19.449 the present future of computing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 06:08:25 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 449.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Mon, 28 Nov 2005 06:03:48 +0000
         From: Lynda Williams <lynda_at_okalrel.org>
         Subject: Re: 19.446 the present future of computing

>challenge is to learn how to master this new
>arena -- one in which we are not writing programs
>but adding intelligence to everything around us.
>The limit is our ability to manage complexity. It
>is a world in which resiliency is more important than perfection."

Mmm. Only that we haven't done a very good job, to date, of managing
complexity. In fact, I believe the current decade will be looked back
on with amazement by future generations who will exclaim things like
"people had over 100 different password to manage?" or "and platforms
became obsolete every couple years?"

The psychological limits of human beings is something innovators (and
I have been one of them) seem ill equiped to take into account in
their breathless race to usher in the next "new thing".

I do agree that the mechanics of command languages, archane "how to"
instructions and the like will have to disappear into the wordwork
for real progress to occur. Much as print technology took a leap
forward when various schemes for measuring paper were replaced with
"page 1, page 2, page 3, etc." Too much of the knowledge required to
operate modern computing systems is a meaningless, trivial froth of
arbitrary superficialities that resist the application of deep
knowledge to achieve productivity without an extensive training period.

Lynda Williams, http://www.okalrel.org
"The Courtesan Prince" (SciFi)
Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy
Received on Mon Nov 28 2005 - 01:17:56 EST

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