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Oracle of the Internet – John Patrick

May 7, 2011

Below is a review (which was included in the May 2011 edition of the Ridgefield Men’s Club Newsletter) of a talk given by John Patrick about the Internet at a Ridgefield Men’s Club meeting.

Ridgefield Men’s Club News
reported by George Hefferon

Our club has been favored over the years by hardworking, talented and well-informed Program Managers who consistently have brought us outstanding speakers. We have had a key representative of the Irish Republic describe, from an inside perspective, the momentous “Good Friday” accords, the forensic archaeologist who just completed a detailed study of Hitler’s demise, the Principle Investigator of NASA’s team of scientists charged with analysis of a comet collision with Jupiter and now the man who’s name is synonymous with ‘Visionary of the Future of the Internet’. He is John Patrick a Ridgefielder and friend of the club. After 38 years at IBM in a range of assignments including VP of Internet Technology, John is currently President of Attitude LLC and a world renowned figure in the field.

John first took us on a tour of his grasp of where the net is now in its potential for further fundamental development. He followed this by a survey of some of its basic characteristics and their likely directions for additional blossoming. In the same inimitable fashion as we have seen him exhibit before , he then captured the key features of this complex maze in a set of 8 simple words and phrases viz. Fast, Always on, Everywhere, Natural, iPad Heaven, Intelligence, Easy and Trusted. As an awed listener I cannot hope to relate all the fascinating aspects of each as he so glibly rolled on in his relaxed but nevertheless clearly focused talk. I would like to touch on some of the highlights that struck me.

Fast, Always on, Every- where, Natural
John Patrick

In thinking about all these other aspects of the net it’s important to keep in mind John’s overview of where we are right now. Against the background of the phenomenal growth and penetration into so many aspects of our lives in such a short time, John categorizes the age of internet applications and its scope as entering adolescence! (What will this all come to when it matures?)

Before getting any further into details though, there was an overarching theme that John wove through the whole presentation and that was the main driver he sees on the future highway of Internet development will be … Healthcare. Many of the examples that he used for instance are related to that application. And he did not hesitate to repeat it quite frequently. The importance he associates with the subject is supported by his mention in passing that he himself is studying on-line of course, medical technology.

The role of the classic PC as the prime entryway to the Internet is rapidly coming to its end. The net is now at your fingertips if you so choose. To us old guys, it’s reminiscent of the way Dick Tracy had his concept of the world of information on his wrist in the cartoonist label of “Wrist Radio”.

At the conclusion of his fascinating presentation, John graciously encouraged questions from the very attentive audience. Questions ranged over a broad spectrum of aspects including privacy issues, marketing strategies, investment opportunities, etc. Only the exigencies of allocated time brought this session to a conclusion marked by a very warm and prolonged round of applause.