Uncanny Foresight

Interview with Steve Jobs 1981

Computer Threats – David Burnham 1983

I have been studying Steve Jobs. I came across this interview with a young Steve Jobs. Here he is all bright- eyed and optimistic about the future of computers and computing. In this clip the opposing view to Steve Jobs, is given by David Burnham. Both Steve and David appear to have correctly predicted many things about the threats posed and potential of computers.

This post started off being about Steve Jobs. It is ending up covering the foresight of David Burnham. So many of David Burnham’s dark predictions back in 1983 have turned out to be accurate.

In fact I would argue that even David Burnham understimated just how sinister things would become.

Here David is challenged in particular about his belief that computers were changing our ethics.

I don’t believe computers are changing our ethics. I think they are giving unethical people much greater scope to do mischief.”

Quote from a reporter quizzing David Burnham.

At one point Dave Burnham gives an example of computers effectively giving employers the ability to look in people’s desk drawers. I don’t think even David Burnham predicted exactly how far the incursion into our private lives, would eventually reach.

Like the proverbial frog in hot water, the heat has been turned up so gradually, we appear not to have noticed.

It makes me wonder who are the Dave Burnhams of today we should be listening to?

Sources: Bob Willard

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCroKf3WpDA3Y25icaZ4eVpQ

Robat Sea 2009 https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCioQmyB0WnsT9jwMczLpI7g

Source:giphy
%d bloggers like this: