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What Happened To Computing's Future?

Much has happened in computing in the last 5 years (or has it?).

1. Social Networking ad nauseum (do you have more friends now?).
2. Web 2.0, 3.0 et al (and still not up to pre-web interaction standards).
3. You Tube doing for video what cork did for Laundromat bulletin boards (isn't it just a little ironic that market penetration of hi-def TVs peaks exactly at the same time that the most popular video content is shot with $300 camcorders, dropped to 320x240 pixels, and compressed all to hell and back?).
4. The iPhone is a telephone! (aren't you glad you stood in line for 2 days?).
5. City-wide free WiFi (OK, so maybe Google ran out of money).
6. Multi-core CPU's. (nobody really knows if they are faster cause nobody knows how to write software for them... really, I need to know how to write a compiler in order to write an app?).
7. Rumba and Scuba (our robot future looks for all the world like the little toy cars I had as a kid that knew how to back up and start off in a different direction when they hit a wall... did they have advanced digital sensors and multi-core CPUs?).
8. Spam 2.0 (I will wager that spam has a much deeper detrimental effect on global GDP then does terrorism or the flu).
9. Global Climate Catastrophe (no problem here... just 7 times the extinction rate as occurred when the 10 mile wide meteor tore into the Yucatan 65 million years ago and killed off the dinosaurs).
10. The war (anyone know how many more people we need to kill in order to reverse the economic law of supply and demand?).

If ever there was a time when change was more needed I don't know about it. If ever there was a technology more intrinsically capable of enabling change I haven't heard of it.

I have this crazy notion that computing hasn't even come close to starting yet, that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of what computing can and could do. Getting there probably means stepping back far enough from the day to day, from the quarterly demands, to look at computing as an agent of change, as an enabler of complexity handling, as evolution's most potent crucible.

Is there anyone out there who can sober-up long enough from this decade's long tech-binge to get a clear-eyed vantage on the causal topology beneath the hype-and-gadget cacophony that has so deafened this industry to the true music that could be computation's self evolving symphony?

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