I had a discussion on Twitter this morning about cataloguing, and the consequences of devaluing and unseeing the labour of cataloguers and other metadata experts. Later I thought about how this relates to the mantra of Big Tech via Mark Zuckerberg: Move fast and break things. Whilst some code4lib and other GLAM tech types like to respond with talk about 'moving slow and maintaining things', the former mantra has definitely been embraced by some of the more careless library managers. Well-structured, thoughtful metadata is difficult to create and hard to explain. It's much easier to see why the labour of cataloguers is important when they stop performing it.
That conversation was sparked by Alissa's passion for metadata, but passion isn't always a positive thing. Travis Kalanick has a passion for illegal and immoral business practices - what he calls 'disrupting the taxi industry' is simply sham contracting and straight-up flouting of local laws. Kalanick is the poster-boy for arrogant and ignorant 'disrupters', but there are plenty of other examples. The common thread is that none of them learned the basic principle that one must understand the rules before breaking them.
You can move fast. You can move slow. But just because you're moving doesn't mean what you're doing is progress. When your last metadata expert has retired and you finally just move to automated downloads from a union catalogue, don't be surprised if you've broken a few more thing that you expected.