Empire’s End

WARNING: Event imminent.

From The Computer Revolution Has Yet to Happen, by Schmuddë:

“Playing an instrument or singing gives the performer just a little more insight into the underpinnings of music. Writing takes the author one step closer to understanding storytelling and communication. But using a tablet gets the user no closer to understanding the essence of computing.

The computer has provided us a low-cost music recording and distribution platform. It has built an entire network of storytelling and communication tools. These developments have been nothing short of revolutionary. But the computer revolution will happen when the medium of computing itself becomes accessible to more than a minority of specialists.

The people that will upend Apple are going to be the ones that re-engage the principles that allowed Apple to upend IBM and DEC in the 1980s. It’s all about user empowerment and novel approaches to creativity and thought. However you feel about the ad blocking issue, Apple’s unilateral policy making on the issue shows how far we have to go.

Computing is a medium still waiting to be unlocked.”


From Team Human, by Douglas Rushkoff:

Early computers could be controlled with simple typed commands. Learning to use a computer was the same thing as learning to program a computer. Yes, it took a couple of hours, but it put the user in a position of authority over the machine. If a program couldn’t do something, a user knew whether this was because the computer was incapable of that function or because the programmer simply didn’t want the user to be able to do it.

In an effort to make computers easier to use, developers came up with elaborate metaphors for desktops and files. Consumers gained a faster onramp to using a computer, but were further distanced from programming. One operating system required users to summon “the wizard” in order to install software; it was surely meant as a friendly help feature, but the choice of a wizard underscored just how mysterious the inner workings of an application directory were supposed to be to a typical user.

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