point in the information revolution

February 12, 2020
Because of the sheer volume of IT in the world,…
On Slippery Ice

Blame the mathematicians!

January 30, 2020
During the Christmas vacation I was working on the renovation…
On Slippery Ice

To be and not to be — is that the answer?

March 13, 2019
In a previous article that was about useful-to-know Achilles’ heels…
On Slippery Ice

Something is (still) rotten in the kingdom of artificial intelligence

April 4, 2018
Nobody can deny that artificial intelligence (or machine learning, deep…
On Slippery Ice

Panta Rhei — How more ‘agile’ can make you less agile

March 21, 2018
Agile and DevOps are on the rise. Hardly anyone these…
On Slippery Ice

Technical vs. solution vs. enterprise architecture: a matter of scale

June 3, 2017
I generally rather talk about real architecture issues than about…
On Slippery Ice

Agile & Architecture

February 19, 2017
Confronted with the problems of Waterfall approaches, organisations are all…
ArticlesOn Slippery Ice

Vertical Integration versus (horizontal) standardisation

June 5, 2016
A while ago, a company I know got an offer…
On Slippery Ice

Reverse Cloud

June 15, 2015
Many companies are enthusiastically embracing the promise — and yes,…
On Slippery Ice

The (Forgotten) Other Half of SOA

February 1, 2015
Many organisations are now combining a modern web-presence, with individual…
On Slippery Ice

Are You an Enterprise Architect? Really?

October 5, 2014
Are You an Enterprise Architect? Really? Principles and guidelines are…
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