Saturday, February 16, 2008

The future foretold... "The Computer as a Communication Device
by J.C.R. Licklider
Robert Taylor

This landmark 1968 essay foresaw many future computer applications and advances in communication technology, such as distributed information resources and online interactive communities that are commonplace today as Internet chat rooms and peer-to-peer applications.

Terrific article from J.C.R. Licklider. At once hopelessly utopian ("unemployment would disappear from the face of the earth") and incredibly insightful ("Will "to be on line" be a privilege or a right? If only a favored segment of the population gets a chance to enjoy the advantage of "intelligence amplification," the network may exaggerate the discontinuity in the spectrum of intellectual opportunity"). Thought-provoking and interesting beyond the normal 'everyone will be flying round in spacerockets' predictions of the future!

Definitely worth a read!

PS And also hooray for Twitter where I picked up the link off someone's 'tweet'. I may hate the lingo which goes along with 'twittering'... but it's already starting to show its worth despite the fact that I thought it was the biggest load of twaddle going when I initially heard of it. My future prediction skills are obviously not up to those of Licklider... whoopsie!

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