Benford on Joy and the future

Date: Fri Jul 21 2000 - 15:35:21 MDT,1282,37610,00.html describes some
of Greg Benford's visions of future software, a marketing war between
systems that try to build dossiers about consumers that are used for
customized sales pitches, and interface software which will attempt to
protect consumers' privacy. Benford also predicts the advent of the
"comfy culture", a futuristic world where everything is customized to
match the preferences of users. In his vision, the natural world will
seem boring and unresponsive compared to cities, where everything will
be alive and alluring. However there may be an increasing movement
to extreme and dangerous sports in order to escape from the coddling
of civilization.

All quite interesting, but then Benford turns to Bill Joy and really
lays into him.

   Benford called Joy's musings "hopelessly amateurish."

   "He read a couple of books about robots and got alarmed. We've all
   done that."

   Benford acknowledged Joy's contributions to computing, but said his
   essay ignored a lot of the current thinking that has already tackled
   these issues.

Sounds like it was quite a talk. I wonder if Benford has any essays
elaborating on these points in more detail?


This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:35:00 MDT