I need to get something written, so I was just thinking how agonizing it is to draw something like a conic section in Google Sketchup. I finally got it to work, but it was so much slower than just using a lathe in real life.
It got me to thinking about how slow it is to do anything on the computer. In the old days, if I wanted to test out a little transmission with gears in Legos, I just built it. It took seconds sometimes. But to do anything on the computer takes somewhere between a day and infinity, depending on if I can even get it to work or if the scope grows beyond the original parameters.
It’s gotten so slow for me to even work anymore, that paradoxically I haven’t gotten anything done in years. We remodeled our house. We landscaped our yard. I built patio furniture for my sister. But I still can’t get OpenGL to perform properly on iOS, or write even the simplest blogging script with Ruby in Jekyll.
In a way, I think technology has reached a crossroads where it’s beginning to undermine the economy and our productivity. Sure, we can enter thousands of numbers in Excel and a number pops out. But we can’t do rapid prototyping or visualization. We only think we can. Pioneers raised barns in a day. We can’t even raise funding.
I feel like technology needs a reboot. A total rejection of the appearance of progress. I’m not exactly sure what the future is going to look like, but it’s going to be a lot more like Legos than Google’s Go. It’s so self evident to me, so blatantly obvious, and causes such a violent reaction from technologists, that it almost has to be true. It’s one of those ideas that looks stupid at first glance but has the potential to change the world. Exactly the type of idea that hackers and startups are looking for.
I can safely assume that nobody is going to do it. I would love it if someone did. But since they won’t, maybe I just will. If only I had $500 for rent this month. Oh well, back to the grind I guess.