Alan Kay on putting yourself into the future

Alan Kay gave a great talk called "Normal Considered Harmful"

At 51:35 there's quite a gem. He advises us:

Don't be in the past. You need to put yourself into the future in order to skate to where the puck is going to be. You need to leverage up!

The way to get leverage is to get a ton of computer power and write a ton of very simple, non-optimized languages that run very very quickly. And you should be able to do them every couple of days to get power and then throw them away, use them like kleenexes.

Its rather easy to do that if you don't have to optimize and you don't have to optimize if you use hardware that runs 100x faster than what you have today.

So unless you do that, you can ONLY do incremental stuff today.

Another great point at 59:00

The MacCready Effect. 

Always do the minimal thing you can do that is qualitatively better. Before building anything, MacCready spent a long time thinking about where to spend 80% of his effort beore he did a darn thing. That's why he solved an immense number of problems in his life.