Friday, May 8, 2009

The family calendar

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) thinks that, in the future, the calendar will become the most important part of family life.
On a typical night, for a typical family, there is much driving to and fro to deliver people and goods to where they need to be. Sometimes it is more complicated than a Fedex route. It would be nice if the family calendar helped us plan the shortest routes to accomplish all goals. The calendar just needs to know what I need and when, then plan which family member with a car is nearest.
My family is already there. Regular readers will recall that Google Calendar organises our lives (I can recommend it highly).
Many people have reacted in horror to this outcome that we use IT to communicate rather than some personal touch. Well, those people do not understand the magnitude of the logistical problem we face. More often than not they have a single person responsible for where the children are. We can't rely on that and so we track them on Google. If we could get some GPS locators on them and tie that back in we will be set. It might seem impersonal but there is nothing less personal than a lost child. Can you imagine the conversation with police?
"So can you tell us where you last saw your child?"

"Well, this morning but her mother apparently dropped her off at a party at 10."

"It is 2 now, who picked her up?"

"It was supposed to be me but it turned out that I was taking another child to Taekwando."

"So the mother stepped in ..."

"Well, she had to take the youngest to another party."

"Have you checked at the 10am party?"

"Well, the invitation went with the child and we have no record at the moment of whose party it was or where it was held."

"Have you thought of putting this on Google? It's free."
I mean, we all want to avoid that.
And, of course, in Parentonomics, there was this whole incident which needed sophisticated planning tools. Good news. We haven't lost anyone, yet.