Le cerveau d'Einstein est un objet mythique.
Roland Barthes, Mythologies
The software revolution began in the mid-twentieth century as a quiet storm. Now as we approach the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century the storm has reached cyclonic proportions as the world heads toward an ever-increasing dependence on software. Banks are almost pure software now. Everything you've worked for and saved for and put in your 401K or your savings account or rolled up in your pension plan is little more than 1's and 0's living on magnetic disks spinning at thousands of revolutions per minute…unless they're being manipulated through mazes of nanoscopic switches on labyrinthine wafers of silicon, or being transmitted around the world as pulsating beams of light.
Your old friends from grade school or high school or college or military service are now mostly avatars in Second Life or user accounts on Facebook or intermittent twittering phrases appearing and disappearing on the text message screen of your cell phone.
From the earliest software systems in the form of the brains of prehistoric worms, through the slow evolution of the human cerebral cortex and the beginnings of the software revolution in the mid-1900's, the software industry has finally emerged from its tentative infancy and is now entering a tumultuous, energetic adolescence, a magical time of discovery and unprecedented creativity and invention.
The hardware of the very near future promises to provide software developers with a platform of unimaginable power. With the ability to represent 1 and 0 at the same time using a single bit, quantum computers will escape the constraints of ordinary binary computing and leave today's supercomputers gasping for air. Terabit Ethernet will move data faster than the Starship Enterprise travelling at warp 10. And nanotechnology will exponentially increase data storage capacities.
Fasten your seat belt and dust off your sense of wonder.