(This originally appeared on my Blogspot site.)
Around 2000, IBM began a series of commercials starring Avery Brooks. I was reminded of this one yesterday:
…because, 11 years later, XCDK gave Avery his answer:
PaleoFuture’s Matt Novak declared in 2015 that he would “literally eat the sun” if a flying car was released (as was being advertised) by 2017. Then in 2017 he declared his stomach lining was probably safe.
Here in 2018, we’re hearing that flying cars might finally (maybe) be here, although they’re “just a year or two away”. But the company that might finally (maybe) be delivering this car has been “just a year or two away” since 2008.
What’s my point?
Even moreso now in 2018 than in 2011 when that XKCD comic was created, we don’t NEED flying cars. Why not? Because Nicolas Negroponte pointed out the flaw in the logic way back in 1995 in his book “Being Digital“. We don’t need to move MOLECULES faster. That’s not the important part. Most of the time, those who truly desire a flying car want to move something much more basic: information (ie: bits). We want to get “there” faster so we can have a conversation. To see something. To communicate an idea.
In I.T., the most essential question is “why”. Not “why do we need to do this (stupid) thing” but instead, “why – what is it we’re trying to accmoplish? what problem are we trying to solve?”.
When you focus on that question and it’s answer, you know whether you need to implement a flying car, or if Google Hangouts will suffice.