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I noticed the centralization swings back when I was a physics student, and came up with the idea that it basically goes back and forth with a period of about seven years. In that seven years, they forget why they switched away and all that pain is a distant memory. Different people are part of the group, and maybe some of the new kids have these hot ideas they learned in school, read about on Digg, or whatever. It's time to upgrade everything and maybe try something new. Everything new, however, is old.

People have to give up something no matter which way they go. If they go for central control, then everyone gets the same thing and some people lose the power to configure things just the way they like them. If they control it themselves, then they have to spend time managing it themselves.

The problem comes when they don't realize why they decided one way or the other. After several years of centralization, they start griping that they need someone to manage all this stuff for them (or need software to do it, and so on). They figure that they'll save a lot of time by unloading the wasteful computer work everyone does for themselves. They do that and they are happy for a while. Then, several years later, they start thinking that they could be a lot more efficient if they could customize their computers since that centralization policy tries to make everyone do the same thing. They de-centralize control, and everyone is happy for a few years, until they realize they are doing a lot of their own computer support. They decide to centralize again...

--
brian d foy <brian@stonehenge.com>
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In reply to Re: The more things change... by brian_d_foy
in thread The more things change... by Grey Fox

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