The Donald and Planning

In the past couple of articles I have been discussing Donald Trump in terms of science fiction and project management. Communications is core to project management and leadership and we find that his ability to communicate is flawed at best (and looking at his communications in the most positive of light).

Planning is another core process of project management. Being President of the United States of America as mentioned in a previous article – is a lot like a project.  In addition, what is necessary for planning is to have a Vision for your company (or country as the case may be).

Consider, for a minute, that the next President of the United States of America could be President for the next 8 years. 8 years in the present given the rate of technological advancement and capabilities that will be incredible to the past 200 years.

8 years takes us to 2024. It is very close to the date given (2025) estimated for the time of the first computers with human level number of computations. In fact, it is also the time frame where there is a high potential that human intelligence will be copied to hardware – my concept of codops (Computerized Doppelgangers).

Automated vehicles which are early in development but already on the roads now in 2016 will have had an additional 8 years of development. The time it takes for technology to go from development to ubiquity is growing ever shorter. Look at the time it took for smart phones to go from design, expensive toys for the rich, to well expensive toys for everyone. In fact, today, my wife bought two iPhone 7s – each carrying 128GB of solid state memory.

Oddly enough, this isn’t really high technology – the Apple iPhone 7 – with the 128GB solid state memory comes in a time where there are 1 Terabyte SD cards. If the Apple iPhone had an SD card slot – you could (with a lot of money) be walking around with a 1 Terabyte phone (well soon, anyway).

It is when you combine technologies in the future that you really have interesting possibilities. Automated transport with human-level number of computations per second. How much is really necessary for a vehicle to drive? We already know that driving doesn’t use all of a person’s mind.

Planning. What do computer capabilities and automated vehicles have to do with the Presidency of the United States of America?

Well, a technologically knowledgeable person in the position of POTUS would already be planning in their mind about these technologies (as well as many others – in particular automation in the workplace).

Planning is important – and as a project manager you understand that it is something that must be done. As PM as well I understand that plans are rarely the way things work out. However; the importance is in having a plan.

The importance is understanding all the ways that things can go wrong. Planning for all the things that can happen. In this case – planning about the potentials of technology. Understanding the pitfalls of technological advances is important and does need to be planned for.

Does anyone believe that Donald would be able to plan for all these potential eventualities – or will he just be reactionary? Even for mainstream politicians it will be difficult to plan for the possibilities in technology. At least; however, with a traditional politician there may be some attempt to protect their electorate.

I know this has been a long article; however, it is important to take a case in point. An example to prove the importance of this election – and why we need an intelligence, planning, knowledgeable person to be POTUS instead of a reactionary who can barely communicate, much less plan.

In 1983 during President Ronald Reagan’s term of office a multinational task force was bombed by trucks driven by people. Hundreds of soldiers died – United States soldiers and other countries.

In our reactionary way – we developed abilities to deal with this kind of attack. curved approaches to military structures. Ejection plates for when the guard posted at the gate decides there is a threat.

Combine this kind of attack with autonomous cars with enough complexity to match a human mind and you have a threat that requires planning in order to neutralize.

What kind of POTUS do you need to deal with problems like this – any many others?

A POTUS that has advisers that are experts in their fields – that has the trust of the President.

i.e. not someone that says, “I know more about ISIS than the military does.”

Knowing more about ISIS than the military does isn’t the job of the President. Knowing more about science and technology and the potential pitfalls of that technology – that isn’t necessarily the role of the President, either. It is helpful to have an understanding of technology. Presidents need advisers that are experts in their fields. That not only can bring the potential problems and pitfalls and make sensible legislative recommendations that the President then trusts enough to move forward and understand that it is the correct way to proceed.

All this works down to understanding how government – at least our present government – works. One person can’t know everything. Many people can be subject matter experts in their domains – and can advise the one person that is the President. This is how our government works. It has been how our government has worked for a very long time. Donald, in his expressions of knowing better than everyone about anything – is showing that he doesn’t understand how government works.

That isn’t very inspiring that if Donald becomes President that he will be able to work with complex problems that require planning to understand, decode, and hopefully solve.

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