Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

For those who balk  §

at the previous entry, remember that in the 1980’s there was a small class of people like me busy telling everyone that they knew that:

– Computers were going to be everywhere

– And they were being taught to communicate with one another

– And this would result in something called “networks”

– And eventually we would live our lives through them

And in the 1980’s, people made fun of the idea, told us that it was gibberish, told us that nobody cared about computers, computers were calculators for a few science geeks, they would always be too expensive, too arcade, and most of all too cold, unfriendly, and useless for normal people to pay any attention to them.

More to the point, they said, computers don’t “communicate,” they don’t “talk” to each other, and even if they did, so what, it would be in “computerese” and these “conversations” wouldn’t have any interest for humans.

Now, of course, computers run most of the economy, science, medicine, and politics with their conversations, and they make a huge number of the decisions—witness the latest “scandal” in which the general public apparently realized for the first time that the Goldman Sachs “employees” responsible for the vast majority of their profits are their autonomous computers and the trades that they make, without any direct human intervention.

All of this by way of saying to the public: you were wrong before, and the world that you could not imagine is here today, and you take it for granted. The same will happen again, and the change this time will be much bigger than the last.

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