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Emails in general are terrible. There's no security. It happens so often. I'm old-fashioned. I put a letter in an envelope and have it hand delivered. My son is 10 years old, and he has grown up computer literate. They start using computers before they can walk. His computer was locked and he unlocked it. And I said, 'Barron, how did you do that?' And he said, 'I won't tell you, Dad.
I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.
The desktop computer industry is dead. Innovation has virtually ceased. Microsoft dominates with very little innovation. That's over. Apple lost. The desktop market has entered the dark ages, and it's going to be in the dark ages for the next 10 years, or certainly for the rest of this decade.
Men and women are sacrificed to the idols of profit and consumption: it is the 'culture of waste.' If a computer breaks it is a tragedy, but poverty, the needs and dramas of so many people end up being considered normal.... When the stock market drops 10 points in some cities, it constitutes a tragedy. Someone who dies is not news, but lowering income by 10 points is a tragedy! In this way people are thrown aside as if they were trash.
At present, computers are a useful aid in research, but they have to be directed by human minds. If one extrapolates their recent rapid rate of development, however, it would seem quite possible that they will take over altogether in theoretical physics. So maybe the end is in sight for theoretical physicists, if not for theoretical physics.
But my understanding is there are many villages you go to where there's really no schools, as a practical matter, and many of the schools still teach just how to memorize certain things rather than how to think critically about problems. And every country at this point, if it wants to succeed, needs to put in place free, compulsory education for its young people — because they just can't succeed unless they have some basic skills. They have to be able to read. They have to be able to do mathematics. They have to have some familiarity with computers. They have to be able to understand basic principles of science. If you don't have those basic tools, then it's very hard to find a decent job in today's economy.
Some Socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the Socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.
It's like when IBM drove a lot of innovation out of the computer industry before the microprocessor came along. Eventually, Microsoft will crumble because of complacency, and maybe some new things will grow. But until that happens, until there's some fundamental technology shift, it's just over.
Gary Kildall was one of the original pioneers of the PC revolution. He was a very creative computer scientist who did excellent work. Although we were competitors, I always had tremendous respect for his contributions to the PC industry. His untimely death was very unfortunate and he and his work will be missed.
To kind of explain what Linux is, you have to explain what an operating system is. And the thing about an operating system is that you're never ever supposed to see it. Because nobody really uses an operating system; people use programs on their computer. And the only mission in life of an operating system is to help those programs run. So an operating system never does anything on its own; it's only waiting for the programs to ask for certain resources, or ask for a certain file on the disk, or ask to connect to the outside world. And then the operating system steps in and tries to make it easy for people to write programs.
We tend to think that the phenomenon of engineers and scientists being at the top of a company is something that started with Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak or Gary Kildal. But this just isn't the case. Even back in the days when IBM was the single most important computer company, it was possible for one of its engineers to escape and make an impact that disturbed even Big Blue.
I sat at the computer at work, debugging. I was bored. It was afternoon. I was twenty-two. It was June. Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, thunderheads move in almost every afternoon between May and early July. They materialize, darken the day, spit a few drops, open the sky with lightning, then disappear like so many dreams.