What to Make of Computers

Some people freak out over computers – and refuse to use them. To the rest of us, this seems extreme – but maybe they see something we do not. They know something strange is going on – and they are absolutely right about that.

Let’s begin with the cost. The cost of a Personal Computer (PC) is basically the cost of their hardware. Computer Software costs a lot to get the first version right – but this is then copied over and over millions of times – bringing its cost down to practically nothing. But that is not all – hardware costs keep going down too – as more and more gets put into the chips that make up our computers. I just bought a laptop for $90 – just to see if it’s real.

Did we get dropped into the Land of Oz? We did get dropped into a strange new world by strange forces which may or may not be friendly?

Let’s back up a notch – only fifty years or so. We were in a world we were comfortable with – the Industrial world. Where we manufactured all kinds of sensible things, such as Steam Engines – and things that weren’t so sensible, such as explosives. But in any case, it was obvious what they were – no funny stuff there.

Now we have Sesame Street.

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