Most of you are probably reading this on or through the internet. Twenty to thirty years ago, who could have predicted the impact the internet and the many technologies developed at Xerox PARC would have on us today?
Most predictions seem to be advancements of things we have some familiarity or a grasp on already. Why? It is much easier that way. Ask for predictions about the future in transportation and you will get predictions of cars that can drive themselves, have advanced power systems (battery, fuel cells, etc). The point is, they are all basically derivative of what we have today. To really envision something completely different is a much harder task. For transportation, a non-evolutionary future would be something like a transporter (from Star-Trek science fiction) or something equally completely different than what we have today. Maybe virtual realities can advance so much that much of today’s actual physical travel (at least for business perhaps) would be unnecessary?
Predicting the internet, or even the graphical user interface are examples of things so different, it is hard to imagine it, or even see it coming.
This brings me to a man and a well-known quote: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it” – Alan Kay.
Alan, as most of you are aware, is the father of Smalltalk and object-oriented programming. Alan and others at Xerox Parc were responsible for “game changing” new technologies.
Alan will be speaking this month at HPI.
I think that one of the best things about Smalltalk is that it has remained linked to innovation.
Can you imagine any game changing ideas of the future in software? Invent it! Smalltalk is a good place to start.