Monday, November 9, 2009

Eli Whitney-Smith PhD

Eli Whitney-Smith: - Theorist, Archaeologist, Academic, Consultant,  and Unsung Hero of the Eli Whitney namesake
Eli Whitney-Smith was a great American. Her first job was blazing trails (and highways) as the only female interstate bus driver in the NY/NJ/CT region. Later she studied archeology at UMaine-Orono before transferring to San Jose State University and was matriculated into the prestigious Cybernetic Systems Program. There she formulated the I- and M- adaptation theory:
"people in groups use two basic survival strategies:

  1. Hunter/gatherers are Information- or I-adapted. For them, survival depends on information, i.e. knowing where plants and animals are. They perceive a world of plenty, sharing material goods in order tocreate networks of relationships and information.
  2. People since the invention of agriculture are Material goods- or M-adapted. For them, survival depends on possession and manipulation of material goods. They perceive a world of scarcity, using information to gain increasing amounts of material goods."
How cool is that. Eli subsequently pursued two degrees related to her theory. Currently she is a high profile consultant in IT and organizational change.

Read more about her at her homepage