This is the biggest difference to now for me. Because computers were so new you would be getting your hands dirty with hardware and operating system level stuff.
Now, you hardly leave the browser and really could stay in the browser to do almost anything you want to.
The "bicycle" has evolved into smartphones, and is a better bicycle than ever. Instead of trying to memorize a seven or ten digit number, I always have a device handy to save a phone number (or better yet, IG username). Instead of trying to run numbers in my head and getting confused, there are apps like Soulver that no only help with doing the math, but help ascribe meaning to the numbers.
The Internet fundamentally changes computing, changing the metaphor as well. The bicycle (smartphone) lets us onto bike paths (the Internet), to visit stores (web pages). I can reach out to a dozen people and organize lunch from my phone, before I even get out of bed and go for a real morning bike ride.
And by analogy, what kind of negative impact does the computer bring to the process of mind. If I have to think hard about something, I typically close my eyes, not reach for my laptop. Although the fact that so much knowledge is now at my fingers tips probably trumps anything. Henry Ford wasn't nearly as smart as Leonardo da Vinci, but his access to knowledge enabled him to create vehicles Leonardo could only imagine.
Programming is helpful for finding cases you didn't think of and remembering the details you aren't working on right now (like writing) - but only for programming.
Writing is the bicycle of the mind.
Are you thinking about Ted Chiang's "The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling"?
Maybe I should have said "Language is the bicycle of the mind", but we didn't invent that.
Then we have the browser where news comes at us randomly and we have 100 tabs open but no idea how or where those tabs come from - they are an example of how unorganized our thoughts are when we use the web. There's no curation, no attempt to organize information, because apparently its done already for us in the form of Google and other crawlers.
An OS that ships without tools to make apps for it is not an Operating System but rather an Appliance System.
And, for those who will reply "but my disk space and all the bloat of a compiler onboard methodology" - well that'd be a next step: destroy the bloat.
I work with digitalisation in the public sector of Denmark, one of the most digitised countries in the world. We have thousands of employees and citizens who interact with our systems on a daily basis and when we benchmark them on what they want public sector software to be like they unanimously tell us they want it to be more like the iOS experience.
They simply don’t want technology to get in the way, and they don’t care that the price for this is ownership and freedom. For them the glory days won’t begin until they can get completely away from the operation systems and applications of “old”.
Imagine we had a compiler-on-board philosophy as well as a peer-to-peer-is-the-new-network purpose, and we built a new OS?
I personally think such a thing would be golden.
For purists, even just a web browser and a basic text editor is enough to write programs that can be run locally, and without Internet access. (Additional tooling/libraries still helps immensely though.)
Having (access to) a compiler is not the missing linchpin it once was.
I really liked Sugar OS, and its on-device access to the code running the OS on the device, and how hackable that made the resulting device.
All the other methods encourage bloat.
If this is enough to deter the glory days of computing, then just imagine having to deal with your first syntax error.
About "man-machine partnership" and how computers amplify the human mind, the concept goes back to Douglas Englebart's work at Stanford Research Institute, namely the paper "Augmenting the Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework" (1962).
The influence is so direct and clear that I wish the Medium article had at least mentioned his name.
Arguably, we are using the dregs of the possibilities.
If built from first principles today I'm sure it would looke differentbut for me Node.js wouldnot be it. Scripting it is fine, as a shell to live in, I would find it very messy.
I've been doing more things with bash recently, it has generally been a good experience.
What would it do to my body and my weight if for every meter I used to walk, I would instead take the bike?
> 19/ “Computers are such a part of life that many people believe computers don’t invade their privacy…life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is inevitably linked to a computer.”
> How’s that for east coast optimism?
They were intended to be bicycles of the mind, but perhaps they've become a 'gerbil wheel of the mind' for most consumers instead?