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Subject: IP: RE: Computers (he has it right)

  • From: David Farber <>
  • To:
  • Date: Thu, 18 Apr 2002 09:32:49 -0500

And imagine if people never bought the early cars because you needed to
tinker -- would we have better cars sooner or simply no cars because
they didn't have enough advantage over horses to be worth the effort? I
would argue that the latter is the appropriate analogy. While I can
point to many examples where we can obviously do better in individual
cases we are still at the hand-cranking stage in computers because we
are trying to make them do new things rather than limiting them to only
those things we already know how to do. For example, if we try to make
the computer be as easy to use as a television it will be no more useful
or interesting than a television.

Alas, too many people choose to use computers because they do more than
what they came before and then are surprised that they provide more
degrees of freedom and then we ask for freedom from choice (to quote an
old IBM slogan).

Much worse, such thinking pervades society in a demand for "freedom from

(Sarcasm doesn't usually carry well in email but those who don't see
sarcasm in the last statements are doomed to "enjoy" such "freedom")

Bob Frankston

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