Tomorrow’s History Lesson
Mandy Chew

Every day in every way, I am grateful for what infotech brings into my life.

Around 1960 I was about the age of the kid in your picture at the top, desperate to learn about computers and how to use them. No education was available to kids. The adults said I would have to go to college and study computers in graduate school. No library books talked about computers. I learned by building logic gates out of discrete transistors, figuring out binary arithmetic and boolean algebra on my own.

We did not have a television in our house. No cell phones, not even answering machines. Texting was by postal mail. Science fiction was my inspiration for the future. I read every book in the library. Today, we all walk around with infotech far beyond the wildest dreams of those early writers.

Information technology is a profound intellectual amplifier. AI is a magnifying mirror, not a dictator. We can learn and grow our intellect thousands of times faster today than only 50 years ago. We need more technology and smarter algorithms that better understand what we are trying to accomplish. Even ads.

I disagree with Harari’s quote:

“Today our knowledge is increasing at breakneck speed, and theoretically we should understand the world better and better. But the very opposite is happening.” Noah Harari

Information is increasing at breakneck speed. Knowledge is the ability to convert information into tangible action in the real world. Those who are learning to convert the firehose of information into useful knowledge do understand the world better all the time. Infotech amplifies their ability to direct their destiny and shape the future.

Could I go a day without my infotech? Of course — because, like your retreat, I go into nature to hike or meditate, or go windsurfing or do serious photography, or, oh yes, writing — all things on which I choose to concentrate uninterrupted.

However, on the hierarchy of things essential for life, air is at the top. No air for a few minutes and you are cooked. Second most important is wifi. You can live for many hours without water and days without food, but life as we know it comes to an end within minutes of not having an internet connection when you really, really need it.

Once again, a very nice article. Thanks Mandy.

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