What’s Next in Computing?
Chris Dixon
7.5K264

An excellent overview of where we’ve been and “probably” where we will be down this road called future. We have little choice in prognosticating the future, we pretty much have to use the past as template. This works because of the inertia of trends and the predictability of human nature.

Although it is ancient, as I am, a great treatise on the effect of advancing tech is Marshall McLuhan’s “Understanding Media The extensions of man”. It was written over half a century ago but it hasn’t gone stale. There are many online links to the work.

McLuhan wasn’t specifically predicting the future….but check out this section from his intro to Understanding Media.

After three thousand years of explosion, by means of fragmentary and mechanical technologies, the Western world is imploding. During the mechanical ages we had extended our bodies in space. Today, after more than a century of electric technology, we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned. Rapidly, we approach the final phase of the extensions of man — the technological simulation of consciousness, when the creative process of knowing will be collectively and corporately extended to the whole of human society….”

When that book was new it made a strong impression on me. I was and am a tech nerd and McLuhan carried these ideas down from the mountain as though on stone tablets. A revelation. Our guess of what the future holds by extrapolating the past is made more accurate when we better know what technology has done to our senses and minds, at the fundamental level.

Thank you Chris!

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