DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» is a community of 966,155 amazing developers

We're a place where coders share, stay up-to-date and grow their careers.

Create account Log in
Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

Posted on

What have been the broken promises of computer technology?

What hopeful future never arrived?

Top comments (51)

Collapse
 
shiling profile image
Shi Ling

When I was young, I was so amazed by the Web, because I love books and thought of it as one big infinite library. I thought it would help make people less ignorant and cure stupidity (hey I was a precocious 10 year old!). Oh boy, was I wrong, especially with the Advent of social media and fake news. People are just so addicted to gossipy tales instead of learning about the world.

Collapse
 
j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

I thought we would become a big hive mind able to cure anything, but nope cats and ads...

Collapse
 
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

On the other hand.... Maybe we are still so new to all of this that this is just a phase?

I mean... maybe?

Thread Thread
 
j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

We need a serious reform on how our data is protected and handled. Right now it's far west and lobbyists make sure it stays like this. In the coming years, data will be the center of our evolution as a human species. We more than need it.

Thread Thread
 
murkrage profile image
Mike Ekkel • Edited on

"This is not a phase, dad... this is who I am, this is who I will always be"

-- 14 year old me

Collapse
 
peterwitham profile image
Peter Witham

Yep, there is nothing I can add, you said it all.

They promised us an enlightened future and all we got was bigger close minded planet-sized hate and a digital 1984.

I still have hope that future generations will take it back and forgive us.

Collapse
 
david_j_eddy profile image
David J Eddy

Truer words, never spoken.

Collapse
 
briwa profile image
briwa • Edited on

In my opinion, I think it was a mistake in the first place to think that internet was supposed to do only good things. It's setting such a high expectation on it, while in fact it doesn't have to, so it's not exactly a broken promise, in my opinion. Just like all technologies, it has the good and the bad. Gotta take both.

Sure, some people are just so addicted to gossipy tales instead of learning about the world, but obviously a lot of people are now less ignorant, especially the younger generations. Compared to pre-internet, I think people nowadays are more self-informed, has easier access to information. Free courses online, free-licensed e-books or Wikipedia (big infinite library like you said). Curing stupidity, of course, I was one of them that got cured! If not for internet, I would've only known things they taught in school and would've not become a web developer.

You're right, though, bringing the awareness of the bad ones is important, but in my opinion, bringing up and cherishing the good ones should also be done equally.

Collapse
 
scotthannen profile image
Scott Hannen

Sorry, my curse is to split hairs. If not for the internet, no one would be a web developer. (But I know what you mean.)

Thread Thread
 
briwa profile image
briwa

Hahhaha, that's a good one, didn't notice that at first πŸ˜‚

Collapse
 
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Damn this is way too well said

Collapse
 
wutangzakk profile image
Zach

I want to frame this.

Collapse
 
stephanie profile image
Stephanie Handsteiner

Do it, unless you don't have a printer, there's no impediment to hang this up IRL. 😁

Collapse
 
johnfound profile image
johnfound

Well, this infinite library is still here in the web. You simply clicked on the wrong link somewhere. :D

Collapse
 
bvmcode profile image
bvmcode

my unfinished projects

Collapse
 
natonathan profile image
Nathan Tamez • Edited on

It’s hard to say as computer technology is in a state of constant flux and has a hyper rate of evolution. But I would say,

  1. Moore's law (now that transistors are getting extremely small, may have a solution in the future, tho)
  2. General / Sentient AI (by the early 21st century , may be achieved by the mid 21st century)
  3. And lastly but most importantly the lack of access to a free and open Internet as a human Right. There are too many place in the world which lack internet access entirely or restricted access. The biggest blow to a free and open internet is not China (although pretty bad) but Article 13 of the The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market .

EDIT: In my original comment I said the biggest blow to internet freedom was the EU but I had meant Article 13 The European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Sorry for any confusion.πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

Collapse
 
nataliedeweerd profile image
𝐍𝐚𝐭𝐚π₯𝐒𝐞 𝐝𝐞 π–πžπžπ«π

I'm curious, how is the EU blocking free/open Internet?

Collapse
 
natonathan profile image
Nathan Tamez

Laws like β€˜article 13’ , although not directly affecting open and free internet access, could lead to strong more extreme laws which will affect open and free internet. As there is no strong opposition to these laws, also these laws have affects outside the EU borders. It may well be the beginning of over regulation.

Collapse
 
j_mplourde profile image
Jean-Michel Plourde

Freedom. Then GAFAM and other corporations came and like usual, they try to control everything.

Collapse
 
msamgan profile image
Mohammed Samgan Khan • Edited on

An Easy life after doing bachelors in computer science.

Collapse
 
eerk profile image
eerk

Want to insert a new Promise() joke here but can't think of any.

Promise: with this new technology we'll all save a lot of work!
Reality: we only work harder and someone up the chain is making even more money than they did before.

Promise: with this new public transport chip card it's much easier to book train tickets!
Reality: train ticket subscription services have become incredibly complex so you're almost guaranteed to pay too much.

Collapse
 
jhuebel profile image
Jason Huebel • Edited on

So far, the technology has met expectations. But as is often the case, it's the people that ruin it (current company excepted, of course). I appreciate the often introspective posts on dev.to. As is evidenced by the "what is your biggest weakness" posts, people here are willing to accept their own flaws and the flaws in others. The wider Internet would benefit greatly from being similarly introspective, as well.

Like my mom used to say, "when you're pointing the finger at someone, remember you have four more fingers pointing back at you."

Collapse
 
antonrich profile image
Anton • Edited on

"when you're pointing the finger at someone, remember you have four more fingers pointing back at you."

This is a strong saying, never seen that before.

Collapse
 
jhuebel profile image
Jason Huebel

The actual saying is that there are "three fingers pointing back at you", but my mom always said four. :-D But it's an old saying here in the US.

Collapse
 
paulmignard profile image
Paul Mignard

Any technology that promises you can write one set of code to run on multiple platforms.

Collapse
 
ohffs profile image
ohffs

Do we begin with 'the paperless office' or jump straight to 'star trek'? ;-)

Collapse
 
vuild profile image
Vuild

Faux-promises were broken, but anyone paying attention enough has always known the difference between someone legit & not. If you wanted to swallow it, you did. If you didn't you didn't.

The only actual thing broken is their chance of winning. If you have never had the wind in your face, it is very hard to handle when it finally arrives. Sorting hat is sorting.

It's just getting fun again.

Build some stuff because new things are on the way. Be the fixed promised. You people, right here reading this thread.

Collapse
 
kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

Every new technology promises to improve the world in some way. But in the end all of them are still wielded by humans. So they are used for both good and bad. And any net positive gain eventually becomes the new normal (read: boring and unappreciated, maybe even disdained).

So I guess the main broken promise is the implicit promise that tech can improve humanity. At best it only increases the convenience factor. (Not that I mind.)

Collapse
 
tvanantwerp profile image
Tom VanAntwerp

Old optimistic view: "The Internet will give everyone a voice!"

Present reality: "Everyone has a voice and most of these people are awful!"

 
ben profile image
Ben Halpern Author

Thematically related to all of this are talks by Maciej CegΕ‚owski. All really poignant.

idlewords.com/talks/

Collapse
 
joruch profile image
Joris

This is the year of the Linux desktop

Collapse
 
avalander profile image
Avalander

We were on the right track until someone decided to start uploading cat videos to the internet.

🌚 Life is too short to browse without dark mode