Excepting an apocalypse, computers and digital devices are here for the rest of your life. Consider this carefully because that could be a very long time. From now on, your knowledge and understanding of computing and technology will likely factor in to everything from how frustrating your day-to-day life is, to how successful your career is. I would extend this to include the concept that the political issues (e.g. net neutrality; open-source versus closed source; the depth, breadth, and length of patents; digital rights management; privacy versus data mining) that only bother techno-geeks today will rule your life tomorrow.
“When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them.
In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed. Choose the former, and you gain access to the control panel of civilization. Choose the latter, and it could be the last real choice you get to make.”
— Douglas Rushkoff
What hard liquor, cigarettes, heroin, and crack have in common is that they’re all more concentrated forms of less addictive predecessors. … the process that created them is accelerating. … When the thing we want is something we want to want, we consider technological progress good. … When progress concentrates something we don’t want to want—when it transforms opium into heroin—it seems bad. … No one doubts this process is accelerating, which means increasing numbers of things we like will be transformed into things we like too much.
Most people can coexist with alcohol; but you have to be careful. More things we like will mean more things we have to be careful about.