Mittwoch, 1. Juni 2011

Artist of Farmer?

This morning I read a twitter message by Jeff Smith (aka @hillibillitoad):
OH: "Once we get our system running, we don't touch it." Yeah, that generally works pretty good.
I like Jeffs tweets, blogs and comments as he is a very smart guy and still keeps his mind open for other ideas.
In this particular case I have to contradict, but I was not able to condense it into 140 chars.



Most people in the IT business seems to follow the sentence "never touch a running system" like a commandment. For me this often sounds like the "please don't touch" in an art museum.



This brings me to an interesting question: Do these 'most people' see themselves as artists, and their work as art?


Let me give you another picture:


Imagine a farmer which seeds the crops in spring, did really everything right and then sits down and does not touch his running system. You might guess his harvest?



So what's the big difference here?
Artwork most of the time is first created for a dedicated purpose. As long as the purpose does not change, it's expected to satisfy this purpose.
The purpose of an artwork slowly changes, I'm quite sure most of the time it can be measured in decades or centuries.
Also plants are seeded for a dedicated purpose. But their purpose is the rapid change. To live, to growth, to get harvested after some time. So the farmer has to look after his crops all the time. In the best case, he even can improve and steer the change to his advance.
For me the big difference between an artist ('don't touch') and a farmer ('care and steer') is the timescale of the changes. If you expect your work to be never changed (and in a definition of 'life' things which do not change are just dead) prevent them from any interaction.
I prefer living systems. So I take the duty and care for them.

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