Listening to the entirety of Crawford's Dragon Speech is truly going back in time to the very verge of the computer revolution. He is just about two years my senior in terms of the sort of intro the both of us got into computing, and demonstrates exactly the sort of personality that dominated the thinking about the future of what has become the computing universe.
"That is the basic problem that we face. The expository lecture is efficient."
When I listen to Crawford, especially as he speaks about Alan Kay, I am really kind of shocked into self-recognition at the kind of approach we took in thinking about how computing could change society. I think of Crawford as rather oblivious to the market, and in comparison, the current generation is obsessed with the market.
This is something of another opportunity for me to suggest that today's social software tends to be democratizing in a simplistic and rather shallow way. We are finding hundreds of ways to get 17 cents worth of attention from tens of millions, rather than 1700 dollars worth of respect from hundreds of thousands. Which will advance us? How much effectiveness will we get out of the kind of interactivity that is become the defacto market standard on the web? I think part of the answer is how little traffic Crawford's website has garnered.
At the very least, somebody ought to transcribe the Dragon Speech. It is an excellent marker in history. Crawford was thinking what we were all thinking. Now that we have the technology, Bioware is the closest to what Crawford dreamed. As great as Mass Effect is, is that the story we have always really wanted to tell?