The Why


“Augmentation Principle” Mind-> Hand-> Software-> NextThing

! Warning - excessive bullet points and wandering philosophy ahead !

Mind -> Hand

  • The above image source was of famous hand prints in caves.
    • Early cave dwellers doing early art blew early pigments around their hand, onto the cave wall.
  • I like to think that they knew their hand was something special - look at that glorious opposable thumb!
    • It was the physical manifestation of their awareness and problem solving.
      • Don’t like that bug? Hand smash!
      • Hungry? Hand put bugs in mouth until hunger = False.
    • It was the primary problem solving tool, augmenting the mind, limited by physical realities of a hand (ie scale).
  • We are comfortable measuring by an abundance or an absence.
    • Problems are typically defined as extremes of either.


  • Software (of mind via hand)
    • Augments mind, transcends hand-tool, has limitations.
    • Bugs reference from above here :)
  • We technologists of 2018 CE live in this current-generation manifestation of our awareness and problem solving.
    • We continually refine this ever-less crude tool.
    • We model our world and our problems with software, crudely, via creation of software tools.


  • The NextThing (aka next-generation manifestation past software, of software) would seemingly involve:
    • Fundamental change to problem modeling
    • Fundmentally different looking output/tools created
  • We might be seeing some early slivers of this.
    • Example: Concerns over the opaqueness and lack of auditability of narrow AI decision making
    • Example: Self-training AI, ie AlphaGo
    • Example: Discussions on the impact of total automation and our concept of self-worth through employment
  • I think it might have parallels to the ending of the movie Arrival.

Summary (finally The WHY)

  • The radical rate of technology change I’ve seen excites me, and is a core reason I choose software for my life’s work.
  • I feel lucky to participate in the “NextThing”.