Week 5: Prophecy & Pricing

Licklider’s article is as close to a prophecy that I have seen in my lifetime. Many of his points have come through to fruition. First when he speaks about computers communicating. When he mentions Face-to-Face communication through a computer, he makes that prophecy while only knowing that documents, or text can be shared through computers. That was quite a prediction.

Computers as a network for information were a pretty far off idea. It took a large development of the Internet to link computers together even in the most basic sense of the invention, however in dealing with the internet today, things are much more developed.

The cost of the internet, and socially speaking, how we interact, is a very interesting one to me. I think of how many people do not have the ability to use a computer, and the vast majority of the world that I live in currently, who have computers, it is hard for me to imagine not being able to use such a device. Now that I have a Smartphone, it is mind boggling to imagine a world with out it. I cannot imagine what a third world country citizen would do with that piece of technology.

I liked these articles. They made me think more about the actual history of the digital age. What came to mind the most was normally what we think of when we hear the word “Prophecy”. We doubt, we ignore, insult, and then become jealous and envious of what someone else has foreseen. Something that may have been right in front of us the entire time.

One thought on “Week 5: Prophecy & Pricing

  1. sheahan1

    I agree that many parts of Licklider’s article could have been seen as prophetic. The only problem I have with what was said is that much of his beliefs for computer advancement was naive. Though computer’s are a huge aid in allowing for distant communication to be feasible, it tends to be a problem when people decide to use it instead of any form of direct communication. A major point that I feel was missed was reason that early data transmission was unappealing to most people and businesses early on. At a cost of $16/hour, many did not see computers as reasonable. Time sharing was costly, but Licklider showed how for long distance meetings, using computer interfaces along with a conference call allowed for an interactive meeting to occur without the high traveling costs. Also, I saw no mention of Sherry Turkle. Her speech brought attention to a huge problem that computers have caused. With non-confrontational forms of communication through the plethora of electronic devices we have today, direct person-to-person communication is becoming more and more rare. People text instead of ringing the doorbell or have relations with interactive robots. Humans have become dependent on computers rather than each other. I am somewhat confused about the relevance and meaning of your last two paragraphs.

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