Interesting Times….future

May you live in interesting times….

A nice wish, a very nicely put vision of future!
But then, there are instances where the vision of future, rather the way the vision of future is put becomes quite amusing.
Take for instance the text from the advert for MITS Altair 8800 in 1975 (way too many years before I was even born).
The “land of Altair” as promised- and inclusive of of all sorts of men, trade and everything technology of past and future could promise.

And how these promises still resonate !
At personal level….tomorrow we start TechEase’2010 – a National Workshop for students on Usability and Interaction Design.
Last year, the “Land of Altair” was one of the talking points about the vision of technology in context of the history of Interaction Design in my workshop/presentation. Last year it was a lecture and a workshop session for me, so it was just about computers, interaction design and general knowledge things I love. This year, I’ll be co-ordinating the student exercises for the three days, and the broader issues come into play.
At even broader level, we are going to see some very significant national events – the “Verdict of the Century”- a whole nation is mobilized and every single travel, every outing at every level is planned and scheduled carefully, from the highest echelons of policy-makers, to the pedestrian- all seem to be in a state of prepared caution.
We also see the media hype on CWG and endless chain-mails highlighting the government apathy, as well as the face of the games media did not want to show.

While one affects the attendance of the participants, the other gives a strange feeling – all the same the preparations for TechEasae’2010 seems to be in place and ready to go.

A message like this is interesting in such times…(actually all times when future is discussed)

Imagine a land where computers are in the hands of the people.

Creative people from farmers to merchants to students to engineers to housewives to dentists to poets….

Imagine a land where the computer is in harmony with man, with nature, with hope, with peace.

Imagine a land where computer power is affordable and understandable to almost everyone.

You are imagining the land of  Altair.

The land of Altair is now.
 – from The Land of Altair Ad of 1975

What is going to come, will come, and whether it is a prediction, or a projection, or just a guess – it is at best a Fantasy.
and my bets are on fantastic….


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