When my wife Melinda and I created our foundation and gradually started learning more about global development, we were stunned by the underfunding of innovation targeted at the needs of the poor. In Information Technology, the challenge was to see 20 or 30 years into the future. In development, the task at hand was very different: to catch up with the present.
Bill Gates in the current edition of the New Statesman.
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He could throw words up into the sky, they fell down in a marvellous pattern.
Denis McShane on Christopher Hitchens, who died yesterday.
Hitchens was, for me, simply the most accomplished writer and rhetorician of the last two decades and more. I agreed with him at least as often as I disagreed with him, but i was rarely less than awestruck by his mastery of language. Indeed I often found myself, for an instant, agreeing with his position even when I knew it was wrong, simply through the force of his writing.
He was at his lethal best when he wrote about The Ghoul of Calcutta:
….Mother Teresa, one of the few untouchables in the mental universe of the mediocre and the credulous…
On this issue he was unquestionably correct.
Technorati Tags: christopher hitchens, writing, language
In view of the possibility for developments of this machine, therefore, there would seem to be no reason why a man sitting at his Zerograph in London, may not, in the future, be able to hold written converse with his correspondents in the furthermost parts of the globe, without the intervention of any physical connection.
This was written 102 years ago, by George Carl Mares, in 1909, in his book: The History of the Typewriter Successor to the Pen: An Illustrated Account of the Origin, Rise and Development of the Writing Machine. Even a century ago, sharp minds, going on little more than an early and relatively crude electric typewriter, were dreaming of a networked future.
Quoted in Alex Goody‘s superb book: Technology, Literature and Culture. If you have an interest in the relationship between writing, culture and technology, this book is an absolute must-read!
Technorati Tags: zerograph, george carl mares, typewriter, world wide web, networks