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April 22-25, 2003, Santa Clara -Explore. Invent. Connect.


"Daddy, Are We There Yet?" The Computer Revolution Hasn't Happened Yet
Alan Kay

Track: Keynote
Date: Thursday, April 24
Time: 8:30am - 9:30am
Location: Santa Clara Ballroom

The printing revolution really didn't happen until the 17th century, when two really large changes became manifest. The general notion of who should learn to read shifted to include women and children outside of the nobility, and schools were set up to make this happen. Also, the style of argument about important issues had changed from appeals to authority to appeals to logic and process. The fruits of the 17th century were science, democratic governance, and the industrial revolution.

In his keynote address, Kay draws the analogy that the true personal computing revolution will happen when all people, especially children, become fluent with the deeper powers of expression that only the computer makes possible, and when these powers of expression bring forth a new way to discuss, think, and argue about important ideas.

There is a very strong sense in which the children will invent the real computer revolution: when computer people start to work with them to make a truly "computerate" environment for them that is qualitatively different and more powerful than what most adults use today.

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