Subject: Re: How accurate is Metcalfe's law? (Was: Ximian software)
From: "Seth Gordon" <>
Date: 4 Jan 2002 19:13:17 -0000

   Consider what happens when we can manufacture robots that are roughly
   equivalent to a human being, for under 3 years salary.  Let us assume
   that the knowledge of an existing one can be readily reproduced in new
   copies, and that these machines learn new jobs about as fast as a human.

For any sufficiently complex task that I want my computer to perform,
there is a gap between What I Want Done and What I Told The Computer
To Do.  A new programming language, language extension, or user
interface can close the gap for a certain class of problems, but once
previously-difficult programming problems become easy, it just gives
people more time to work on the previously-unthinkable problems that
have become merely difficult.

So even if we have robots who *can do* everything that a human's
unassisted brain can do, we will still have the problem of figuring
out *what to tell them to do*.

"Had [Clinton] been a woman of his generation, [he] would have burned half
his bra."  --Harry Shearer
== Seth Gordon == == == std. disclaimer ==