Did you ever wonder where computers fit into your daily
life and into the future? Some observations:
I have seen computers transform people who don’t fit the select
“intellengencia” group become successful doing things that
did not exist before. They leave the select group behind.
I have seen computers transform the way business is done– sped up
transactions and lowered the entry costs for starting new ventures.
I have seen computers change broadcast media and perspectives on the
process for getting facts and mesofacts.
Ray Kurzweil’s latest book “How to create a mind” describes
how humans are enhancing their abilities and developing new
capabilities with computers, robots, ‘bots’ and similar networked
devices. He does this by teaching a model of the brain’s operations–
“pattern recognition theory of the mind” and relates its
structure - function relationships as understood today. Then,
he relates some of the observed limitations of the brain and
how we can put computers to use in a “gap analysis” approach
to the human situation.
This all plays into what undergraduates and recent graduates
might place into their curricula. Take courses that help them
acquire computer mindset and skill sets,
develop paradigms for creating lists and prioritzing,
be exposed to solving different kinds of problems and
participate and lead groups in thinking outside of their
current frameworks (different cultures, different industries, different
languages and tools).
Graduate students and post-docs might allow themselves the
opportunity as scientists to
self reflect on human limitations and
Then, explore how they might use computers to reach their goals.
It could be in an academic realm or it could be in an experiential
realm (internships, cross-functional programs, developing soft and
wise skills ).
Mid-career professionals and those looking to change need
to proactively continue to
be exposed to new ideas and concepts,
hone their communication skills (especially those using
computers for they are gaining importance) and
deliberate on things they might “unlearn, relearn and explore
for the first time.”
Kurzweil comments that by age twenty humans saturate their core
memory apparatus and need to unlearn things they once believed.
Arbesman wrote about meso-facts and the rule of hidden knowledge
offering that groups of people without high level expertise can come
up with ideas and solutions to problems better than many experts.