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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser

Right and Wrong

#future #computers #OlofJohannesson #texttoosmall

The End of Man?

Olof Johannesson

1968

Link

2020-02-17

The pervasive nature of increasingly powerful and miniaturized tech and a global computer network were accurate predictions.

Johannesson underestimated the stickiness of human institutions, or perhaps the inability of audio/visual to satisfactory replace face-to-face contact. Universities are as powerful as they ever were. Cities, if anything, are becoming more dense. Telecommuting is rare because corporations worry without physical proximity, bosses won't exert enough control. Businesses aren't run by machines -- well, with algorithms that decide who gets a loan and which stocks to buy, maybe the book's a bit right there.

Now, to be clear, this book is classified as satire, written by a person who didn't like computers much, so parts are meant to be ridiculous to make a point. The thing is, when modern writers bring up something like strong AI, it's seldom toque-in-cheek, so I'm not completely sure how Johannesson expected it to be read.

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