People like being independent more than they like being tethered. This was true with the original PC, it was true for the original PDAs, and it continues to be true with tablets.
It's traditional IT where the mainframe mentality of central control and execution holds sway -- which brings us to this next point.
Claim No. 6: An IT person promoting user innovation is a hypocrite because a lot of IT departments discourage user innovation
Does this argument even need deconstruction? If it does, it's this simple: You can't tarnish everyone in IT with the same brush just because there are, in fact, backward IT people and organizations in existence.
Claim No. 7: Wake up and smell the coffee -- iPads serve an important purpose, and I'm a backward-facing change resister for saying anything negative about them
This is a fanboy's argument. iPads can and do serve an important purpose, but they would function better without the design flaws and limitations I mentioned, along with a few I didn't.
And to the commenter who argued that the iPad does have a file system (HFS.5), let me rephrase my criticism: The iPad has a file system Apple has hidden away to make sure it's of no advanage to anyone trying to use the device for actual productive work. It's there -- pointless, but there.
The perils of nuance-free, tribal thinking
Along with the previous week's piece on making the most of an iPad pilot project, last week's column was a look at what it takes to create an environment that encourages user innovation and provides tools to support it.
Doing so requires an ability to handle nuances -- to be mentally flexible. That's clearly easier said than done, as the comments last week show. Many might as well have been written in Tarzan-speak: "iPad good. PC bad. You not smart because me not like your answer."
Folks, I didn't call one of your children ugly, nor even your dog. I was comparing the suitability of two devices for a business purpose. This requires a more sophisticated analytical approach than tribalistic good/bad choosing of sides. Tribalism begins with the underlying assumption that we all have to choose sides and, having made the selection, can only say good things about our side and bad things about the other. I don't recommend it. Tribalism has several unfortunate side effects.
First, it's an inoculation that prevents comprehension. If I'm obligated to conclude that my side is always good and the other sides are always bad, there's no way I'll ever understand how things actually work.
Second, it prevents collaboration -- and business success depends on collaboration. When my side is good and the others are bad, why would I ever stoop to compromising with members of the other sides?
Third, and certainly worst, tribalism results in foregone conclusions and predictability, which in turn, makes them boring.
It's hard to imagine a worse outcome.
This story, "iPad vs. PC debate shows the perils of tribal thinking," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Bob Lewis's Advice Line and follow the latest developments in IT careers at InfoWorld.com. For the latest developments in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.