A few weeks in rural France is just the place to contemplate life and take a step back into a bygone era. An era where there are no phones, no internet and no television. Life can quite easily pass you by and you could go for weeks not speaking to a sole. The fruit on the trees ripen in the orchard, the birds waiting for the perfect moment to swoop and eat the fruit. The roads are mostly empty with the occasional car or logging lorry passing by. Cycling is heaven with the roads to yourself.
This rural area, 214 million years ago, had all life within 300 miles of Rochechouart wiped out when a meteorite, around one of the 15 largest ever to come crashing down on earth. The geological signs of he creator are still present today. This bygone era was also rife with conflict. From the last battle of Richard the 1st - the Lionheart, who laid siege to the Chateau of Chalus-Chabrol, located at the border between Aquitaine and the French kingdom, to the hideouts in the forest of the Maquis du Limousin, who were one of the largest groups of French resistance fighters in the Second World War. The village of Oradour-sur-Glane remains an empty ruin as a memorial for the massacre of its inhabitants.
In this backdrop, technology seems a lifetime away. I can't stress enough the tremendous benefits of taking a technological break for your mental health. You can dream and innovative without the interruption of everyday life.
The age of cloud computing, big data and the algorithm requires a 360-degree perspective. A socio-technical perspective is critical. Reflecting on the changes to the earth, made to this unique landscape from space, you realize that data is in the environment. It is not possible to be an expert in all areas as data is the environment. Data is history, is in the maps, is used in conflict resolution and is used for impact analysis. Data is completely inseparable from life and it drives life, not only business. The choice of tools available help you navigate through data are vast.
The question is can one truly ever master the entirety of life. Data is life, the past, the present and the future. To truly be a master it requires collaboration, communication and control, as data weaves its interconnected complexity throughout life. A holistic view of this diverse scientific area is required to provide a sustainable future. There is no one best practice that can help navigate this web of graph vertices and edges.
To that end I summise that taking a technological break enables the mind to contemplate and blue sky thinking roam free. Happy Summer break.