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Gen. Cartwright's nod to Mrs. Robinson

In the movie "The Graduate" (1967), Ben Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) gets some sage advice from an older man, Mr. McGuire (Walter Brooke). The advice is one word: "Plastics."

Gen. James Cartwright reminded the audience at his FOSE keynote about the scene, and then said: "Today, they'd probably say 'cloud.' It's [presented as] the solution all problems known to man."

Cloud computing, while useful, really is not such a panacea, he said. 

Later in his presentation, Cartwright touched on the wisdom of crowds. "There is no one Einstein in here," he said, referring to the audience. "The crowd is always smarter."

Posted by Michael Hardy on Jul 19, 2011 at 12:11 PM

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Fri, Aug 12, 2011 DoD IT Contractor Omaha, NE

Judging by the sometimes disjointed coordination and cooperation between the various elements of USSTRATCOM's IT effort, I am a bit dismayed by the idea of "cloud computing." This is not restricted to just STRATCOM, it would seem. Army IT and AF IT do not work and play well together either. Let the private sector hash out the security elements first before using it in a military forum. Just saying...

Thu, Jul 21, 2011

The crowds currently manage IT in the DOD, look how well they manage it. ;) Small groups of experts vs. crowd? I will take one small group anyday of the week even if the task is huge.

Wed, Jul 20, 2011

Sorry, general, but that is flat-out wrong. While vox populi must be considered, especially in our form of government, the crowd is never smarter than the geniuses among them. And the geniuses usually learn to keep their mouths shut in public, lest the crowd turn into a mob. The trick is to find a way to get input from the geniuses, and seperate the wheat from the chaff (since a genius speaking out of their field of expertise is little better than a layman), and try to present those ideas to the crowd in a way they will support and work to accomplish.

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