Why fast and powerful computers are especially good if you are getting old

by Larry Emmott on September 26, 2014

in Future Tech,General

mFrom Samizdata: The article gets around to explaining why fast computers are good for old people but it starts with this.

I have recently, finally, got around to reading Virginia Postrel’s The FUTURE AND ITS ENEMIES: The Growing Conflict Over Creativity, Enterprise, and Progress and she clearly identifies the syndrome. The writers of these articles were scared of the future and wanted that future prevented, perhaps by law but mostly just by a sort of universal popular rejection of it, a universal desire to stop the world and to get off it.“Do we really need” (the words “we” and “need” cropped up in these PCW pieces again and again), faster central processors, more RAM, quicker printers, snazzier and bigger and sharper and more colourful screens, greater “user friendlinesss”, …? “Do we really need” this or that new programme that had been reported in the previous month’s issue? What significant and “real” (as opposed to frivolous and game-related) problems could there possibly be that demanded such super-powerful, super-fast, super-memorising and of course, at that time, super-expensive machines for their solution?

…Solutions, once devised to solve one silly little problem, then roam the earth looking for other problems to solve, and they find them, often very big and much more serious problems compared to the original problem.

via Why fast and powerful computers are especially good if you are getting old « Samizdata.

Two truths stated above apply to dentistry and medicine. Dentists who are afraid of the future try to prevent it by popular rejection. “How will that computer make my margins better? It is just a frivolous and expensive toy.”

The status quo will try and prevent the future and loss of authority through legislation.

“A car is not merely a faster horse.” Rarely can we foresee the ultimate benefits of technology but confine our thinking to the familiar. If the technology just does what I do now differently at a higher cost why bother. When in fact the technology will enable amazing future activities I fail to see because, right now, they are not possible.

Why are fast computers good for old people? I forget… Oh yeah it is because they have memory loss issues.

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