Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Sometimes it doesn't all add up

I remember the first four function calculators. They cost something like 300 dollars, because they could add, subtract, divide and multiply. The first digital watches were also north of one hundred fifty dollars. Now both are available at the check out line of the dollar store. Both cost more to package than they do to make.

The first cable television services delivered essentially the basic channels plus one channel or two, depending on locale. My first version of Compuserve software, version 1.2 I believe, offered bare bones graphics, and connected at 1200 bauds. The first video game for home use had basically one game, Pong. My Commodore 64 was named a Commodore 64 because it had 64K of memory.

Today, every time I turn on the news, we're debating unilateral entry into a war against an admittedly despotic, ridiculous regime. Some of our allies are also despotic ridiculous regimes, which happen not to be at odds with us. My own middle course solution is that the UN handle this problem, including through force if need be, and not to utilize a unilateral American/UK force. But regardless of how this all comes out, I wish we had one micronth as much ability to solve social problems in our world as we have the ability to improve consumer electronics. If diplomacy could be solved by engineers, we'd live in a world of milk and honey.

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