the cyber-road not taken
Highway, the hippest place to eat in town.
Al Gore, who is gentle and gentle, is the foreman.
Talented chefs from Bill Gates to John Malone smiled mysteriously in the kitchen.
Gaga is the critic. (
\"The end of the world we know,\" The Economist reported . \". )
The customers here are amazing: FOBs in Washington are pushing Silicon Valley technocrats, Hollywood bosses and Japanese financiers. What a scene!
There is only one problem: the food stinks.
If you want to figure it out
The bragging information highway is actually for dinner and you\'ll get answers from plain to ridiculous.
We have experienced all this in our memory before.
Futurists, technology and the public are at least as excited about the 30-and 40-year-old TV as we are today about the information superhighway.
One observer confidently predicted that commercial television in 1942 would revive family ties and make the city unnecessary.
Others foresee the penetration and promotion of culture and art throughout the country.
At the event, there is little need for exciting new ideas to make TV a huge profit.
Small finagling with radio and pictures-
The display Formula basically does this.
The same is true of today\'s information superhighway. Yes, the info-
The highway may be an exciting development, but there is no reason to think it will.
The new road is likely to be driven by the same tired entertainment vehicles that make millions of moguls today
The decline of the television era
But there\'s another possibility: software is not just entertainment, it\'s not just simplifying the old way of doing business, it\'s actually helping to manage and simplify a society that\'s increasingly overwhelmed by complexity.
But will we get breakthrough software?
The Economist recently reported specifically on the information revolution.
New information service?
The following is the content of the \"master\" prediction: \"movie --on-
Complex simulations of requirements, video games, databases, educational programs, home shopping, telephone services, remote banking, conference calls, and even \"virtual reality. \' \"Nine brand-
New service, every service that has been sold.
Indeed, in the dark now, you have to go to the local arcade to play VR games, and you may be able to play in your own living room in the future.
What about that?
New information service?
Interactive TV is at the top of everyone\'s list.
But for technicians, it is typical to misunderstand ordinary phenomena in daily life.
My guess is that people like TV because it doesn\'t interact. (\"TV\'s great . . .
It would have been nice if it hadn\'t been so relaxed. \")
Maybe that\'s why the interactive TV that has been tried has failed.
GTE has been operating interactive cable systems in Cerritos, California.
The results have been disappointing for several years.
One of the reasons I don\'t log off Interactive TV is: Peter Sealey just left Coca-
Coca-Cola is one of ITV\'s biggest \"interactive\" players.
Sealey is smart and has extra ideas.
Good luck to him, but I am not optimistic.
Where will exciting new ideas come from?
Industry and academia are two obvious choices.
The computer industry is constantly promoting new products. -Newtons and CD-
Computer and interactive TV-
But the new one is hardware.
The hardware allows you to put a lot of things in the TV, but the software determines what it is.
New ideas for information
Highways must be software ideas, and while the computer industry relies on the power of its machines to convince the public that software is a hotbed of innovation, this is not the case.
Think about the standard software in the American workplace: files, windows, email, word processors.
In concept, they are all (
Count computer time)
Remains of the ancient past.
\"File\" and \"window\" are great ideas when they are coming up (
50s and 70 s, respectively)and they work --so do well-
1969 Buick maintained. -
But there are more exciting possibilities.
For telecom companies, cable services in information
The highway era can be cleaned up by providing users with 50 home shopping channels instead of two.
Why do they bother with the much more risky business of real software innovation?
There are many new ideas in the academic computer science department. -
But not about information. highway.
Their aim is to focus on the basic questions about the software and the computational structure, usually the problems of mathematical nature.
They pay little attention to apps, and when they focus on apps, they focus primarily on scientific apps that reflect the priorities of academic culture and federal funding agencies.
Topics like information
The highway has been completely replaced by the commercial world.
For researchers who love universities, they don\'t like to do business and are confused about new software ideas ---
There are a lot of people like this in academia. -
It was a frustrating time.
Therefore, no matter what the idea of the information superhighway is, there is no knowledge market.
The shape that this thing ultimately assumes will affect each of us, but there is no ongoing discussion anywhere about new ideas.
Pick up any newspaper or magazine and you will find the same old talk.
Here are some real new ideas for the information superhighway that software experts are thinking about: * Life Records: I don\'t want to keep some more paper, computer disks and video tapes, I also don\'t want to care if my home computer is compatible with my office computer, or about any other compatibility issues that are so boring and ridiculous, or carrying a laptop with me on a trip, or lose touch anywhere I go.
I also don\'t want to organize my computer documents into \"files\" and have no obligation to make up stupid names every time a document is created.
I want the software to pay my bill and prepare the tax return when the button is pressed, while my input is zero.
I want my life to be organized perfectly and I don\'t want to spend any time organizing it.
In short, I want a dream of life \".
\"Your\" dream of life \"captures your life in the form of a block of information: letters, documents, bills, bank statements, video clips of your son\'s first birthday party, database, everything can be
Imagine a neatly arranged file queue (say)
Living room floor--
Only the queue may have tens of thousands of documents long, and it exists only as a block floating in the void. Your info-highway-
A TV equipped with equipment can listen to these pieces of information like a TV program.
You can look at the whole process. -
Imagine a caravan of shoe boxes that recently added the closest one to you and retreated far away.
You can fly back on the stream and sail with joy --stick.
You can also check selectively-
\"Just show me the video, just the letter from Sy Schwartz. . .
\"The first object in your stream may be your birth certificate.
You can navigate back to the beginning of the stream and then move quickly to the current.
If you want to send someone a letter, you will instruct your TV to open the \"new block\" and a new empty box will pop up at the end of the stream.
Typing on the keyboard (
Like a huge work.
TV remote control)
You put in what you chose.
You can give this block a name at will.
If someone sends you (say)
Email, the message is displayed as a new block at the end of the stream.
If you make a video using a camera, you can store the video as a new block.
Nothing will be removed from the stream unless you say so.
You can view and manipulate your stream from any information-
Highway, in the hotel room or airport lounge or anywhere else, enter the password by inserting a magnetic card (or, whatever;
Alternative to your favorite verification scheme).
An important principle is that only human beings can cope with \"hard reality\" and software can cope with \"soft reality \".
After simplifying your transactions to software, the software can handle them for you.
You can tell the system \"pay my bill for last month \"--
All the information is there.
By the way, Lifestreams is a way to replace outdated ideas for files and windows.
* Mirror world: why can\'t computers help manage, not just add complexity to the world?
Striking killer, high blood pressure in the modern world.
A complex mirror worldcontrol system.
Let\'s say we carve a model of an institution with software: a hospital, a government agency, or an entire city.
Then we may insert the model into reality. time, hot-off-the-
Wired data stream (
Like plugging an electric train into a wall socket)
Watch it come to life and be animated by data. The plugged-
Now, in the software model, it will always reflect the real mechanism.
For example, you may listen in your local city mirror world: the micro version of the city you live in is trapped by the software, visible on your TV screen and open.
You can explore it, infiltrate it with your software clone, and see it as a whole.
Mirror World is a \"system of the past/present/future \";
Our world of miniature software, in every one (useful)
Details, leave a history--
You can \"pour it back\" in the past.
The comprehensive accounting of the past and present has laid a good foundation (
Best of all)
Predict the future.
Mirror world is some kind of template of mirror mechanism shape, moving forward in time, leaving traces of history behind it, and predicting possible future in the distant future.
It is also a \"software quality control\" system. -
Again, only humans can cope with \"hard reality\", but software can cope with soft reality.
Turn cities, hospitals, and governments into software that can keep an eye on.
Thousands of people may live in a mirror world (millions? )
In the quality control program, all programs are active at the same time, and each program is designed to monitor a specific set of situations.
When these happen, the appropriate person will be notified.
People are not very careful and alert.
The software is doing very well in this regard.
Thanks to all the very complex and vital systems, organizations and institutions we rely on today, we are crazy not to take advantage of the talent of software to focus on things. (
Will such a scheme cause privacy problems? Yes indeed.
Let\'s solve these problems, not just the pain. )
For example, we may occupy a hospital (
Or many hospitals with relevant office and laboratory facilities)
In the mirror worldFar-
Flung clinicians can hold electronic meetings within this \"mirror world\" with the same patient facts on each computer screen.
Administrators can walk into the lobby of the software Hospital without leaving their desks.
Thousands of quality
The control program may pay attention to bad practices: if the drug is given to the wife X
Schwartz, but not because of her former
The existing situation is then notified that her doctor will send it out automatically.
Dealing with a super
Complex modern institutions, it is very difficult to see the overall situation, but also very valuable.
In the big picture, the mirror world will rub your nose.
It actually shows you how the whole hospital, government department, and City are now.
Of course, the mirror world is the most typical information --
It gets information from all over the place and \"broadcasts\" all over the place \".
You can summon it with any information, jump in and wander around
High Speed TV Anywhere
* New University: Information-
Highways are key technologies for the future of American universities.
Our elite schools cannot continue for a long time in the current curriculum.
It\'s too expensive.
Only educate the rich or simply shut down these \"national treasures \"(
Japanese call them)
An ugly solution.
There is another way: major research universities can turn themselves into information providers, each of which injects their unique products into a transmission grid and delivers them to users around the world.
People will pay for these and these revenues will help fund undergraduate teaching.
Behind these possibilities is the \"video vending machine \".
A university has created many channels it likes.
A single type of programming is available on each channel: Lecture Series, football matches, solos, plays, expert groups, and more.
Consider a lecture
Series Channel: lectures line up like candy sticks in vending machines.
Press the Start button of the channel and then-in-
Start the line talk on your TV screen.
You can watch the lecture as it actually happened (
Continuously deliver new materials to various channels)
Or five minutes later than the live time, or when you like it.
There is also a \"rewind\" button for each channel.
The video vending machine is bound to e-mail;
You send the instructor questions about the mess section for an explanation.
This technology makes the university far beyond the campus, and it is easy to make large lecture courses obsolete.
If we put the materials of the lecture in the vending machine, we can let the professor concentrate on the real teaching.
Many other potential information
The application of highways affects universities.
An example: \"space-
The time interface provides a new way to organize a variety of books, documents, pictures, videos and objects that live deep in the ocean of information.
It works roughly like this: you sit in front of a computer and find a map of the world on the screen: This system is mainly for historians, journalists, social scientists, students, writers, interest tends to focus on nerds and spies at specific times and locations.
You control the computer (using a mouse)
Time and place you are interested in
You see an enlarged map on the screen now.
Enter your area as it appears during your time period. (
So, for example, \"Queens, N. Y. , in 1939. \")
You will see blips on the screen and localize on the map as much as possible.
Each blip represents a library or archive, or a government or museum somewhere in the world that is related to it and time.
Now Type A description of your particular interest to the computer.
Blips that mark related objects turn red, unrelated blips turn blue, and maybes is a variety of purple.
Learn more mouse.
Human experts and knowledge
Job seekers will also show up if they want.
The system allows you to email them.
Is there any better way to find the world\'s only expert in the early 10 th century Breton goats
Or leave a question about the CIA agents who taught at Yale in 1953?
Elevator, mirror world, video vending machine and space
Time interface is not be-all and end-
All the information highway.
Where do these come from, we have more ideas.
In fact, these special dogs may even be dogs.
But they are things that revolutionize the information superhighway, not just more.
I hope I can put them in the ongoing debate on the exciting new application of the information superhighway, but I can\'t because there is no ongoing debate.
The debate is part of our country\'s reluctance to discuss any key technology-centric issues.
Now the situation is that the information superhighway offers us the biggest opportunity in years
Committed to the principle of TV mediocrity, the pursuit of the same old dreck ten times the service.
The White House will be hosted by Vice President Gore.
But shouldn\'t we discuss it first?
What do you want the information highway to accomplish?
David Gelernter, associate professor of computer science at Yale University, is the author of the Muse in machines: poetry that computerizes human thought.