Software and the Genius of Edison

"Genius," says Thomas Edison, "is one percent inspiration, ninety nine percent perspiration." David Deutsch says this is a misleading description of how progress happens. Deutsch presents a convincing argument in "The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World." I agree wholeheartedly with his observation that much of the perspiration phase can be automated. Most of my software engineering career was dedicated to automating the kinds of repetitive and mundane chores computers are good at so human beings would have the time to focus on what human beings are good at - solving problems and creating knowledge. I think, on balance, the software industry has been successful in that objective. Or was right up until Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et al. got in people's faces.

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