A year of work in progress – day 162

Day 162 – 26 September 2014

Today was ‘European Day of Languages’, or ‘Eŭropa Tago de Lingvoj’ as they say in Esperanto, a language I toyed with in my youth in a desperate attempt to become multi-lingual. I suppose it appealed to my idealistic view of a Europe united under a set of common values and glued together with a common language. Of course what makes Europe so interesting to me now that I am older is its diversity of people which is reflected, amongst other things in the languages that they speak.

That’s my dilemma, the desire for people to express their individuality while conforming to broad social norms, liberty within conformity. I guess it is the same for Esperanto, a language of hope spoken by a united people that will ultimately lose its creativity and end up as a utilitarian tool, a machine language for passing information, devoid of nuance.

The wind was strong on the station platform first thing. It was whipping up the leaves which got stuck in the wheels of my flight bag (or mobile office as it is now known). Autumn is well and truly here.

I had set aside most of the day to look at the revised ICT Strategy to cover the three years from next April. In order to hit the relevant cabinet meeting I need to have it all done and dusted by next February and so there is plenty of time. These things have a habit of creeping up on you though. A lot will depend upon the service plans which aren’t due until January anyway. The council is full of these annual rhythms which sometimes clash but in this case they are flowing together quite nicely.

I’ve left the sections more or less as they are from the current version. A lot has happened in the two years of this strategy and this needs to be reflected in the new one. Areas such as the widespread use of smartphones and the consumerisation of digital have raised the public’s expectations enormously and have had a dramatic effect upon the speed of change required.

I also want to be able to describe the strategy in different ways. When Steve and I went to Edinburgh earlier in the year they had made good use of infographics to bring their strategy to life. I would like to do the same and perhaps even create a video that tells the story.

As usual things got in the way and it was a while before I could get started. Most of the changes I wanted to make are going to involve others so there was a bit of cutting, pasting and mailing to do. At least I’ve made a start.

Learning points for today: There is a continuum of sneakiness (or is it a spectrum?); when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth (if there is such a thing) and; always put soft fruit in a bag (but never put an apple in your pocket).

Today’s enjoyment rating 7/10 – a couple of persistent issues to be resolved.

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