I've been thinking a lot about the world of technology recently, mostly where we've gone wrong. Part of it is sour grapes and bitterness on my part; I used to be one of the few who understood and loved computers, and then everyone barged into the clubhouse and ruined the vibe. But now, with the departure of the gold rushers, it's returning to some level of normalcy.
But the fun's still not back. The last time I remember something new coming along on the hardware side of things was the CD-ROM, and the last software that was cool was Netscape. There hasn't been anything fun since. There are no toys.
The promise still isn't gone, though. I had assumed so, but then I read this:
Poor people don't create poverty. Poverty is created by our institutions. So why can't we design our institutions in a different way to create opportunities?
It's from an article about a novel microloan program, which is used to fund the introduction of technology into some of the poorest communities in Bangladesh. And they're inverting the whole social structure through an incredibly intelligent application of some relatively common technology.
Gives me hope that there might still be some magic left in the machines.