K is for Alan Kay

Published: Sun 03 November 2019

In Blog.

Reviewing a previous blog led me down a rabbit hole. In this case, I dug up some old material on Alan Kay, more specifically, an article written by someone who attended one of Alan’s talks. I was struck by how the nuggets that resonated with the author of the article resonate with me, and how relevant those words of wisdom are today.

“One goal: the computer disappears into the environment”

A statement that was made in 1977, this is where we are today; “the environment” is just … “the cloud”. Of course, “the computer” is in the process of disappearing into the environment in the form of IoT, as well.

“Design meetings are no longer necessary, it designs itself”

To me, This statement embodies foresight; isn’t the modern way of thinking about design so much more accommodating of the notion that it be carried out in a highly iterative and “embedded” way? I think that Andy’s summary of Alan’s message is prophetic.

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