Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why?

Because when I see it there, blinking away, patiently waiting for me to give it something to do, I can't help but realize how much power and potential it has. And how little of that is really being used right now.

Because even though it is crippled by a complete lack of understanding, there are still moments where it has actually made my life easier. Moments were I think "Without this, I would be suffering, yet now I am not."

Because I realize that it can remember things, better than I can. Calculate things faster than myself. Organize things better than an entire library, and lay over some incredible structure in an instant. It can perform feats of effort greater than whole institutions, and then make those results instantaneously available to the entire world.

Because I know that while it is intrinsically stupid, fragile and will always be that way, underneath it can dynamically manipulate a multitude of symbols in a near infinity of arrangements and present back to us new perspectives, new ways of looking at things. A higher view of what we put in. It can help us distinguish between what we know and what we really understand.

Because so many people proclaim the complexities to be art, and the art to be trivial, and the trivial to be complex. They spend all day buried in the minutia without ever understanding the context. They spend all of their effort hopelessly flailing hard when they needn't put in even a fraction of that effort to get it to work.

Because at our current rate of innovation, it is more likely that something really bad will happen to us, long before we've figured out how to avoid something really bad happening to us.

Because after twenty five years of exposure, and a lot of it agonizing about how to really use these things, I figured that my understanding can't be any worse than what is already out there, and probably because I cared and pondered and thought, that it was likely a whole lot better than most of it. Real practical experience trumps wishful thinking, every time.

Because ultimately, even though I am disappointed by a surrounding slimy, arrogant and foolish industry, I can't help but to realize that these things could do a whole lot more than just make our lives a tiny bit better. They have massive untapped potential, towards which we are doing absolutely nothing but belting out endlessly repeating lists of instructions, while believing that some how bad code and bad management will magically make our lists usable.

Because if it goes unsaid, it goes un-thought about. And if no one is thinking about it, then it won't ever change, and if it doesn't change we'll just keep on writing the same stuff over and over again, year after year. If we don't seek to change our direction, we'll just keep circling around the same tracks forever. And if you pop your head out of the coding mills long enough to see if what we are doing is actually working, you're only going to be disappointed. Really disappointed.

Because somebody has too, and more people should.