Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Technology and stuff
We knew about technology a long time ago. In 1968 HAL, the talking computer in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, was a vision from the future, but somehow we knew even then that technology was rapidly changing the world as we knew it. In the '70s my Dad, an engineer, bought a Texas Instruments calculator and put his slide rule away for good. Around the same time he bought a kit to build an Altair computer. I remember the first computer center that Ray worked in at Idaho State University. The computer was a room full of enormous machines. It has all been an amazing journey from my childhood until now, seeing what used to take days and days of human calculation become instantaneous. And yet, I sometimes think my phone amazes me as much as anything. In my pocket is a world. Information, education, email, entertainment, music, stories, and a camera. And, I nearly forgot—it's a phone.
For all the wonders of technology and how it has changed business and education and science, I think of how Steve Jobs saw that technology and somehow envisioned more human and personal uses for it—art and typography and graphics and animation and music on demand. Just think, a thousand recorded songs in the palm of your hand, a computer in your pocket. Technology in the service of our humanity. Who knew? I guess he did. Thank you, Mr. Jobs.