Prediction: within 3 years the stylus will be the killer feature of Android tablets.
Since then I've felt a little embarrassed remembering that post. Grand
claims, ha ha!
With the recent announcement of Apple's "Pencil" I feel somewhat
vindicated. I got the details wrong but I think broadly speaking that
hand-drawing, sketches, doodles, will feature strongly in the future of
human-to-human communication. Maybe even more strongly than typed
messages for some people.
I'm thinking about the 16% of people worldwide who can't read or
write, but who are rapidly adopting hand held technologies where they
I'm thinking about the tens of thousands of years of human beings
using sticks as a technology for making marks upon a surface.
I'm thinking about the popularity of emoji, the universality of
pictographs, the cross-cultural and language-independent nature of the
medium of drawn communication.
I'm thinking about my kids and how the second thing they learn after
talking is drawing.
Maybe one future is a world in which many of our planet's population do
a significant fraction of our communication through the medium of doodles.
I feel grateful because this year when my daughter said to me "I want to
be a mummy, not an astronaut," I was able to tell her about Anna Fisher,
who in 1984 became the first astronaut-mother in space, and to show her
the stories and images online of the several astronaut-mothers who have
followed her into space.
I feel grateful this year to Jess Frazelle from Docker, who wrote an
reminded me of my privilege; reminded me how lucky I am to participate
in tech and open source communities without friction and harassment;
reminded me of a hidden strength and fortitude exhibited by amazing
people all around us that I can aspire to; and reminded me that there is
always more work to be done to make the world a better place for all humans.
I feel grateful that I am not alone in thinking and wanting that our
culture can change for the better. I'm grateful that the internet can
amplify the voices of people like Jess, and counteract the Friendship
Paradox every time
somebody speaks up.
I am grateful for the writing of bloggers like Pamela Fox and Liza
Shulyayeva and Nicole Reid who demonstrate the technical, evidence based
counter-factual to every trolling Hacker News comment.
As I do every year, this year I feel deeply grateful and so very lucky
that my parents bought our Apple IIe when I was eight years old and that
my mother taught me to code.
I feel grateful to have worked, and to continue to work beside amazing
people who every day prove that smart, capable, technical people don't
fit a stereotype.
The stereotype disagrees with reality, and so it is wrong.