In an interesting interview with John Markoff, author of “What the Dormouse Said,” Stuart Brand is described as having the uncanny ability of showing up at the right place and right time to influence major ideas.
One of these cases was the Mother of All Demos. It was held in 1968. Not only is the camera work and projection something to behold (once you account for it being 40 years old and all), but the person at the desk doesn’t look that different from you or me. The keyboard, mouse, monitor, and such are very familiar.
This brought to mind Stuart Brand’s observation that the world moves on different tracks at different speeds. As a review of Brand’s “The Clock of the Long Now” in First Monday summarizes it:
Infrastructure changes more slowly than commerce; government keeps its form for centuries. Culture changes over millennia, while nature left alone takes millions of years to change.
Or as the saying goes, “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.”
(Thanks to CK for inspiring this entry.)