Monday, July 18, 2005

The next not so big thing

I have been reading some of the computer historians, causing me to reflect on my own current thought. Whenever I use the computer too long, I get a pain between my shoulderblades. We got infatuated with PCs running DOS. Then engaged when we made the first DBASE program, or Lisp, or even LOGO graphic on a 64 bit. We got married when the world wide web came along, and began conducting relationships and business over the internet. A revolution!

Now that the divorce has begun, or at least the separation, I would rather spend an hour on the computer, and go outside and trim some trees, or get a glimpse of that baby blue heron. We have always been a part of something that is bigger than the world wide web. I think buddha said that, or could be fairly translated as having said it, but we had to see it on a tv screen to really appreciate it. The internet is a big change, as big as photography, the invention of trains, or even the automobile or tv. Maybe even rivals the printing press or the growth of cities. But like them, it doesn't provide content. Its a better printing press.

The problem with computers is that they have no brain. Whenever I sit down to sputter out a few thoughts, I invariably start a new file. The computer is a filing system with no system. A nervous system with no center. Perhaps google is starting to address the problem, putting search on the desktop, at least making a system database. But its barely a beginning. Its the basic challenge to making the tool more rational. The desktop operating system itself is flawed by a lack of organizational skills. The internet is a collection of these inherently unorganized units. The organization of files is the basic problem we spend so much time and money trying to figure out how to store, retrieve and link together with PLM, ERP - solutions that are huge unwieldy rigid unrelenting expenses. But the basic disorganization exists at the PC level.

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