Tag Archives: David Avison

Finding Order

I was all of a Twitter this morning about my discovery of not one but 5 specimens of a plant known variously as ‘Lords and Ladies’ or ‘Cuckoos Pint’ in 3 different locations around Llangollen yesterday. I now know that it is a fairly common plant and poisonous, but a day earlier I wouldn’t have known anything about it. Would I have noticed this brightly coloured plant at all, if @BrownhillsBob hadn’t told me about it?

The reason this occurrence struck a chord with me was that it wasn’t my first ‘not really very strange’ coincidence of the day. At university, my systems analysis lecturer was a guy called David Avison. A few years ago when I moved into my first analysis job, my team leader loaned me his copy of a book called ‘Information Systems Development’ by David Avison & Guy Fitzgerald. I skimmed through it but it seemed stuck in the the ancient ways. I wanted to rush forward to Agile development. I put it aside.

Yesterday, having stopped for coffee in Llangollen, I went upstairs to ‘powder my nose’ *. The upstairs of the shop is a second-hand book shop. On the stairs was a bookcase labelled ‘Computers’. Well, you have to have a look, don’t you? There was a near pristine copy of Avison & Fitzgerald, 2003 marked at ¬£10 and there was a half-price sale on. I flicked through and found “5. Modelling Themes”. I had spent my last couple of days work modelling what I called “Programming Paradigms”, a sub-component of a model I’d called “Themes” and my plan for today was to write about modelling. Dear Reader, I bought it.

I am not a Fatalist. I believe we can’t see things until our minds are in a state to accept them. Our total knowledge is not the sum of everything we have experienced but of the order in which we were ready to take on board new information. Learn something too soon¬† and the other end of the connections I think cause creativity may not be in place, ready.

  • I learned at Plas Newydd that the phrase “power your nose” came from the dual-use of powder closets, where fine ladies powdered their hair to provide a private toilet space and an opportunity for ambiguity, as ideas about personal privacy changed.