4 hours ago, NoelCarboni wrote
Experienced people have wisdom. I'm not more stupid than when I was a bright eyed 20 year old working on mainframes, dreaming of the computer power we'd some day have. I've written thousands of lines of code this week.
Computing, however, is getting a whole lot more stupid than it was then. It was struggling to get better. Now it's not. This is a recent phenomenon, and not an inevitable product of a "generation gap".
When Engineers (geeks) are in charge, things get better. When Marketing people (jocks) are in charge, we suffer. It has always been and it will always be. Scott Adams has it right.
So back in the 80s pretty much all PCs came with BASIC included. Even the cheap/crappy ones. And some popular programs in the 90s had integrated scripting. This lowered the barrier to entry to becoming a developer. These appliance-like devices that are popular these days put harsh restrictions on programs that can be used to create other programs, so it's not even that programming is less accessible, it's becoming prohibited completely.
This could sound great in the sense that less people doing development = more demand for development, supply/demand, good for developers. But, at the same time computer science is such a new field and there so much left to do, as you mentioned, to create the "Star Trek" future. We all actually suffer if people are discouraged from getting into computer science. Plus, there are entire fields that probably aren't investigated as much as they should be, with less scientists and technologists in general, society as a whole will tend to increase economic priorities on software that does not progress the human condition, to the point that even such an idea, as you observed, becomes niche.