So you might ask: "if you are intrigued by Geography and GIS why are you working with Smallworld?". Good question... GE seems to have made a decision not to market the Smallworld Core Technology as a GIS but rather to present it as a network management suite of tools. I know that Smallworld can be used for GIS analysis but the product development has not emphasized that at all. (I would be interested to read how you are using the Smallworld tools to understand non-utility geographic issues.)
So because I am still interested in GIS and Geography, Jerome E. Dobson's article "Bring Back Geography!" resonated with me. If you are at all interested in Geography (or wonder what it is) this article is definitely worth reading. (Yes, it is an ESRI site. But if you are interested in Geography and GIS in general, you go to where the information is)
Dobson writes of the role of Geography largely in the United States of America. He writes about how during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, geographers were an important part of preparing for peace after the war. And then he points out that Geography was purged from the major USA Universities after World War II. His call is for geographers to reassert themselves into the public consciousness so that they can make important contributions for the common good.
Because of my daily work with GIS technologies, I always fancied myself a bit of a geographer. Dobson writing about GIS says...
In contrast, advances in GIS alone are likely to cast us as clerks handling data for the ecologists, political scientists, economists, and other current leaders in these topics
I do actually seem myself as a bit of a clerk (or consultant to clerks) that manages data for others. Not that being a clerk is a bad thing... it puts food on my family's table and is something that is also technically challenging and rewarding. But this article has got me thinking about how I can take the next step beyond technology and start learning more about Geography to understand my world better and then also contribute to its common good.