January 03, 2002
I believe that if we entered all our actions into a database, computers would become omnipotent. Or rather, it is not that computers would become omnipotent but that we would become able to get computers to do everything for us. I have faith in this rather than reason for it; I am not quite sure if it is true, but I do feel that we often want computers to do more for us that that of which they are capable. The default lies in people's reluctance to record every little thing they do. Lotus Notes is a good example of a tool that allows you to record a lot of documents that you have written, but without describing what is actually in them, it fails to permit the computing machine to take much action upon them. The computer can count your documents maybe, but that's it. The scientific ideal would be that computers would know enough about all our transactions that they could take actions upon them. This is what I believe is only possible if we record everything in a relational database in a completely standard format. I do not believe, par contre, that this is plausible.