Software is Making Us Think in New Ways

And this is widening the gap, in a new way – between the non-thinkers (most of the people) and the thinkers.

Logically, the non-thinkers should be doomed – as a species with no future. But they functioned well in Industrialization – that only needed workers, not thinkers. And they are still powerful in today’s economy, that is still built mainly on Industrial principles – on making money, whatever the social costs.

This was reflected, in Software Development – in the way we developed software. We just wrote a series of instructions to the Computer – do this, do this, and do this. This worked fine until we started to include the user in our instructions – and let him give instructions, and let the Computer talk to him. The Internet made the Personal Computer also talk to Servers, on the Net. Too many instructions were flying around, all over the place – and getting in the way of each other.

The situation was so bad many companies went out of business, before they could fix their software. And only a few were left – Apple, Google, Amazon, with Microsoft barely hanging on.

I can remember this time well – the Nineties in Silicon Valley. Companies, and their Developers, had to start doing things right – but they would rather die than change – and they died all over the place.

I watched this happen from a safe distance – from Costa Rica. And watched as new methods were developed, to deal with these problems. You had to change, or get out of the Software business – where a lot of money was being made.

I see this in Costa Rica now, where the Government is trying to get companies to relocate down here – and provide jobs for their desperate workers. It assumes these companies will be involved in Manufacturing – when this is usually not the case. The Service Economy has taken over – and it wants people who have the skills it needs – managerial skills to help them break into the Latin America market.

It wants people who are proficient in Spanish and English – and have Business skills. These are in very short supply. The Government, if it was smart – would organize courses at the colleges (of which there are many) where students could learn these skills (especially Business skills) – and provide scholarships to help students take these courses.

The payback would be huge, and wouldn’t take long – maybe ten years. But people down here do not have concepts, such as return on investment.

They cannot go from being undeveloped to being developed. It’s too much of a gap for them to cross.


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