Our machines are more powerful than ever, but are they better?
I spent 🖥this weekend reviving my 1994 Gateway desktop computer, installing MS-DOS and OS/2 on it. It got me thinking about this article, Raw power alone is not enough. How different is our work from 30 years ago?
The biggest change is the ease at which editing audio and video takes place. Thirty years ago users would be doing most of their work with actual film or tape. That is, unless they had access to machines that cost tens of thousands of dollars. All in all, this is a pretty niche area, most people are not editing audio or video.
What are they doing? They’re scrolling through social media feeds. For work they dealing with word processing and spreadsheets, with the occasional presentation, all things we were doing 30 years ago. With monumental increase in power, are we seeing a monumental increase in productivity? I would say while there is an increase, it’s not anywhere related to the increase in power.
So, what’s next? Virtual reality has been talked about since the 80s, and now with tools like Unreal 5 we can create incredible worlds. Unfortunately, the attempts so far are too rooted in the scarcity of the real world. When objects have no cost in their duplication, it totally changes how you think about things in the virtual world.
I love it when a plan comes together
The internet can be a terrible, horrible place, but then there are times when it can have wonderful results. Reddit’s r/Place is one of those times. Starting on April Fool’s Day (which ironically is my most hated day of the year on the internet), participants were allowed to alter the color of a single pixel on a canvas. They would then have to wait until they were allowed to place another pixel.
You can see the results, and they are pretty good. Creating a picture required the cooperation of redditors on the site all the while hoping someone else wouldn’t ruin your creation. The results speak for themselves. Be sure to click and zoom in.
Science & Technology
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