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The Father Of Mobile Computing Is Not Impressed
what you’ve got is a gazillion people exploiting all this technology that was invented in the ARPA/PARC community, and most of them are not even curious. You have Tim Berners-Lee, [the inventor of the World Wide Web] who was a physicist, who knew he would be thrown out of physics if he didn’t know what Newton did. He didn’t check to find out that there was a [Douglas] Engelbart [the engineer who had done pioneering work on hypertext and invented the computer mouse].

And so, his conception of the World Wide Web was infinitely tinier and weaker and terrible. His thing was simple enough with other unsophisticated people to wind up becoming a de facto standard, which we’re still suffering from. You know, [HTML is] terrible and most people can’t see it.

FC: It was standardized so long ago.

AK: Well, it’s not really standardized because they’re up to HTML 5, and if you’ve done a good thing, you don’t keep on revving it and adding more epicycles onto a bad idea. We call this reinventing the flat tire. In the old days, you would chastise people for reinventing the wheel. Now we beg, “Oh, please, please reinvent the wheel.”
alankay  timbernerslee  what  takedowns  worldwideweb  web 
yesterday by sampenrose
The Father Of Mobile Computing Is Not Impressed
> AK: Well, it's not really standardized because they're up to HTML 5, and if you've done a good thing, you don't keep on revving it and adding more epicycles onto a bad idea. We call this reinventing the flat tire. In the old days, you would chastise people for reinventing the wheel. Now we beg, "Oh, please, please reinvent the wheel."
alankay  apple  computing  tech  iphone  teaching  alan_kay  education  history 
3 days ago by jefftriplett
If you don't fail at least 90 percent of the time, you're not aiming high enough
Alan Kay:

Most things. (Consider the world of the idealist …)

A big turning point in my late 20s was to gradually move to evaluating on “quality of effort” rather than “quality of results” (still wanting the latter to be high, but eventually recognizing the real conflicts). Picasso had a great line for all of us: “A work of art is never finished, it is only abandoned”.

There’s a nice intertwining with the art of science here: science doesn’t get “truth”, but it can get “something good”, something above important thresholds of illumination, something that can save lives, that can lift lives.
AlanKay  idealist 
5 weeks ago by ludx
follow-on book to "The Pattern on the Stone"
When he wrote his book in the late 90s, I was very taken by it, and asked if he would mind if I wrote the “next logical level” for it — he thought that would be great. However, as John Lennon once said “Life is what happens while you are making plans”, and the project never materialized.

……

A lot of the complexity in computing of all kinds has come from the admixture of optimizations, many historically needed, and also from poor designs.

……

But for learners today with the computing power available today, a lot can be done with really simple mechanisms that have the same graceful style as Danny’s and can be made and debugged and understood by the reader.
AlanKay  bias  book  dystopian 
6 weeks ago by ludx
Alan Kay's teading list
Etoys is an educational tool for teaching children powerful ideas in compelling ways. Etoys is a media-rich authoring environment and visual programming system.
toread  books  alankay  learning 
8 weeks ago by totocaster
Alan Kay's answer to What made Xerox PARC special? Who else today is like them? - Quora
"Many of the ARPA researchers were quite fluent in both HW and SW (though usually better at one than the other). This made for a pretty homogeneous computing culture and great synergy in most projects.
The above goes against the commonsense idea that “computer people should not try to make their own tools (because of the infinite Turing Tarpit that results)”. The ARPA idea was a second order notion: “if you can make your own tools, HW and SW, then you must!” (..)
The grad schools, especially, generally admitted people who “seemed interesting” and judgements weren’t made until a few years down the road. (..)
One of the most interesting ideas at Parc was: “every invention has to be engineered for 100 users”. So if you do a programming language or a DTP word processor, etc, it has to be documented for and usable by 100 people. If you make a personal computer, you have to be able to make 100 of them. If an Ethernet, it has to connect to 100 devices, etc."
alankay  computer  history  innovation  arpa  xerox  parc  hardware  software  tools  toolbuilding  gradschool  scale  users  interesting 
may 2017 by gohai
How to Invent the Future I - CS183F
Alan Kay on inventing the future. This video is mostly about PARC and the culture around it.
alankay  yc  startupschool  youtube  video  future  invention  innovation  parc  xeroxparc 
may 2017 by drmeme

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