Playing with Technology

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke


Cerf said some very interesting things. The question he was addressing was “Where is the science in computer science?” Lots of advances in hardware but what about software. The scientific method follows the model of hypothesis, experiment, share, repeat until all things agree. Cerf wonders where this process is in computer science. I might also ask where it is in mathematical science?

He also noted that the change in paradigm to a self service model that began with Amazon will make its way into education and we must be prepared to deal with this shift. As a faculty member, I’m not sure I’m ready for a self-service education model. I especially don’t see this from my Liberal Arts background.

Update: Cerf also asked how we will access these documents in a thousand years. I would say we already are facing this issue. There are people with Word v1 documents that have no way of accessing the content of the document. So librarians and archivists need to start working on a way to archive programs, operating systems, and possibily hardware so that we will be able to access the content of digital documents or they need to make XML or some other standard markup language the standard for storing digital information. With such a standard at worst we would lose the formating but we would still retain the contnet. TeX is such a system as is HTML and I am still able to access the content of my HTML documents eventhough the formatting has been lost with the advances in browser technology and Web standards.