Alan Kay Speaks at ATLAS Institute

From Viewpoints Intelligent Archive
Revision as of 02:29, 20 November 2021 by Ohshima (talk | contribs)
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
thank you all so much for being on this snowy day my
name is Phil Despres an associate director of
the Atlas Institute although today my primary
purpose is timekeeper so
I'll be the one cutting you off a really interesting talk
to make sure that we get to some of your questions well
should we do negotiating
is an institute for radical creativity and
invention and when I look around the room I see
some of the faces including John plant the previous
director of Atlas and really this whole front
section people who bought into an
interdisciplinary teaching and research and so thank you all so much
for being here and I'm really
grateful to be part of this community of polymaths
and I think we'll be hearing that word a lot
in this talk and I'm going to turn things over to our
favorite polymath or director micros
I guess
I'm not gonna bother to read your
Alan's bio because it's really long and you can
look it up yourself probably have but
now that Wikipedia page starts out Alan
Kay is an American computer scientist and
a lot of people read that and decided not to publish this talk
but there's much much more he's much much more
that so that's a small part of the story today's
theme is polymaths and the poster
child for that of course is Leonardo da Vinci he was a painter
for sure but also an anatomist a military engineer and
the aeronautical engineer chemist and
in those days you mixed your own pigments okay
he was kind of an important part of art we're hitting
mark to go back into the most recent century
it was a film actress also an inventor and
engineer and worked with frequency
skipping signal processing and and
by the way your collaborator on that military work
was a music composer so that's
the thing of polymaths I like to think about technology
visionaries and virtuosos
as people who have the vision and also
the technical chops to realize it so the
go hand-in-hand it's really hard to have a strong vision if you don't understand
in a deep way what you can't do and it's
interesting to be able to just do stuff
technically without having a vision for now technology
isn't just that computer break you
have in your pocket of your Android phone or your iPhone it's
much much more coding in Python but I think now it's
doing to elaborate on that so I want my idea
for Atlas I've been doing this now almost six years
it is basically to attract a sustained
polymath technical polymath technology
visionaries and virtuosos so of course places
come to mind like Bell Labs or the
Bauhaus or Xerox PARC
you should be hearing something about you
expect that kind of thing out of MIT or
Stanford or Berkeley I expected up see
you both and alakay who
graduated from here in molecular biology and mathematics is
the case in point he's living proof that
it can happen here I like to think if Alice exhibited
back when Allen was an undergraduate student here he'd be part of
this community back then pretty sure of that okay
Joe mentioned I'm the current that was it's
a good director and didn't take the job because I love university
administration or manage my
favorite thing to do I took it to give others
the opportunity that others have given me to pursue their
vision so now MK is one of those people at age
23 or 24 I was part of the MIT logo
group and Alan hired us all to become part
of Atari Cambridge research labs to investigate
and explore computing environments for children
so that was back in the 1980s it's
privilege and great pleasure to introduce Alec
a welcome him back to city Boulder and to the Atlas Institute
thank you thank you
well of course the best part
of the way
this visit started out was to be
able to take that ride over the last hill and
there is shangri-la
nestled up against the foothills and I
was so afraid that it was gonna
be so built out but it wasn't built
out who really looked so much
like it looked 55:6
whatever it was and
I looked at the campus
using the satellite feature of Google
and Wow nobody put a building
in the Norlin library quad
there the old campus
was pretty much preserved the way it was
Mary Ripon theater
put in a real amphitheater it used to be
just terrorists grass back when I
was here so it's been it's been great
to visit and
we can blame mark
for this title
he was interested
in this community which
I think everybody has heard of
the exploits of this
community have affected
everybody but they've also been worked on by
many journalists and many
games of telephone so
and I'm not going to tell the history
of this but I thought it'd be interesting to take
the theme of polymaths and take
a look at how it affected
some of the technological inventions especially
the ones that involve human beings and
talk that involves science always try and find a
Sidney Harris cartoon this is my favorite
I'll confess and
but then I realize this reminded me of something
in fact remind me of an
advanced calculus class that my old
friend Dave Volker here and I took which
will never forget will we Dave it may
be the best class I ever had certainly the best math class
and so my translation
of this is here's Dave at the blackboard with Professor
McKelvey and this guy was really a friendly
professor he the way he
taught advanced calculus as he made the students just prove every
theorem so we didn't memorize
proofs we just had a slim book that
had the the theorems in there and he would help
each and every one of us at the board prove
it the way we thought so
we had if you had an idea this
guy was a good enough mathematician he could see if you're
going to be on a track and he would instead of showing us
the standard proof he would help us with the proof that
we are trying to develop as one of the greatest experiences I've ever
had and the cool part of the story is that this
guy was a physicist he
came over to the math department every seventh
year on a sabbatical because his hobby was
math and he just
was really one of the greatest teachers we've ever had
yeah but then I found a
great Sidney
Harris cartoon about and now pause
read this group
of polymaths here at a table
Tennyson's still bidding
Crouch whom the rest paid yes but obviously
that doesn't consider an electrical dipole in
spherical molecule you could see it Gershwin Cole Porter
in the restoration poets it all comes back to
Leviticus and
over here she says
in French very amusing but
Socrates and his
let's see ala ala
gari D or a PN
hmm I used to know
alagar is like
but still already it's
now the case that so it's a you
find it everybody everywhere in classical Greek
IDI means
already or
now hora
is where we get the word our from
so it's time so
but it's already time
where it's now time but I've
kept Yin Yin the hell is
a PN ax so I realized
I just flunked my
polymath merit badge
my all perfect linguistics
professor mrs. kasuba would kill
me right now so I had to look
it up a piena means
sleep and so
this the translation here is but
now it's already
time to sleep I've realized oh yeah this is the end of the apology
and what Socrates
is alluding to is time to take
the hemlock but then I realized Oh
Harris is being very funny here because what
she's saying is she's completely bored stiff
there it's now
time to sleep which now may be now time to take the
hemlock this meeting is so boring
the other thing is it doesn't show them as being really tired
because the big deal about polymath
really doesn't count unless you're enough
above threshold to be accepted by
a professional as a colleague you don't
have to be great but you have to be above
threshold or else it's just around you
know it's just not and
so all the polymaths I know
who are keeping all of this stuff up are
actually kind of exhausted most of the time
and I came
to Colorado and 63 after the air force
and here's
this advanced calculus in a woods that we had I don't
know do you remember what
our advanced calculus book wasn't it I
think it was woods yeah
David but
I was also a biology major and
I had a minor in
anthropology with the consecration and linguistics
which I obviously did not hold up
very well and another minor in English and
I had to work my way through school so I was a
half-time programmer at NCAR
back when I was down on 30th Street not
up in the Mesa programming
supercomputers I actually spent most
of my time in the theater and
I believe I met my friend Dave
in a pit where he
was playing trumpet right behind my ear
and I noticed
he was playing in tune and
bass players usually are too lazy to
warm up so they play sharp and everybody else sounds flat
you've ever wondered why the beginning of things sounds
weird but Dave was playing in tune I knew he had warmed up
so he and I became fast friends and then I think
we found we're both math majors and I had
been a professional jazz musician so played
occasional gigs and had
a lot of fun over in Mackay playing
the organs the classical music
stuff and I also did a fair amount of painting
while I was here so this is kind of my polymath
credentials and
yeah baby too many and
the end of it when I got my degrees and stuff
I was so exhausted I couldn't
stand the idea of going to graduate school neither
of those I didn't want a job that
was the last thing I wanted and so
I was very very depressed and
but then I realized that like
most programmers I really
understand anything about computing I was just
a good programmer and they were just
really two completely different things
and I thought boy if I if I could get into a master's
program for a year I could
avoid graduate school in these
other two things I could avoid getting a real job and
I loved Boulder
and so I
looked in Norlin library for
all the places that had a computer degree in
this is 1966 that were above 4,000
feet in altitude and at
Boulder it had one I would still be here and
but turned out the
University of Utah did have one and it was the only one
and if you ever been to Salt
Lake it's like here except reversed the
Sun comes up over the hills
rather than setting and so forth and
so going there was maybe the luckiest
ever did I knew nothing about what was going on I was
just trying to avoid and to
the polymath thing the interesting thing about all
of these successes is in
what happens thereafter I
use them all every single one
of them and I think
at least to me an important
point is the more things you know the
more possibilities you have for seeing something and seeing
connections so it's really worth
trying to get as many facets
as possible so I showed up
University of Utah
and before I got a desk
I had to learn about sketchpad and I'm
gonna show you a couple of these old things
because to me what was I think
the point of this talk is not what
we did it parks so much but why
we came to do it we came to do it because
of the culture there was already in
existence there that it started in the early 60s
and so
this is on a machine
approximately eight or
nine times the size of this room at least
and it had its own roof
it was the building that it was
in with one guy on it from three o'clock
in the morning to six o'clock in the morning the guy
person who had invented this machine which is a sage
air defense test machine liked
Ivan Sutherland and gave
him time on this incredibly huge
supercomputer and here's what he did
so here's the console
he's gonna reach up with he
has a light pen in his hand the light pen can
see what the what's on the display and he
actually invented this rubber band technique this is the first time
ver done so what you're seeing here is the first real
computer graphics system ever done by this graduate
student Ivan Sutherland now
I just pointed at the edges and said I want everybody to
be mutually perpendicular and the system did
it for him and you notice it's the first he
has knobs that will zoom in real-time
here he's going to make some dotted lines so first
he makes some guidelines points at them and says
become parallel so it just
figured that out for him and did it and
saying what I'm drawing here be collinear with
the lines underneath
by the way to display
can't even draw lines so he had
to program that display itself I can only put up dots so
all of the graphics you see here he had to do in
his one year so he now he made the guidelines
invisible so you see the
hole and the flange zooms it back out
that wants to make a rivet
and the reason
it's called sketchpad is you don't have to be very careful
because the system will come so now he's using the
cross thing as a guide for this arc and
notice what happens here if he points
to all of these guys and says everybody be
mutually perpendicular you can watch it solve the
problem here to make a symmetric
rivet and that's not the only solution
can distort it in a different way and
when he tells it to solve
it'll again do the same
thing it will come up with a symmetric solution
we want something that looks
more like a real rivet I think
you understand that the system did not have
to be told what a rivet was beforehand right you saw him draw it
from scratch so there is a rivet and
it's actually a master drawing of a rivet so now we can
get an instance of that rivet
you can rotate
it and scale it you could see that the
system led to better displays
but he wants to
stick it in the flange there and
I was showing that oh I can get
other rivets these are all drawn from
the master drawing then
he says oops I forgot those cross pieces
doesn't look like a rivet I'll go to the master drawing and
make the cross pieces transparent and
lo and behold when we go there
we see that the rivets of all felt so this is object-oriented programming
for the first time done in real time on
the world's first graphic system pretty cool
so the whole idea of
this demo here now he anything that you make
can be a master and he can get instances
of that and he's drawing on
a virtual drawing surface about a third of a mile on the
side so he can put enormous drawings
on there okay
so in
looking at this stuff I discovered
well Ivan this
guy's a graduate student this was his thesis one
year of work writing in machine code
where he had
to invent everything from scratch
invented modern
interactive computer graphics the first time
everything we do comes from
that the first real use
of objects object-oriented design
masters and instances the
programming of the system you saw was not
programming you're used to because sketchpad
was a problem solver so you told that the results
you wanted and sketchpad figured out how to do it
so most people would like to program this way
sketchpad could solve
these problems and it could solve nonlinear problems here's
a bridge we're
all and it doesn't know about bridges but if you put
hook it together like this
put force on
it and have
a sketchpad show you the stress and strain on
those lines it's showing you
what the steel beams would do because
it's making the Assumption which is true that steel beams are
a bit like Springs and so
this system you could put in an electronic
circuit and would figure out what voltage is
these automatic dynamic simulations
and all of these characters
everything these are all drawn in sketch pads this is one
of the few computer system computer graphic systems in
which every diagram was actually
done on the system and it was the first one what
do you think about that it'd be nice to have
right yeah so this was
Newton desk where
at least Galloway Galileo asked and
that same
week I saw a programming
language that could do a few of these things and
I also learned that the ARPA community was going
to do a network called the ARPANET which we just celebrated
the 50th anniversary of this
was just in the planning stage and I've
been in graduate school for about three days
and my reaction this
is a technical term get
used to it because I'm going to use it a few more times
well I could program a computer there
was nothing about sketchpad that
I was mentally prepared for I
didn't there were no it
was almost the only computer graphics round I'd
never seen any of these things before and it was like wait
a minute did I just fall into some alternate
universe here and so
the combination of
all of those things plus by my my bio major
got me to think about a new way of thinking
about programming computers which
is in terms of virtual computers networked
together like on the ARPANET and see here's
the cool thing a computer
a whole computer can simulate anything that any computer
can do so it's the most powerful thing
ever have for a component you can't have anything more powerful
and what that means is is that if you
allow them to communicate together you can make every
system that can ever be done on a computer and
uniformly made out of
recursive organizations
of these things and the whole data
goes away procedures go away
you're dealing with pure behaviors and pure
relationships so that was the first idea I
had there and then a
month later Doug Engelbart showed
up and showed
us this well
I can say I'd like to go to Paris but
I'd liked Oh to
produce they get big I'd like to say one branch only and
let me look just that low and
I see it oh I can say I'd
like to see one line only I can
see but there's another thing I can do
does root lice that I have here
so here I'm afraid I'll need a different pictures
of you so here's what I do with
a picture drawing capability here's a slight and lamp if I start from
here's the route I seem to have to go to to pick up
all the materials and that's my plan for getting home tonight
but if I want to I can say the library
what am I supposed to pick up there I can just point to
that you know I see overdue books and
sustainment there with that name on it go
back what if I once my supposed to pick up the drugstore hmm
I see everything all right
market can do things
if I want to just say I'd like to interchange the modules
and camp materials bingo
so there's a lot more this is extracted
from the thing called the mother of all demos which happened
in 68 but he was showing most of that and
it involved things we're familiar
with today like hyperlinking but the
first time in an interactive system and many
other parts of it Engelbert is known
generally for being
one of the inventors of the mouse and this
allows me to make a point about these
people from
the past which is generally people
look at the work done in the past as
a not as a cruder
version of what we have in the present like
this is a precursor of what we have in the present and this
is to miss the context that these guys were operating
in it actually makes our present
more important
because we're here then
it might have been and Brett Victor who is kind of
the modern Engelbart had
a great comment when angle
Bart died Brett Victor wrote a great obituary
which is worth while reading and Brett
said well when I read tech writers interviews with Engelbart
I imagine these writers interviewing George Orwell
asking in-depth probing questions about its typewriter
mouse is the equivalent of the type but the it's
not the most important thing that Orwell
did although people do love his typewriter
you can get online and see pictures of it and
then Brett says this
is shopping list interpretation which
is all the things we have today these
are precursors that Engelbart did and this is
completely far from
what the actual case is in
fact almost everything at the angle Bart
did except for the quality of the graphics
which improved over time was
actually a richer past for
a cruder present in almost every case
here's an example of that
so angle Bart himself said hey
why are people's so
excited about the mouse that's just the button on the radio
we invented a whole car and
this is the the car is the thing
understand the mouse is easy to understand
so this is how journalism works
and what did it mean that they had meetings with
this system in front
hem well of course they had video conferencing
but is it was it like the video conferencing we had
I see
it over like that leaves a corner up there and I say
now computer do the automatic switching that
will bring in a camera picture from the camera mounted on his
console such as a camera mounted on - I know
that's great now we're connected
audio you can see my work okay
I'm just gonna freeze it there so
on this system no matter what you did so
this is that the operating system level no matter what
you did any number of people could collaborate not
just by video but
when you got on this thing your cursor
up there and if there were more than two people collaborating
the initial your initials would show up on the cursor so
there could be 15 different cursors you
all had access to the stuff so it
was like an open blackboard so
no system today does that Google Docs
only allows one cursor at a time and
the collaboration that we have today
is restricted to apps like Skype and
there you can't even share the material you can only
look at it no operating system today
not Mac us not Windows
not Linux not iOS
none of them allow
in this day and age of the internet
with high bandwidth allow automatic
conferencing it's obvious
you can do it because there are little isolated
cases of it but in fact the people
who built the system today so little understood
what collaboration actually means
that they could not come close to doing it reasonably
whereas Engelbart showed this more
than 50 years ago now when
it was really hard to do the difference was he knew
what should be done and the
people who who exists in the world when it's easier
to do don't know what should be done
here's the way they thought about this this
is about augmenting human beings
and the natural
way we think about doing it is to give human beings tools
people would have tools we have tools
we can hit things with a hammer make
things happen and in doing that
we got feedback
and a little part of our brain starts turning the
color yellow here the hammer yellow
I mean I think about causing other things
to happen by hammering and we might think
about using a nuclear weapon as a hammer we have done
that in this country we
might think of using AI as a hammer people
are thinking about that real hard so
the idea here is that tools
without anything else going on
usually teach us a very impoverished
thing it's
like when you fool around with a piano you're
not going to get what two centuries of developing
keyboard technique you're going to get you're going to get a chops
chops cut sticks culture if you're lucky
because the piano can't really teach you how to play
it it can just teach you a little
bit and the way they looked at
it is Wow the tools are
now a million times more powerful or more than
what cave people did so when a cave person got pissed
off and hit somebody with a rock other people could
jump on it nowadays if somebody gets pissed off they
assault weapon and you can't jump on them or
they might be ahead of a government and have
something much more powerful than an assault weapon and
the idea is that any tool you have that
has power can be used in
any direction and so
part of their idea was you
must not use this stuff
that's vastly beyond what our
hundred thousand year old brains can deal with without
a lot of Education and training and if
you do that
then you can use modern methods and if you do that you
can use modern ways of representing ideas so
these five things made
up what these people thought of
as a person being augmented now
think about your use of the iPhone and the PC
is there anything
connected with the iPhone and the PC that is like this not
even close it's only the simple-minded
idea that we're going to make you a tool for convenience
there's none of this other stuff
sure Facebook is convenient
but nobody
needs to learn about what a legal drug
is of by over supplying people's desire
for social coherence nobody needs to
learn anything about that be perfectly innocent
so this stuff makes my blood curdle
it is so naive and
what's worse is the
Engelbart people thought about it and wrote it up and
so if any computer person chose to look at one of the
towering figures of our past they
would have this concept at least thought by somebody
else and then the idea is if
you have a group that's collaborating it's
made up of these twin
tuples of augmented people
and the group itself has this kind of framework so
this is the way they were thinking this this idea by the way was
developed in 1962 and then built
out to this great demo
so another
holy here
and then
it exactly the same time
as the mouse was invented
the RAND Corporation invented the first good
tablet and here's what that system looked like
well we may
start to edit the flow diagram so he's scrubbing out the
line there flow arrow then move the connector out
way so that we may draw a box and it's we're dragging
came from recognized he wanted a box and made him
one now it's recognizing his printing the printing in
the box is being used as commentary only in this case
the box is slightly too large modern-day
window controls
then draw flow from
connector to the pot recognizes what he wants
attach a decision element to the
box enjoy flow from it to scan
we then erased the flow arrows
attached to the process post new area and move
the box to the new position [Music]
this allows us to draw a new box
then chop off its core
okay so definitely a holy
so what's cool about this today
if you got a flat flowchart app
would let you draw a flowchart
that's pretty dumb if you think about
it because
you're just making an image you
see how it's been working today the marketing
people will not give you anything that wasn't old and
familiar they're just trying to give you the old
stuff in a way that's a little more
convenient but on the computer
on sketch pad it's not just for making
drawings it's for simulating the things that you're
making grail is not just for making a flowchart it's
for creating processes in fact the entire grail
system was written in itself why not write
it's a flow charting system
all of those things
got me and my friend Ed Cheadle
here to think of building this machine so
this is a very early desktop personal computer
first object-oriented operating
system and programming language this is a
self-portrait of it on its own display so the displays had
gotten a little bit nicer
and then the
next year I learned about Marshall
McLuhan I'll just tell you one important insight
that McLuhan had
and I'll tell it to you in engineering terms
which he wasn't he
had a terrible time explaining his ideas
because he was a literary critic they didn't know either psychology
or engineering but here's
what he pointed out and again I'm translating that
hey guess what a radio
can't receive a message
unless it has a MA model of the
carrier of that message in the radio itself
you need that to tune
to the station but you also need to demodulate
that carry need to take the carrier out in some
way so that the message that's on the carrier
is recovered and what
he said was I think guess what happens when you learn how to read
what's important about
reading is not even what's in
the books what's important about reading is the
changes your brain has to make in
order to become a reader at all and that
change was the change that is most strongly
correlated with what we call civilization today
there has never been something we call a civilization
that didn't have reading and writing
and it's that hidden
property of what happens to
you when you learn something that is submerged
below the fact that you're abusing the thing for content
but while you're using it for content it
is restructuring you
so that is like a holy cow
and also in 68 was one
of the first actual working flatscreen
displays at the University
of Illinois there and
I also ran into Seymour Papert and
Packard's idea
there is something very special about
the computer that makes
what seems to be difficult in abstract
and mathematics that can
make it into a concrete and
manipulable experience even for young children
now as a mathematician
as a computer guy I knew everything that Patrick
was doing except I'd never thought of it in terms of
children he was and
in fact many he was a very
good mathematician many of the things he did allow things
like calculus to be taught in a better way
than you can do in high school to children who are
nine and ten years old am
i this is maybe
the most jaw-dropping experience of the
whole thing and on
the plane back from this visit with pampered I drew
this cartoon and when I got back to Utah
I made this cardboard model
because I believe what Patrick
was doing I realized the flaw
in computing was we're thinking of it as tools for adults
like guns
but in fact Patrick was thinking of it much
more like a book I later
called this thing a Dinah book but
book if it's about literacy if it's about reading
and writing in new ways then
you have to start with children gets harder
and harder Harrod I'm shift to shift in epistemology
and ARPA
was working on both the wired Network
but it was also starting to do wireless and
of course it had to be end user programmable
had a stylus tucked in here
but meanwhile I had
to finish up my thesis so this
o here's your's my reaction
I'd never had ideas like this until
I just happened to walk in at Utah
the context there was so rich so
different that
I just started having ideas in
spite of myself and this is
something we should never lose sight of because it's the best
what it has really have hard having ideas outside
of a context the context provided
by our ARPA and these ideas as
I say there I didn't think they were coming
from me they were just coming
they were just reactions to all these
things that Arthur was doing
well we mentioned Leonardo
so let's suppose you
have twice the IQ Leonardo
but you're born in 20,000 BC
how far you gonna get
was actually in the wrong century for
what he wanted to do and no amount of IQ
could transcend the
century he was in so he did
drawings but he couldn't make things whereas
omebody nowhere near the intellect of Leonardo
Henry Ford did it easily
Ford made millions of self-propelled
machines without
any large effort because
born into the right century a century that was
already doing things like this that already had
technologies that allowed Ford to
add to it his thoughts and
why was he born into the right century it's
because this guy Newton completely
changed the way of looking at the world
you know maybe the largest qualitative
jump in history
to what was in the Middle Ages and
the Renaissance which Leonardo existed
in to the kinds of thinking done
in our modern world and
that happened at a very good time because just about
a hundred years later the Industrial Revolution started
the Industrial Revolution wasn't just about engineering
it was informed by science and
a combination of those things was this extremely
important and powerful
so a point of view is worth 80 IQ
points I I think if this is knowledge is silver
but context is gold and
IQ without the other two is basically
a lead weight it's essentially a
pop culture thing IQ without these things is being
clever and outwitting
other people but it's the accumulation
of these things that makes the big
difference and what I was experiencing
at ARPA was that idea so here's
this could be any
curve that you want it you can pick what it is but suppose
it's reading scores in the u.s. that's a typical
yay boo yay
for reading it's
completely meaningless
because most things actually have thresholds and
if most of the children aren't really learning how to
read it doesn't matter whether the reading scores are going up or down and
the biggest flaw people have in thinking about
simple data is not to
establish the thresholds that constitute meaning
so this isn't a very important this is a very
important idea for Poli Moore's polymaths
what you care about is are
you past that threshold of
what is actually needed and we can see
that trying for the top and trying
to improve are both enemies of this you
things that makes you feel good down here and it means
nothing and perfection is
hard even for angels to get to so
what you want is a process
that finds the first blue
area it's the simplest
hing that is qualitatively different from where you are but
once you're there you're
in a different world you're in a blue world
it has blue thoughts you can do blue things
if you're working on difficult things you have this problem
you have to withstand society
you have to withstand your parents you
have to withstand your teachers because
what everybody wants is continuous improvement
especially hate learning curves American
marketing really hates learning curves they won't sell anything
that has a learning curve they wouldn't sell a bike if
it were invented yesterday too
dangerous all those lawsuits too
hard to learn they just wouldn't do it
but often to get past
that barrier you have to go through quite a bit of learning the
arpa community was
willing to pay for that learning so
they didn't just pay for problem solving they
put probably 40% of
their budget into problem finding and
they made the assumption that any problem
that can be articulated from the present is
probably not the problem you want to work on
you have to find a future or
a qualitatively different version
of that problem or you wind up doing something incremental now
here's the one second explanation
of what I've been talking about ARPA
is over here Xerox PARC is here
here's the Internet
all the stuff flowed from
the radar efforts in both UK
and the
during World War two especially
building 20 at MIT and there was
a lot of effort at Bletchley Park so
of course I can't explain this but I'm trying
to give you a sense of why things are difficult
and Thornton Wilder had
an old fortune teller in the time of your life say hey
I tell the future nothing easier right just whatever
you want to say hasn't happened yet but
who can tell the past the past has
always detail in it and a lot of it
is too complicated to make up a simple story
and Goethe pointed out boy
it's hard to identify heroes without
a lot of disclaimers because when you have a whole community
doing this stuff the idea is go
back and forth and there are individual heroes
but you have to take what I'm saying here
are the grain of salt this is much much larger than even
a whole University course
so here's Xerox and
so a small
number of us got invited there to pursue
things we're in and I had a real yen
to see about this children's computer
for for children of all ages
and these
are obvious but you can't tell from today's technology
so persons are the most important
children are the most important things so if you lose sight
of that you're just making gadgets and
that means there
needs to be a course called person's 101 and children
101 and here's the crib notes for
your midterm exam so
a person is a mixture of Hamlet
7 plus or minus 2 you
know about our cognitive load limitations system
1 is the animal part of our
brain that is like a neural net it does
correlations we're
cultural animals we can't
exist or even learn outside of a culture and our minds
are not unitary we have at
least 20 definable minds inside
of us and some of them are critical to
our minds are like theaters they're really tiny
seven plus or minus
two in most studies recently
that was for memorizing letters
and numbers it's really more like four plus or
minus three before you get overloaded
so the theories we have are tiny why
do I say theaters because we think in terms
of stories and
that can make us feel good but in fact
stories don't have much of a mapping
on to the real world as people found to their surprise when
science finally got invented after two hundred
thousand years of us fooling ourselves with
and our
minds are mostly animals
omething we don't
and if we were born anywhere in the world but
taken to say Paris we're gonna wind up French
if we're taking born
taken somewhere else we're gonna wind up wherever we
go we're set up to learn the culture as
reality wherever it is
so that's efficient in one
way but it is a true source of problems
and this multiple minding thing I'm not
gonna mention 20 but we have a whole mind
just for tactile kinesthetic
like we can we can touch
our fingers behind our back without
looking we know where we are in space
we learn when we do things when
we drag things around when we touch
then we have a mind that is
iconic it's visual it's can see I
can see about a hundred things at once and
pictures are about four times more memorable
than words and what's
fun is if you put a hundred words up on the wall and
you just draw a boxes about them they're twice as memorable
as the words without the boxes because the boxes
I make the words into half pictures
and so it engages the picture part of your
and the
thing that makes us interesting and also
dangerous is the extent to which we can use
our language facilities for
layering ideas on top of
our genetics was never directly set up for so
we're more theatrical than we assume we
treat our beliefs as reality smaller than
we assume we can't take in whole context we're
much more non-human than we assume we hate the idea
that we're not human but we are we
react Everett rather than
thinking we're more
culturally shaped and we want our conclusions are mostly social
this is the disaster most people cannot
do something just because it's a good idea
about 85%
of humanity won't do something unless
they sense their society
around them also believes in the idea
so this is a critical
problem in our modern day
we're much more fragmented than we think we're
mostly we think of ourselves as unitary whether rather
than a bunch of minds even to
the extent that we
when we see
a candy bar in an apple and
we have a conflict on the thing we don't think
of this as being two Minds each one wants
something and we only have one body this
happens all the time and we're we're quite used to
it so that
the key here is we can use
these things for positive things
once we are real is why anthropology is a good idea
I think it's probably the only
required course I would put into both
K through 12 and college it's
surprising that in a liberal
arts university they don't make people understand their
own species mm-hmm isn't
that funny yeah so
we're way off so hang on I know
but I'm but I'm using words
so when
we thought about children we thought about
many more people in this but here's Montessori
pointing out you can't teach the 20th century
in the classroom because we're actually set up by
nature to learn from our culture so if you
want children to learn an epistemology you
have to make the school into something
environment this is
Montessori x' idea if you want to learn
French don't go to a classroom to learn to go
to France another thing that
Seymour's said and one
of the big influences here was Jerome Bruner I'll just
mention this that here's his challenge
if you can you
need to teach intellectually honest forms if you're teaching
them to children you're gonna have to invent new
forms that embody the content
you're going to teach children mathematics you
have to figure out the mathematics that their brain can handle and
it has to be real mathematics so
like you probably don't want to teach children
fractional arithmetic
at an early age
it's absolutely a dumb it
doesn't match up well with what they do and
okay so
let's take so this is going to take about eight
or nine minutes so forgive me
well in computing you have
to do real things because
you can't prove much so we
needed a Dynabook to experiment with and we couldn't make one
because of displays didn't exist and so we
had this genius Chuck Thacker at Parc who
made an interim diner book
[Music] so
this is the day it started working and
you see on the screen there there's a cookie monster that
was drawn on the screen and in
fact the here's
what this machine could do you can
little bit more powerful than a Mac was this
has done 11 years before the Mac eleven
and because
this was an emulation computer it could also do
12 poly Tom Braille real-time
voices and you could just hook
the keys from any keyboard into
the machine and you had the
first real-time synthesizer that was Polly Tom Braille
and it was made for children
we work with hundreds of children they're in
the same spirit as Seymour Papert
and how did we program
this well this idea of little
a network I had
another genius Dan Ingalls and
here's a progression of user interfaces which
will look sort of familiar to you this
is desktop publishing with embedded
graphics and you can see the user interface comes
up fear
and towards the end of
the 70s we built machines with
larger screens and in fact I have a revival
of one actually
so this is the
now I switch over it's designed to use
so this is actually a running version
see if I
can find here we go and it
was done for this first portable machine and
so it calls a note-taker you notice it has
the same recognition thing here
and we're running it on this larger machine
right now
and how do we get it well here's
right there as a disk
pack of hundreds that Xerox through a way of this work
and on it happened to be a file
that had
the system on it and this system
was in the form of a complete network so
it included everything including the
it was like an Internet
where objects were connected together
and because
the whole thing was was contained
all we had to do is write a little emulator for the
machine that it ran on and the whole system started working
and you're looking at it right now using it to give you this
presentation and this
gives us a time machine taking
us back into the past and
the only difference between this system that
I'm showing you today and the past is the
emulator has much more memory so I can show many
more bitmap pictures than we could back then
and here it is so this looks
and by the way this is the system that Steve Jobs saw
in his famous visit so you'll have
something interested see what he saw and
what the Mac did
and didn't do so
so among other things
well is the overlapping windows
in this system
you could use the for instance suppose I wanted
to Center I can use the recognizer to
Center it or
so the gesture recognition here's
a painting I did like 45 years ago
and it's
live so I can select some paint here
I can select it a brush here and I can scribble it
up [Music]
recognizer and
so forth and
now what am i showing here well this
system had unlimited desktops each
desktop is live so
these are not pages in a presentation
manager all right why would anybody want
that right once you give the presentation
you're dead you cannot interact with
the thing isn't that crazy why did they do that so
here each one of these things is
live and it persists over time and so I can give
a demonstration of anything I want just
by sequencing through these different
desktops you can see where I've been here
here's the slides I just showed here
here's where I am now and here I'm going to
go look
at something again would be nice to have so this is called an active
essay so again
it's a desktop but this is
a 12 year old girl who wrote this article which was published
magazine but she did an active version here
and you can see what she did so here's a
simulation of the computer that she used and
making a box called Jo and I
can say Jo turn 45
so this is kind of like logo I can
say Jo
right so
I'd like to be able to do this today one
of the things that Frost's me the most is none
of the media systems that you can buy today will allow
you to run active content in it it's all imitations
of past media you can't do this
in Microsoft Word you can't do this
on the net you can't do it in
Wikipedia how crazy it is to go to an article on
programming language in Wikipedia and not being able to try
the language so this is complete blindness
okay so I'll
I'll just go past this
and now [Music]
so the last idea here is a little
something about communication and
Licklider who set up all of this stuff wrote
this memo in 1963 to
the members of the intergalactic network
why did he call it that well
they asked him and he said well engineers always
give you the the minimum and I want
network so I'm asking for an integral active one
and he got
it and he had this idea which
was if we make an enormous
network our biggest problem is going to be learning to communicate with
aliens and he meant that once
you get larger than the context you're in you start
losing the commonalities that are needed for communication
so it's like communicating
with aliens and there's this problem
of if you have two different
contexts you could be in trouble
you could both be human and
mane and hooves and a tail this is a joke if you're
a medical person right it's
called over diagnosing it's a zebra
no it's just a horse
here's the conflict between candy
bars and apples and then the question we
had back then was what kind of shared context
can you put together to allow you to communicate with a computer
and what you're doing is negotiating common
and again theater comes to
play here because think about what theater is the
audience doesn't get to interact with the play so
the playwright and the actors have
to supply what would be the note
and it's in theater it's called a
magic mirror in the profession because the idea
is to beam the audience's intelligence back out at them
to think about things they haven't thought about for a long
time and same thing with
writing writing has to do the negotiation this
is why writing for most people is difficult because
they're like children children think everybody knows what's
on their mind and so they just say what's on their mind
and that isn't what writing is about
okay so one way
to think about it is all of these communication
things are kind of like pointing because
we're pointing to the thing we hope is common between us
so to get
computers to talk to each other well we had to do that
with the internet and also with
object-oriented languages and
of course we might have to deal with aliens
o for this computers and humans thing
we've got this theater
what should we put on the stage and ours
our solution was let's put what the
computer is thinking on the stage but in a form
humans can deal with so this is what we're the graphical
user interface came from it is
a theater that's explorable
and when
the pointer into him into a window
and it comes up to the top you're choosing a context
you're choosing what here's what I'm going
and the computer knows what you're going to talk about
next so you're moving from topic to topic
you want to have all of the things
available and
then these three mentalities here
need to be combined you need
to do something with this because this
is not just memory but dragging
is intimacy you're
to something and moving it around and the reason
the Mac that interface was popular
is because most people who used
it felt some sort of rapport with
it there was a bond that bond comes from
the kinesthetic part of things
so this is Jerome Bruner 101
and then the thing that's left out
in most interfaces is
the fact that there is a new
literacy here because you have a computer and so
any interface that doesn't allow you to program safely at
any age is very poorly designed
it's basically made for people
that the technologists think
of is intellectual cripples
here's a good place to quit
so to do this interface and you
could argue that you know there's a like eight inventions
that needed to be done to get the modern world in computing
and networking the gateway
one was the GUI because
without it you don't get four or five billion
people being able to communicate with the computers
it is the intermediary between them and
here are the disciplines that were needed
to do that design
and the way it worked out was
one there was one person who could do those disciplines
and a bunch of
people who could do
several of them and do them better than the person
that could do all of them right
so the person who could do all of them could talk with everybody
in the team and like
Dan Ingalls there who is a much better programmer
than I was I let the better programmers do the
programming all right so you have this
combination of differences and similarities that
allow you to build extremely powerful teams
and with that thank you very much for inviting me
and I hope to visit again sometime thank you
exactly our
read upon well if you started three minutes late because you
and Mark come on
oh yeah where
do you think the education system is headed with
this well the education he's asking
where does he think the EDD where do I think
the education system is headed in the next few years I'm
presuming you're talking about K through 12 o
higher ed okay well
the most difficult because
humans are so
imbibed with the
context that they grew up in contexts they
work in they're not aware that they're in a context so
McLuhan had a great quote he said I don't know who discovered
water but it wasn't a fish
because our nervous systems are absolutely
set up to damp out anything that's
constant it's called accommodation and
McLuhan pointed out the number one thing we need to pay attention to
is the stuff that we've damped out
it's the stuff that we
had to learn in order to do
things without like we read without difficulty
so we completely miss what
happened to us when we learned to read so
so my reading
don't know how to criticize higher education in general but
I can certainly do it in particular in that
most people
I meet who have college degrees
or you know you can never get really
educated but there's a threshold idea
and in my opinion
most most undergraduates that
I've taught in the last 30 years or
and most people with college degrees that I've met
aren't passed any threshold that I would call
educated not even close
because they don't know the most
elementary things about their own species and
it seems like the
basic notion of education
is not it's different than training
different than a vocational school it's
about context it's about perspective and you
can think of 10 or 20 things that
need to have much more perspective on then
humans generally do growing up in any particular
culture so I believe that education is flunking
that terribly and
it happened I saw some of it happening
because many universities like my wife
went to Stanford she missed the
year before was last year they did a Western
civilization course at Stanford and
she never that wasn't
part of her Stanford education there was no context
for most of the other stuff she was learning there
are other things that were taught in lieu of Western
civilization but it absolutely doesn't make
sense not to try to prioritize
the impact of knowledge
and so
I think that's worse today I think
the I think the idea that people have
that they should follow their own bliss
is a really good idea but if
try to do it without gathering context they're nuts
because you
know when you're 16 years old or 17 years
old and high school and you decide you're
to decide what you're going to do for the rest of your life that
is the worst mistake you can ever make and
somebody needs to
explain that to the kids and the
reason we have compulsory education is precisely because it
hundred thousand years to discover science
there's nothing obvious about the stuff that's important
and that's why we have schools K
through 12 and we have colleges it's
exactly for the stuff that it's not can't
be learned as an apprentice so
either yes sir yes hi
departed Oh where well
that that was around here oh no
I let's see we're we're in Boulder so
as he was I think between Palo
Alto and Mountain View that
Xerox dumped there yeah
that quite a few of that of the work was lost
this revival that
I showed you was a Christmas project that a bunch of
his old timers did just for fun around I
think 2014
be this thing
I would not
be surprised at all it's probably you
know a PhD means PhD
means piled higher and deeper and I'm
sure that pile is piled higher
and deeper now we were very
lucky to get that because it happened to be the only file
of this particular system that was ever recovered
and in fact it was it required
a fair amount of archaeological work to
Eve to figure out what it was we had to look at kind
of the raw stuff on it
and then figure out you
know what was the minimum what could we do
to bring the thing to life fortunately everything in I
mean it was doing its own screen paintings not using anything else
so there's no extra code
in it and by the way that whole system including the
operating system and the development system everything is about 10,000
lines of code if you want to compare that with the
way programming is done today today that would
be probably about a million lines
of code or ten million lines of code or
so it's because we this is
the power of mathematics if you have a mathematical
bent then
you can see that the
what you're doing with computing is a set of relationships
the problem is math doesn't run
well math assumes
basically infinite speed and
but if you can find a compromise between math
that won't run on a computer but it's very compact and something
that's say twice the size of that that
does run that's what you were seeing there you wind
up with code that is maybe a factor of a thousand smaller
than the way typical programming is done
yeah the field has been very in
curious as to how we did all this stuff that
is what is just as they are in curious about Engelbart
and getting curious about ivan sutherland
because our field is basically a pop culture and
a pop culture is all about an individual
saying i'm here too
and so they're not interested
in the past at all they're interested in what
can do and they don't care whether it's better or worse
than the past because that's not what it's about it's
basically proclaiming identity and
you have that in a field that purports to be you
know an engineering or a scientific field watch
out because they will
lack the discipline to establish those thresholds
that will make the system safe and also
they will lose the ability to
know retain the quality of
some of the better ideas from the past that's
why i show this stuff because we just want
people I rub people's noses in it to see
that yeah the displays got better looking but the
software got worse and one
of the ways of thinking about it is if you're gonna reinvent
something you better reinvent
the wheel they used to be frowned on
but right now I take it any time because
what's being reinvented is the flat tire
I've got a true
believer okay
well in biology
there's a place called Genelia labs outside
of Washington DC which is pretty darn
that is
a very Xerox PARC looking place I don't know of a computer
place you know the
quality of the people around there are numerically
more people around today of the quality of the
park and ARPA people
percentage-wise is much worse because
of the pop culture aspect there are millions and millions of
people who probably shouldn't be writing code
but that
disparity also exists in a smaller
way in the in the 60s because
the people who work for IBM were not really
that good and
my what I'm trying to show was Wow
if you don't have this context at the ARPA
thing none of us were any good
I was surprised at the ideas that I had
and all of us when
Park went away we when we have
meetings we all talk about wow we
haven't been nearly as a productive we've
done things but the synergy is gone from
the thing that so the one
way of thinking about the bottom line that I tried to sum this up
is that the quality of the results is most
strongly correlated with the quality of the funders
because if you think about
biology as variation every
generation will have that one in a million or one in ten
million person you
can guarantee it the real question is
doesn't vote through those seeds fall in fertile
soil or not and this is where the funders actually
take the lion the funders who don't
try to control so the big
deal about the ARPA funders was they didn't confuse
the responsibility which they had drawl this money with
the the need for controlling
you can't control an artist
it's like hurting a cat
can't do it you can get a calf to do anything
you want if you present the cat with a situation that
it wants to do you
that is and that's what a good research manager
does they just set up an environment like
look lighter got hundreds of people working
on the following vision the
destiny of computers are
to become interactive intellectual
amplifiers for all humans pervasively
network worldwide that's what he said back in
the early 60s and he never deviated from that and
you didn't know what that meant didn't
know how the networking was going to be done do you know what an intellectual
amplifier what didn't matter because people came out
of the woodwork and Licklider was happy
to take 70% not
fruitful which
he didn't think of his failure but just overhead to
get the 30% that would change the world
right if you think about it was cheap at the
price because cost in today's
it probably cost maybe half a billion dollars to
do this park was maybe a hundred million and
the return has been on the order of 60
about 60 trillion dollars now
on this so the return on investment of
trusting the
researchers and setting up a good process is far far more than
accomplished the only way
not to make millions and billions safely and
most of the millions billions they're making are made from
these unsafe processes that are no longer being
funded having been
funded in this country for like 35 or almost
40 years now yes
you know where
well I don't know because
the if you think about that Xerox
was a fluke and Kaler had to get
xerox to sign a an agreement that
they wouldn't mess around with us for five years which
they hated but they did and the
reason is that companies don't get rewarded for doing
edge of the art research there are no tax breaks
there's not even anything like depreciation
research gets charged as just
as an expense and so most
companies would rather use you
know that use capital and do acquisitions after somebody
has done it but they don't realize that their company
court culture gets diluted every time they
acquire so they eventually wind up with
less and less synergy in the in the
company and they they they can't do much so
it's a
so again looking at the one example
we have that worked really well the
government launders
money that it gets through taxes
so it it puts an
intermediary that we that companies
it's like you're spending their money
even though you aren't but they
feel like it and they want you to do what they need rather
than what is actually needed to be done so
government short-circuits that it takes the money away and
it's a regis distribution agency and
the other unfortunate
thing is this only works in a
democratic government when there's
an enormous threat like war
it's completely correlated
with that why because the reasonable people who run things
absolutely do not
want to deal with people like artists and scientists
that's those are the last people
that they want to talk to and it's only like same
thing in the UK they're completely
against boffin's until the
hitler and then all of a sudden they were able to set up Bletchley
Park and do the radar stuff early enough to save the
country but as soon as World
War Two is over they threw out Churchill and they
failed to reward the people who actually did
the technology that won World War two for them and
people are that way they're not there to
improve the world so
trying to get this kind of stuff funded
in a business especially
in the public domain where it needs to be
because you need to you know these
large things create industries not just products and
industries can't be done by any
group you have to put the stuff out so this is like
the exact opposite of the hunting and gathering
instincts that most people have this is like agriculture
this is like building and if
you think about the US we are a country that is
built on cooperation but
the next level down every business is competing against
every human is competing against every other human so
this is nuts but we are
we are crazy species
because we feel punished
when we're taken away from people but as soon as we get in a group we
start trying to take advantage of it and
so do monkeys and so do
chimpanzees and so do other primates
this is not a purely is why I say
we're not nearly as human as we think
those conflicting
input you know impulses are actually
something you'll find in most mammals but especially in
primates worth pondering
her own
well so nobody the
number-one thing here is nobody
who does the kinds of things we're
talking about is other than an optimist
if you think about it it it doesn't make sense to
be pessimistic you're just
you know might as well be an optimist and just
take more shots to the chin but
overall you'll have more of a chance than if
you're pessimistic you'll dodge too many things so number
compared to this golden
age I've been talking about it really was there's
nothing like it right now
the best people the best person I I think Brett
Vickers he's definitely in my top two
or three maybe even of all
time but especially in this day and age he can
hardly get any funding because
working on a thing that's really a 10 year out thing
it's wonderful he's they've built it you
can use it it's a whole different way of
thinking about it's computing as a part
of it will be 15 or 20 years from now
fantastic can't get a dime from
all these Silicon Valley billionaires because they're
not interested in anything they can't turn into a product
and the government is
afraid of being criticized by Congress
so the
NSF has always required
both peer review and propose
in computing proposals that are akin to engineering
proposals which means you have to explain to them
are you going to do something and that's not what research
is research is having an
idea about how you might you
know it's basically about saying yeah
conditions are very good for this kind of thing
give us some money and we'll find out
so that doesn't really exist today
very well universities could do
a much better job so MIT for
a number of years it
had a fund
which was part of its endowment where
they did their own funding of certain professors
who couldn't get normal funding in
peer-review processes one of the most famous was Norbert
Weiner cybernetics guy and
the president of MIT just decided hey
we should set up a position called Institute professor and
will not only pay their salary but will give them
you know today it would be like a half a million a year
to do whatever they wanted put
a couple of students on some idea that's too crazy
to even talk about so you have to do
yeah the other way of looking at it is this enlightened
funding is like the MacArthur Fellow grants
but for groups I've tried to get
the MacArthur people to understand
that so many important
hings are actually done by groups of people and
by just restricting to individual artists
they're they're doing a good thing but they're missing
the point of the whole process of a bunch of arts
that they don't can't recognize and
so far I haven't been able to convince them I've
been on their committees for choosing MacArthur
fellows but it's basically they have this
do and they're proud of it and they
really don't want to hear about you
know how a lot of things need to get done it if
you think about Engelbart
a hundred percent concerned with saving the world he
was one of the most dedicated people I've ever met
and thought about it for a long
time he was on task
on all of the stuff
that he did and he had concluded that what
you have to do is boost the collective IQ of
groups of people working together in order to solve world
problems and that's what is those
designs this is a lofty
ER set of ideas than you'll find from any manufacturer
today any vendor they just don't think
that that way and you can tell
so so that sounds
dismal on the
other hand you're at the right place for
doing stuff because the university
is kind of a bastion it's supposed to be a bastion against
the hordes
coming in to sack Rome
right so you're at a place
problem with the universities is they can't get their act together
as far as these larger groups
things and
it it has to do with the degree process where they wrong especially
in technology they wrongly tried to get
people to do individual PhDs
whereas what you really want what a PhD
really means is a person who does
world-class work and if
they do that in a 10-person group any adviser
worth their salt will say this is a PhD
both of them
PhD and their thesis
might have ten names on it doesn't matter
because if the advisor knows what they're doing they
know what the students are doing you have
to realize that the that the PhD is
saying it's more
like getting an MD it's saying
this person is qualified to
be considered a world-class
intellectual leader in their
field that's what it should mean and they to
do the PhD they have been of
an important part of edge
of the art research so
if universities
could do it and I personally every time I talk
to a university president I say
look you guys are missing the century
that we're living in right now universities
have a unique position to actually
help things out much much more
than they are right now just because they're not
they're not supposed to be businesses
and they
don't have to show a profit and
with the government being hung up the way it is
trying to get university
funds involved in this stuff could be a tremendous
difference compared to the way things are
now yeah I've talked to the unit you
know University of California has four or five universities
in the top ten in computing and
I pointed out to them that this is four
or five in the top ten in computing and
you guys are letting the regents tell you what tenure
is are you kidding just
take it over it's not up to the
Regents what tenure is they don't know anything
about computing define
what tenure means and define it differently than
paper County period so
part of the problem is faculties
are more comfortable than they probably
should be yes sir
if you think about say
at least kind of paradigm-shifting
periods in the
context of 20th century capitalism so
you had Bell Labs a lot of
paradigm-shifting people research gap
occurs in the context of a
company that had day-to-day business you
know the telephone yeah of course it was a monopoly and
it was a monopoly and yet
there so that the incredible innovation can happen
in the context of a water
tower with energy yeah I don't think
that's a good one because precisely because
I would believe that argument if
it is sustained after the divestiture
but it didn't it collapsed as soon
as as soon as the baby bells went away
you were
you and your colleagues were
kind of an inflection point to me where you were
within the context well eventually Xerox
their precedence but it came together in
Xerox incredibly into innovative but
then it became the classic textbook
example of clueless manic
businessman they didn't know what
they had they blew it off it
let me let me we're just totally different for Bell
Labs let me put it let me put a little more
context on it so one of the myths about Xerox
is that they failed to profit from
Park in fact they made their entire investment
at park over by about
a factor of 210 so if
you work that out in return on investment that is astounding
they made it from only one of the eight things
we did which is the laser printer that
was the one thing they understood but they paid for Park hundreds
of times overall apart not just the computing
part of our companies that
followed well Microsoft and
Apple there's basically no
innovation they're just redeploying
yeah I mean minor tweets
yeah well but not major innovations like
bailout Xerox and then you think of the successor
companies to those Google Facebook and
it's even more extreme yeah even
less innovative they're just reacting
the paradigm that you you and your colleagues
invented if you said well I didn't invent it I I
inherited it and I was taught it
as a graduate student and yeah
so it seems like Xerox here is a
red herring because of this agreement Taylor got
with Xerox and the fact that the park
people and the ARPA people considered Park
as just ARPA project number
17 the reason park was
set up at all was because of the Mansfield amendment
throttling the funding
to the DoD for our but so is
the secret to creating a
context in which you have real
fundamental innovation that you either need
total government control or now holds
no I mean these are
Apple Microsoft a to the monopoly but they never done
anything really fundamentally well
I think the I think the capitalism
the I first I
think I would leave Bell Labs out just
because IBM
is a much more interesting example because
it was a virtual monopoly also
and you
know back in the 60s when a billion was
a lot of money they spent two and a
half billion dollars a year on Rd of
which four out of five working prototypes
never went to market so
they had enormous resources their
problem was they thought of their R&D as a hedge and
I think that I think
the most important thing is if you compare for
instance of Friedman's notion
of capitalism with Peter Drucker's Friedman's
idea which is in vogue today is
in the United States is entirely at
the service of the stockholders
you're trying to increase shareholder value
and that is if Drucker said no
that is a really bad way to think about it
capitalism in America should
be entirely at the service of the customers
that is the way you should look at but today
yes what just one more line
but today
the capitalism has
to be at the service of the planet it
doesn't matter anything smaller than that is completely
below that what is actually needed thing
it doesn't matter what you do with capitalism unless
it's a the blue line there is
at the service of the entire planet because that's what
the system's nature of today is and this
different than the system's nature of a hundred years ago it
just is and you basically have to
go with what's actually what actually is
what a wonderful night program
thank you for a long day and a great
and a long talk thank