The HLF Portraits: Alan Kay

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The HLF Portraits: Alan Kay
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The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation presents the HLF Portraits: Alan Kay; ACM A.M. Turing Award, 2003 Recipients of the ACM A.M. Turing Award and the Abel Prize in discussion with Marc Pachter, Director Emeritus National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institute, about their lives, their research, their careers and the circumstances that led to the awards. Video interviews produced for the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation by the Berlin photographer Peter Badge. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation or any other person or associated institution involved in the making and distribution of the video. Background: The Heidelberg Laureate Forum Foundation (HLFF) annually organizes the Heidelberg Laureate Forum (HLF), which is a networking event for mathematicians and computer scientists from all over the world. The HLFF was established and is funded by the German foundation the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), which promotes natural sciences, mathematics and computer science. The HLF is strongly supported by the award-granting institutions, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM: ACM A.M. Turing Award, ACM Prize in Computing), the International Mathematical Union (IMU: Fields Medal, Nevanlinna Prize), and the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters (DNVA: Abel Prize). The Scientific Partners of the HLFF are the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS) and Heidelberg University.

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loses the you you you you in the face with her family were you born into I was born into a bookish family my grandfather was a farmer who wrote books he wrote over a hundred books or rule book in his lifetime and if I head him and said what you do probably say I don't know what he would say I I miss him and that he was he died the year I was born body was 1 of the early photographers he wrote maybe the definitive essay on photography for The Saturday Evening Posts and in the early 19 hundreds and whether photography could be an artist who is the father of your mother or your father or father mother between your mother I think was particularly artistic it yeah that's the right yeah he was he was he was a very good musician was this year ground of my graph I want it usually gives you additions and so was a good artist and shower with his footsteps she was interested in the artistic education per child who would have had no idea the nose although England family I don't think they thought about things that way was just items in the house yes natural it was the you know when I came to America after Australia we lived in mind what had been my grandfather's house in there thousands of books and in many of his drawings and about the Pearl a piano which when the news where my father was a physiologists so there were science books around and it wasn't really anything about parents overly attending to their son's education with talk about the sun or the moon would kind of a child or I think difficult to go yeah bigger presumably will hold a whole I and that I'm very mature very small for my age happy to compete with adults in things that would impress adults I think I was already famous about you haven't read pretty I didn't really early yes this is again not being pushed because hearing that that's what your family I was basically hour I think even reading off the back of cereal cartons growing up in Australia and we would get a Life magazine in the mail of every week so the laid from the United States and that was a perfect thing to learn to read from because it had pictures that helped to understand what the the captions were about in of course I was red to that is probably the biggest way of getting any child to read early did this begin to shaping his precocity you may or may not but that's precocity did it affect your review of grown-ups of your schooling of gets a lot certainly when I went to school I went to school year early which is probably a mistake but to the I've read no more than 100 books most of them not adult books said probably read only a few adult books 1 of them was the youth Hamilton's mythology just a favorites like fast here fabulous but then I is probably the 1st when I read all the way to the end and that was important because I love the the the Greek myths but what was important about that book for me where she had the lost myths at the end of it and they were very very similar to the Greek myths and that was the 1st time I've ever run into the idea that these are just stories also the use of the time probably around when I read that book probably around 5 and 6 and I can't remember exactly whether I read it in this show you were now if you ever see that aging in life and then the 2nd adult book I read all the way through and I had a huge effect on me which was another 1 of my father's which is called an ancient times a history of the early World by James Henry breast and wasn't I still have it book and it was just a great account was a book that he had had in school for some class that was a great comprehensive account of the early civilisations starting from you know a think times it was perfectly readable by anybody you created there's nothing esoteric about it and again you got this can comparison the author and did not take pains to talk about
things like sort of civilizations have similar structures you just sort weighted actors what junctions here's what Syrians that was on did you know that was huge of putting myself in my mind your parents worry a highly educated like this they may not be pushing you but you go to the local public school and you come back to the United States you that would allow the mistake but we were not we will ask my father was a university professor is actually in those days he was finishing his degree and yeah I probably would have done better in in a different set up but the they fed me hooks it happened that a family of also my grandfather my grandfather a lot of things 1 things he did was to start watching what for many many years decades and decades was the largest bookstore in New England called Johnson's bookstore in Springfield and besides being the enormous regular bookstore they also had a used bookstore in another building which was even larger and so the my uncle lived in across the road at the base of the whole could there he had books a mutation back-to-school I'm beginning to get your views you really education at the with your family and at all but I was kind of a natural or other didactic in basically what auto died X need is a feeling of quality threshold right because and the hardest thing to know is whether when you're learning a lot by yourself whether in even the question doesn't come up when you're gobbling the stuff up is now I actually learning that the real deal or I
just learning glasses on real you this is a huge problem so here's a guest on my part is based on modulator later career is going to achieve and that is that education in a formal sense disappointed you now the other except for a couple times several times the I wouldn't I wouldn't do quite in the Ilitch can't because I the Buddha June when when I encountered a good version of it it was fantastic
because it was a lot like graduate school was going to be later on the teachers have a sense of that that the children are actually like adults exploring things for the 1st time and so that is a completely different theory of school and then the idea that a you may be the smartest person in the room but you generally not smarter than that of the 10 smartest people room but I am certainly I no expanding outward you not smarter than me hundred smartest people in history and so this on New Didactics pulses something that anybody who gets really interested and the way the world war it out just a million different things quickly that there's a human element that comes in and even if he happened to be in the interval like let's you were going to get you out actually fracture is through the use of the computer the right now and I to find any meant for outside your family or your is to personal history in your life until you get to graduate school is there anyone along a lot or high school gap during the last with my fourth-grade teacher Mary Quirk was 1 of these very very special teaches that she died young when I started doing education things myself my 1st impulse was to track her down and famine she'd God a guess at the age of 49 the but what did she has she had had it well 1 of her things was we never knew what she knew because her whole process woes she was obviously playing a game where the state New York state educational then but her mean requirements yeah and she she made that happened but basically her whole game was to set up situations that would select out children she wide variety so that virtually every child in class would find something that they kind of got really interested in their own and she would set up what we call today research group of other children around that shot and by the time 4th half-over so I would say more than 50 per cent of the class time was spent dealing with that whole the and she had of what we call big feet she had 1 of the ideas was to however a class the more everybody found out something in them try to represent what this was in the form of what she called a fresco which is not done in forever is like the wall the cystine a chapel and every child would widen doing a drug that happened in the oceans when I was there's every child got to find out something special about report on within me whole cat class project was organized together the kids they could see perspective like me helped to the organization what you call social thinking when the individual what interests come together yeah it's not it's not like democracy 2 rather different kind of thing at that time I had a really that a delayed kind of really understanding how the constitution was put together just because I hated the way history was taught I like my ancient history stuff but it wasn't so I was in my twenties and into my thirties that I really when to town and I just how this country got invented in the course but Madison's notes on the constitutional convention were very complete and released 50 years after his death and there are some annotated books on this also so I was able to a look at that rather closely and remind me very much of this class to remind me very much a grad school and the opera research community that you know on that don't get there but this is very important is the foundation I needed literal-minded but so far I'm talking to a humanist that we whatever that means that whatever that means literally hangs fair enough and to use another whatever that means I want to introduce technology into your education our aspirations where's that show up well I think the 1st the the thing is you know the Greek root of technology is the error term for for anything humans make depending on what you're agree we should look at sometimes they tell us the fine arts from that most of the time in anything and the role of you know that when the artists is this meant the same thing so I know and then Franklin I do this all Latin motto of life is short and art long what meant by art was not just fine arts but every when enlargement of specialists and of course that this post readily classical Jeffersonian on this point where somebody said you this is really a question somebody said you into other engineering or technology were you in these no idea what to that that that was easy I don't know exactly what the root of it was but as early as I can remember watches certainly 4 5 of I was interested in a jet planes which were a new thinking I was interested in markets so that the uncle who now on the family bookstore got me I think and when I was 7 of a copy of rockets Mrs missiles and space travel by Willie lay no but I wrote actually many editions of that book in so I avidly devoured it was partly about German weapons there's a lot of them used rocketry in 1 form or another part of it was about how these things actually work which I don't completely understand the thing that stuck in my mind was these things are called Holman orbits these guy in the twenties sketched out looking to get from the earth to Morris which was very interesting you can't just fire rockets point direction Marzen because both and martyrs of moving and the moving at a fairly good rate in so in order to get there you have 2 point rocket direction will
eventually forms you into an orbit alliances that I and so that was 1 of the 1st times I I got introduced with what I would call nonlinear thinking in that the world of gravitational fields is not a world that we experience on you just don't point in a new have this other I think a huge regression on you yeah but I think you when the technical high school I did right across the river here how do you decide that you know I was less that more was that I was in trouble in my the in my junior high school and so there are a bunch of special high schools in high school for me was really Bronx high school science but is only a three year high school in those days and but that for your high school was encouraged and they all had the same test so I was encouraged very very strongly to take the test pass it and get out of that before I really got into trouble out there so I did take a testament did passive turned out to be a mixed blessing but basically a blessing because the my my mind is moral you know engineering and science and now of having a credible overlapped this logical they have a lot of the same ways of thinking about how the bonus connected to I don't and a lot of difference between the fields as temperament of the people my temperament was more along the lines of science then generic so was tremendously helpful to be forced to take a gazillion engineering courses technical work technically and have any the optional courses except you choose French German and if you chose a college-prep thing you may basically squeeze 6 years of education and of in before they could throw you out whenever they felt like it so this it was just a kind of a grind of 6 thousand boys who passes this test of book Brooklyn black longer Brichambaut widened 8 stories high an incredible facilities they're on helped tremendously because it allowed me to work with really great engineers you know way I think I would have had a hard time doing if I hadn't learn kind of engineering as a scientist might learn so you deciding about going to college presumably you're traffic to the at this point and not really I mean I I expected that I go to college but in Canada the a disease that was close to rheumatic fever it was a romantic era when I was in my senior year so I went back to school to read this now is out in long island that and I and got from Arabic tech actually for INSQUID nation there is no not enough now so so went back to repeat my senior year and they gave me my diploma they inform you that I'd actually bought enough credits from 3 years of a contact more than gradually from this high school and Isobel why did you make me government but anyway it was good that I did because that's where fell in with a bunch of jazz musicians and I a very good time my senior year in spite of being yeah so I just hung around playing music whenever ever assuming that there would be you we're not not not really This application yeah it's music is a tricky deal it's I felt I felt I was working harder than somebody should to keep up with people who are a lot better than I was I was endlessly grateful that I was able to be good enough that they will let me play with them so I got up to some level right there and this includes clues some of the you know some famous musicians who play jazz festivals and that other come to think that we will be hearing a lot about that just right at the end but the year not so as I I didn't have any pretty much my entire life as a series of eventually lucky accidents the kind of lazy and don't want so with that capacity respond productively where yet not I would I would agree when something interesting happened that caught my interest I would occasionally put forth some real effort eventually grant school of put forth a lot of effort ho ho how we get you into college and you decide that why just that you know my my parents again forced me to get a job or something in but definitely did not want a job in that in th I was playing with people who were much better than I was in their moral starving that was in Europe but well in you know sort of the get out stuff but I just pick a college at random and that would trigger the cholera not that was well Bethany knowledge and political I was you 1st yet just they just happen to come by and a good reputation so I just want do you expect again in engineering in a production and no no no the exact I was interested a lot of things and went to college because you likely brush up against lots of things but for instance I knew a lot of biology I would not so I ever thought about majoring in it but I had a good experience my 1st semester in this cultural an off year in which he dropped them not that strong why only use you pattern Europe have happened while this 1 was this is the complicated to because the basic basically I was you could say I was an early protester of certain kinds of discrimination made my protests known and the variety of forces inside the college that that I was surprised had gone home for Easter vacation I got a call from the same I was no longer welcome there said to drive all the way back in get myself but later on the head the by the biology department wrote me a great letter to get into the university of colorado while I was in the Air Force Winslow spent some time there rather than think that's important in your development as a computer thinker
of well a gave a it was in Alan and I knew something about computers and we had a very good book all faster than thought in 1956 in our getting thrown out slight 1961 or something of 60 in the the new it they were in a little bit about the little plugboard programming with my friend and fellow jazz musician who was working for United Airlines so I knew a little bit but actually got drafted so an the I did not want to go into the army and so turned to my reading skills I start reading things it 1 of these I found out fairly easily was that if you drafted into the army had the option of passing a test for officer training of some kind but want a volunteer services and I found that I want to talk to the air force people read their stuff and they have the they program for following become an officer of flying for a year they put you for the rest so of that is that really in various sales when I when I any overemphasizing my expectations using hoping historical will you don't have a lot of ground the random elegance the world where you're making a lot of contributions but I will follow the journey to the point and whether the Air Force was critical and anything telling me everything it but the way I think the way he you know for young people the basic John 1 had this great signing says life is what happens to you while you're making plants and I was even further than that could make that many plants and so I just sort of leaf on that strain there but the 1 constant thing was there's learning about stuff in the world I was also learning about music kept on learning learning learning about music and when I I dance and musical composition in college and a lot more hours in the University of Colorado and the theater there was really great like theaters assessment most my time in the theater and action and when you really matter go to yeah this was the doing math a molecular biology but actually the sailors really super-rich at University Colorado was that the theater and the amount of stuff that day did not as a whole nother area which has still has to do with learning how fool people in learning why people like to be fooled allowed by the PDP fooled the up lifted by being fooled and what we have to get better in the sense that fooling them on the 1 hand by teaching them science so that they know when not to be fooled on the other so that was sort of sitting here graduate school in rich it due to I don't there wasn't committee well the views 1 for that for there's 1 I won't and why is he letting you in well I have to say Osterman couple years down the road David Evans it was staying no the guy behind the invention of 3-D graphics as we know it today the evidence of atoms and so on great man and last of a guess not too long before I was about to graduate why had he and actually admitted the this know as has get things like somebody transfers not predict that's treaties as an undergraduate prisoner a terribly good sign if you when you are researching diversity will mean due to compliance to want to cope where there is a silent it resonates and you had an interesting resonate and I found out later because I was on the girl Vakili African PhD so I got to see it from the other side it will happen at about 2 to your point what they would do is you bring in people do it over the because he had lots of money from and over that when tried figure things out ahead of time the treaty graduate students like they're made out of gold we all have huge travel budgets were encouraged to travel around where tree all a graduate students in the Arctic and you treat it like researchers just hadn't gotten their PhD easier for it so it was in the class system the way where there is today and that the two year appointed faculty would sit around in discussed the a grad student now where the term they would use this real person or not and if they decided that that person was a real person they would go on to get the PhD in if they were a real person that person would get a masters and go to the door a lot of different graduate programs that because that's where it but all images that outside for a moment say this that you are also lucky things happened you very likely won't but lucky for a generation 2 and I just think individual not balance that money was available you mentioned are heavily but some of the viewers of this minor economic RBS so what is happening in the support of of technological thinking and research at that point as well to make it as simple as as possible technology has a lot to do with the World War Two was of the atomic bomb that was the big factor accurate radar the a lot of the good ideas and at were invented in different places in the world with the British had come up with a device that would produce really high energy of electromagnetic waves at the that a good frequency and they gave it to the Americans who developed at MIT and so the entire psychiatrists that happened in Building 20 at MIT
that resulted in almost 200 different radar systems in just 3 and a half years many invented engineered and manufactured and installed in the short period were in world war to turn the tide because it allowed to see them to get after the submarines and keep the supply lines war is actually unglamorous when you actually look at the largest excel it's all about supply lines of work and so great mood that group the the name of the bush who is President Roosevelt's science is also a professor at MIT the there is an old boys club really was and they were a good 1 for us because they were caretakers so the Department of Defense that after the war use yeah he was really the war never ended because the cold war started almost immediately and a lot of the people who had been even junior researchers like 1 of them a strong reason became president of MIT and President Kennedy's Science Advisor of 15 17 years later so there there's a continuity and so there's a whole bunch of money spent during the fifties for the Sager warning system would that is now our our the flight control for the airlines but it was originally done to detect Russian bombers the required some serious computer design some serious computer manufacturing and a bunch of things like that happen in the fifties in work and then the 6 well then the sixties happened in an the they had money left over from the moon program as it moved to NASA they decided from the psychologist of at MIT and in that area but Licklider who set up of the information processing part of the Advanced Research Projects Agency APA which have been set up to deal with Sputnik and rockets missiles on space travel for real in the this guy happened to be completely enlightened and he was wise to not try to define gulzar television vision was big and what he wanted was the smartest people find who had ideas about how make that vision real carefully disk disagreed with each other and so he set up a community of about 70 places of intercommunicating quickly through graduate students float freely through all these places a not terribly in agreement but sometimes but a community to really know how argue in a productive way a way that I wish everybody how to do because it's that form of argument is not designed to win the arguments form designed to look at every side of something using the fact that people have different perspectives and so that was what I fell into accidentally when I went to Utah I had no idea of it but we we know the accident and the weight of the response that the response a very creative period were all yelling crazy absolutely like crazy and would that what what is the was the sustaining idea of the you talk time for us to serve 2 periods of 1st 1 was which Caldwell Sculley arbitrary which was and Licklider when they asked him what are you doing you always had a sentence that when sort of like this he said well the destiny of computers to become an interactive intellectual amplifiers for everybody pervasively Network worldwide had this idea that something that you're interacting with its can amplify the ability to think rather than be hooked up worldwide what he called the Intergalactic that work they asked him why you call in the galactic that is is 1 year is always give you the minimum I want 1 that covers the entire densely in asking for an eclectic 1 so only to pass it through the low-pass filter of reality of still get what I want this guy was that was what I i had just accidentally fallen into text the totally a something of what I want you may as well you'd be a fool because they I I said they treated their graduate students like gold that was a new experience for me in the any graduate student that was going to do something that would reveal that they actually work gold was not complete knowledge do well placed 1st thing was a game I got there out of as usual I got the out of sequence and there's so they've had a couple months before classes started they've asked me I would would you wanna do I sell over up to me because I have a program for 4 years in the Air Force but I don't know anything I go to the library and read everything that stands written about computing going back in the fifties and I Xerox anything interesting for rereading later so give me a budget actually gets spent my 1st 2 months reading jeez ordinal thousands no decades worth of stuff thousands of papers so the the 2nd 1 came maybe maybe you're a half after I got the grad school I had heard of talk by Marvin Minsky the diaphragm MIT come up to you to so fantastic talking anybody's interested can look at his Turing Award Lecture which came along a little bit later but had many of the same themes in quite a bit of that talk was about
the work that he had been doing with Seymour Papert and the work of Seymour Papert had been done but do it with children at this language that that they come up with called logo and because I was designing my thesis project was a desktop computer with Windows and in an object oriented language and this is a shocking goal natural thing did you must be the the object idea came from a lot of different places and would exhaust in our to explain where they all came from proportional them all down in history which is readily available call the earliest years small-type for people interested but a just a bunch of different kinds of things of especially from seeing this Ivan Sutherland thesis about computer graphics which have a kind of use of objects Math back random by our biology you can think of cells as being like objects they're kind containers of process state in they with so I started thinking about modeling everything because the simplest way of thinking about modeling things if you only use computers to model things with you can ever run out of expressive power they connect to each other you go inside you have more of them them so I try to very simple idea and I started doing things with it in then another set of lucky circumstances got me that you have to use these ideas right away and doing this early desktop computer the idea of Windows was kind of around then we use today so an on as a whole set of stuff there that would be eerily like the present there's kind of a 1st pass to a related it's are exploited avoid even think about personal computer why isn't enough at this stage has yet to think about it the mass use of but I think so the so the question of if you could interact with the computer what is that going to b IP special if you're interested in amplification on we should be able design something haven't built yet in simulated when you build a bridge will fall down that what sketch pad was all about so you have I have had the whole deal was on a computer this you know maybe half an acre in size so as a personal computer from 1 person a three o'clock in the morning was 1 of these air defense computers and the prevailing idea was computer so extensively at time the problem with time showing that is it is very hard to do interaction in terms of milliseconds when a computer is trying to deal with 50 or 60 people want and so people started building smart terminals but the terminals 1 smart enough and there's this there's jokes that he Bill smart enough terminal it's computer all by itself and eventually buds off a century life and the year of the guy did this big computer that I Sutherland worked on also did look for my money the 1st personal computer which is done for biomedical people we need the real-time experiments nerve cells of various kinds and he did it has been it wasn't small by today's standards kind of a cabinet and thing up and but it had everything that we were assigned to a personal computer and quite a few of them were built the early ones were all assembled by the people who are gonna use because the sky was clocked at as a cat and so this idea was around the problem was he didn't get enough computing power this is money and yet and there's this Moore's law idea which came about the year before it went to grad school 65 on a kind of silicon and it was it was too slow at that time for computers but if you make it smaller a got faster and I was very very simple to look at and so more was able to you know I put a castle in the cloud of saying but if we just learned how to make these things smaller on integrated circuits can speed up the police can do everything that turned out to be the case have you have enough physics to understand his argument what remained was engineer engineers can usually figure out a way to do this so so I was working away that because the romance but not just interacting with the computer but something it will interact with QBE whenever the hell what we already had that because we had time-sharing terminals into some of the computers on the west coast in Utah that I told them I might pop so any time day and I I can log on to Englebart's computer in Menlo and use it could do much on but that when I got yet so as personal as personal media and there is romance behind that still remains of having its musical instrument disposal so that was
already well I and Papert that I heard about from Minsky was doing something just astounding to me partly because I actually understood everything he was doing I was a mathematician who was a mathematician and he was doing something I understood full well about computing it never occurred to me to apply it to the plight of children in mathematics per capita spent time with P. J after a speech to you Math and he had this perspective and realized that a certain very powerful form of mass 1 of the most used forms of math and science where is it embodied on a computer all of a sudden became fully thing foreign needed 10 year old child so I saw that and 68 in that year it also see will 1 inch square flat panel display and I thought about putting my desktop computer on the back that splits some data that that was just an engineering idea like would be really nice to have a computer you could hold in your hands and I saw the I of the children saying it became an it you note of imperative children you must be able to take the computer outside they must have laid computer we know it's a dynamic medium for creative thought that's this is gonna change so it think it worth the gas it well it's so it's an interesting thing that having a writing system for saying isn't quite enough to change the way you think having a writing system with a literacy and the discussions that go along with it it does change the way you think so literate societies don't think in qualitatively the same ways as pre-literate so in the in the medium can in yes and was McClellan's hold notion it's his idea was what's important about any medium that's what you have to become in order to make full use of it because something has to happen here in Cabot was showing me something that that I knew completely full well but it was the 1st time I thought about well you could actually bypass 10 years of bad school and start children in
Pabros was interested mathematics I was interested in science and not just science about the physical world I was interested in science and as the set of heuristics that allow us to get around what's bad about our brains so this is an idea that Frances Bacon had in the early 17th century and 1 afforested areas OK this is this is the best idea anybody's ever had put computers for really is the next big thing after the printing press in has epistemology that is not just taking on but printing presses unfortunate to most people use the thing for today science uses it for what it's really good for and it would be tremendous to have children generally learns real science with the aid of a kind of modeling the computers how optimistic were you know ladies that's the only who does I'm still optimistic because nobody who gets into this game into the research gamers other optimistic who leave me of pessimism even if it's well is exactly the thing you don't want because it it tends to make me depressed so I use the word disappointed would wouldn't you have expected the young man and then you talk about that right now well 1st and you have have you different place so 1 in the 1st paper wrote about the Dynabook there's a line in there that the 1st piece of software in an usual right is 1 to suppress appetites the Rev. read McLoughlin and I also did a lot of the early font design and hence arcs pockets I want I wanted to be able to deal with all media of the past but what we really wanted was as this was happening we want schools to start understanding what was new and special about it and that hasn't happened yet although if you look at the printing press the printing press was you know around 14 50 were so and there are a lot of press in Europe 50 years later but then we had a century full of religious wars partly fomented by being able to print by holes in the vernacular in a whole bunch of other stuff was until 17th century the real fruits of the press started happening which were changes and ideas about governance and changes and ideas about how to find out things about the world so we're just the bible publishing stage you got a computer that's what I have said that many times in an is so disappointing part part was we put a lot of effort at PARC not to do just we actually go hundreds actually thousands of the machine that influence the Macintosh 10 years later we they're all we had we invented the Ethernet connected to there's a lot of so when people came there's see a demo Alekseev jobs this we were showing an entire system and Steve was saying at 6 years after we done that he was saying senior mature thing and 79 so the commercialization in the eighties for a variety of different reasons trend yes legal low-pass filter we almost get a dial tone so what was done is 1 dream that came out of the opera we park considers itself 1 of the opera projects he notes sponsored by Xerox and what was a relatively coherent so the thing I you get pervasive networking around the world in view of and we get it to wireless opera was doing wireless packets in the early seventies you got it you best you can do this got invented for interface and after and used programming desktop media overall that is 1 thing part that's the sort of essential group that did most of the science park was about 2 dozen people say 25 people but these were people who were actually way my calls that they had shops in the engineering and sciences but they're also kind of philosophically elevated also because of they're growing up in the opera clearly we shouldn't blame the computer for the lowering of proficiency past love the plane that the the printing press for taking away the power of the Catholic church set the printing presses fault was something but the computer has solve the problem I mean it where Is not every the every the everyday feel that creates a problem only a console so now the thing is for most people what they think of as a computer is a convenience this is basically automating old-media for in a variety of different ways and the about communicated aspects of them of that allow them to indulge in genetically induced the and social drives like for status in the inter communication were not Hermansen all those things and so it's an amplifier for a lot of the things that are James as an amplifier for of the some of the kinds of thinking that we've invented of almost every form of science today we'll science it is not possible without being able to have moved from classical mathematics to the stronger the notion of computer simulations computers actually bringing to life stuff that was symbols on the page I can bring it to life in a stronger way some symbols on the page if you are calculating planetary orbits it's hard to calculate 3 bodies in motion except in special cases the computer can do and bodies trivially and that's what we use today it is the thing that is helping us deal with understanding what's going on with the climate and no form of classical mathematics comes close to be entity that because we're talking about billions and billions of little sections of the atmosphere and of the ocean modeled in interconnecting and being run faster in time then the world is running to give us some early warning on things that are very very important this goes across the board so as an idea it fits very strongly into this idea that where is where set up by a large part of the brain to react quickly stimuli common call system widens his book Thinking Fast and Slow most of the things that are required of us these days so it may be driving car requires that too slow thinking and slow thinking is something that we had to you know it's there but we had to learn how to do it most of the intellectual inventions of the last 3 or 4 thousand years the slow thinking and what slow thinking is delay action delay action got McLoughlin had a great minds said they don't ask whether something is true or false or right around try to find out what's going on so a lot of work learning how to think it's about is to find Stephen training to try to you get past what our common sense is trying to make of the world and try to find a way of modeling things their brains were not set up by nature model that's what's powerful and so it has some of the things that we're powerful about the printing press about mathematics in about science but in the level of reality that you can actually start probing because you have a computer helping you see it's like the world's greatest microscope the world's greatest telescope but intellectual what is your whole the more the role of computer learning as maybe education catches up with the capacity to do yet 1 thing that I
think the I think public education is about a lot of things besides training for jobs if we're to remain a republic backed up by a democracy the citizens maybe 80 percent of the citizens have to be of arguing reasonable way and they have to be a law argue about ideas that are important then so the number 1 thing in public education there is a large percentage of the population has brought into the main conversations in a way that their opinions not completely trivial so that's it and another 1 is every adult has a responsibility to help the next generation happened whether or not you have a child you're not this is been let go terribly and just what does that even mean was immediately apparent a teacher or something doesn't have children but this is part of the responsibility we have the 3rd thing is richness a rich life is in adults is 1 of the best ways of teaching children and the reason is that it is hard to learn important things in school to a brain that is set up to learn the culture that's what our brains are set up to do at birth so were used to being immersed in the ideas and so a school is the environment around us Montessori use this in a very powerful way she understood it most cool schooling people in America today have no idea about this so they have this true this old idea of knowledge being some fluid the reporting somebody's here and it's it's a It's a very weak way of doing things and is especially when you're dealing with modern knowledge that not known and then their vocational kinds of things but you don't wanna let vocational things that might be or even knowledge things that might be initial last 2 years I still have anything to do with the epistemology this small logical things you want you can take a few that's where you should actually set help the children have a really powerful view of the world the most powerful view the world we have is 1 that we should still man because it is really hard to learn most people when they're presented with that powerful views were later in life you attack on her own identity because most people identity identify with the police as reality the police their identity and what they think of this reality all all the same thing and none of the kind but by the time you have committed to that for decades it is really tough to shake that's a problem of education because you don't get you have to do a bootstrapping operation so they could just move all the adult society for a while put all the kids in especially where Hairer do with the prince did when they created the administrators of the colonial empire to take the kids away from the parents and then you can impose your own this logical so by its but right now with the children but adults once children to grow up more or less like that and the adults are way off the living centuries behind a wary on centuries behind the problems so this is a this is kind of a dead end I think and last but some form of intervention can be done and that allows remove Loyola said give me that child until the age of 7 I'll give you the man and he wasn't kidding because that is actually of up to the age of 7 is kind of where a lot of the entrenched world views so you can teach science and math you want to make a kind of what a foray into the early grades and with energy really great adults to help so even though in the educational stuff we've done the we want no occasionally get to do stuff vary Olinga it's but also the time we looked looked for the 5th grade because of the kids allowing we have to talk about a few things they are actually in in a good enough state so the kids plus some stuff for them to do are actually a balance for the adults they're around RIRs ideally you'd like to go much much much earlier loses the a you know you you know you really know