Once upon a time there was an old Sorcerer who had become known throughout the land as the perfect source (pun most definitely intended… as you have probably already guessed) of all things magical. He had a marvelous instrument that could contact people anywhere in the world by simply putting the device up to his ear and punching in powerful incantations on a keypad. He could weave powerful spells that made him the focal point at all seminars, lectures, meetings, roundtables, and tweetups (sorry about that one… well, no not really). His spells would almost always result in the person under his influence extending a hand in friendship, grasping the Sorcerer’s hand, and warmly absorbing his magical influence. If he needed to prolong such encounters he would often lure the unsuspecting individuals into the corner Starbucks and ply them with a magical caffeinated elixir.
One day the King asked the Sorcerer to recruit an army of soldiers to advance the influence of the kingdom. Did I mention that he was an “old” Sorcerer? Of course, and he was also wise. He recognized immediately that he would need help for such a huge undertaking. He also knew that he must pass on his magic to a younger generation so he hired an apprentice to work with him. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice also came with the knowledge of new and different incantations that had the potential to extend the old wizards powers, but the old man was reluctant to hear the advice of his young colleague. The old ways had always proved to be effective.
On an invitation from the King to attend a meeting at the castle, the Sorcerer left instructions with his new apprentice to continue to use the long distance conjuring device to contact possible candidates for the army in his absence. Soon after his departure, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice said to himself, “Self, you know a better way using the new magic you learned at Wizarding School.” So totally disregarding his master’s instructions he began using his new media techniques to summon all kinds of candidates for the army. Before long he was surrounded with hundreds and hundreds of possible soldiers and had no way of sorting them out. Soon there were thousands and thousands of likely candidates and he was swimming up to his neck in unrecognizable, indecipherable, uncontrollable humanity.
The Sorcerer suddenly appeared in the doorway and shouted the most terrible of all spells, “Holy shit! What’s going on in here?” Obviously there was a need for better communication so they went out to Starbucks to discuss how to sort out their problems. The old man asked, “How did you get all of these candidates so quickly?” The intern replied, “I used the internet and social media.” The Sorcerer replied, “That is great, but uncontrolled it can be a little overwhelming” to which the Apprentice said, “Tell me about it!” So the Sorcerer explained that the new methods could possibly work if it did not reduce the candidates to mere data and they agreed that there should probably be a personal approach at dealing with them. The caffeinated elixir had worked again.
The moral of this story is this: The old school ideas are not necessarily obsolete ideas and the new technology is not necessarily better. Evolution and integration between the two concepts can often produce a better way.
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