Once more unto the breach

Put aside your copy of Secrets of SQL and Database Administration for Dummies. If the messages put forward in San Diego at the Informix Solutions Portal 99 user conference are right, names like Locke, Rousseau and Payne will soon be topping the best seller list for well-read DBAs.

A revolution is in the works, according to Jean-Yves Dexmier, the recently-appointed president and CEO of Informix Corp., and Alvin Toffler, keynote speaker and author of Future Shock.

“The Web is not an evolution,” Dexmier said, “it is a revolution, and revolution is about eradicating the old order. Revolution brings chaos.

“When chaos is established the new forces of order will show up. Bringing order to chaos happens two ways: either through dictatorship and monopoly or through freedom and democracy. We have the occasion to set the Internet free.”

Dexmier continued to regale his audience with predictions of gloom and doom and trademarked catch phrases. “The i.Economy is a market without limits. The i.Economy is a matter of life and death. To win in the i.Economy you need to be ruthlessly focused. We at Informix have to be ruthlessly focused.”

After Dexmier prepped the crowd by planting the ideas of revolution in their minds, Toffler informed the attendees of the roles they would have to assume in this emerging and revolutionary i.Economy.

“You are soldiers in the revolution,” Toffler instructed. “What is taking place on the planet today is a new way of life. Today what is taking place is a new form of civilization.”

Toffler explained that as society is evolving and religion, culture, technology, politics and science begin to grow more widely interconnected, the combination of the speed of change and the capacity for mass individualization will change everything from the way we act to the way we think.

“Future Shock is the acceleration of change and that acceleration itself changes the way we think and do business.

“For the first time, we have knowledge as capital – that becomes truly revolutionary…almost all of our economic data and models now need to be questioned for their relevance.

“I believe we are moving away from a monetary system to a system of programmed money – frequent flier points, for example, are paramoney.” Toffler also pointed to trends such as the movement away from working at home to working anytime, anywhere, and the ability of the consumer to dictate manufacturing cycles as indicative of the third wave of change.

Toffler defined the third wave as the natural evolution of society, and stated that it will have an impact equal to the first two waves: the move by prehistoric humans to an agrarian society, and then the coming of mass society with the Industrial Revolution.

“We will see lots of chaos. Look for ups and downs rather than linear evolution,” Toffler advised.