With computers and internet, we are as with a devil pact

A conversation with clifford stoll, who in his latest book for that "logout" pladished

Clifford stoll, 1951, is astronomer, nerd, hackerjager. He pays for the pioneers of the data networks. His book "cuckoo" reported by the "hunting for the german hackers who cracked the pentagon". That was 1989. Six years later, 1995, as well as in this country with the computer industry the world wide web boomed, he published "silicon snake oil", in german appeared under the title: the wisse internet. Now his youngest prank comes out: "logout. Why computer lost nothing in the classroom and other high-tech heritages".

From the computer and internet pioneer to the high-tech hareatic, it is a way — and accompanied by certain experiences. What was your ubiel experience with the calculator, with the computer on the net?

Clifford stoll: so, i’m not sure what better, worse or worst was in my life with the computer: maybe the arger was the most robbered than and as i did before zwolf, thirteen years for the first time that a hacker in my calculator had broken. Or when i wrote about a program about a program twenty years ago, which was then full of bugs and finally did not work. Or when i finally got along six years ago that i spent far too much time in front of the computer and therefore my friends had tailored. They criticize the computer industry and the it industry that do not keep their promises. Where does the industry promise too much?

Clifford stoll: the computer industry always promises us new, faster, reliable programs, but instead they are slow, full of mistakes and often terribly complicated. There are still gigantic promises from a revolution to radically urge our view of the world — but basically it is just a pretty fade electronic perspective, which is offered to us: the computer and the internet are more of each other. And always we should put our head in the cyberspace possible. Apart from general cultural pessimism. You call problems quite by name, z.. B. Argues you the bad quality of the software. Why do the programs want to wish all? We have just given that you have already programmed faulty software.

Clifford stoll: yes, write a really good program is amazingly difficult. Not only because the more complicated, the gross programs and the more varied their functions. The quality of the software depends on the concept, from the design and how to program them. As soon as more than two people write to a program, it becomes difficult, and every extensive software is written by a dozen or even from one hundred people today. But as soon as a group communicates with the other neatly, mistakes sneak. That’s like everywhere, where the right hand does not know what the left does — for example in burocritia; for author, stop happens, the computer stuclents the system. You see the users as a trial caninally?

Clifford stoll: software companies are under a rough prere to always deliver new products in ever more short-circuizable. A mature product needed his time. So you have all the fun times and renounced more test runs. This leads to the fact that we ultimately test users of the programs. That’s a. If pharmaceutical companies were so processed, they were immediately away from the window. The same applies to the automotive industry: wanted to go out in practice, whether tires should be square, triangular or yet around, it would be over right away. But in the computer industry, this does not matter. The comparison is funny, but he does not lag?

Clifford stoll: what you have to endure day-to-day strains in the computer life alone is enormous. We know that all. We are in the middle of an important work — the calculator says goodbye. And you would like to hust up on it. Anger with software there is everywhere: the more you can can, the more difficult it will be, the more progresses are the programs. The full internet browsers, for example, have loud quirks. And we take that out because we still find that wonderful. But at some point it will be too much to the people. Then usability becomes more important and people will be glad if a program does not have a thousand (overflow and bad) features, but at least a few who really work. Coarse companies like microsoft, for example, cover one with each update with an ellent list of new features. But why that’s all? From a car i did not expect any frills, but first and foremost that it’s ride, and when i want and where i want. The computer does not matter to us, we are not so far yet. We still impress with flashing lamps and colorful membranes and multi-functional pull-down menus. For me, the computer is only better if he really relieves the work, and did not blob because he has instead of a hundred 500 hz. And software is better, if you can work reliably with it, and i do not have to acquire senseless updates just to get clarified in my job. Instead of learning a program for all times, we will be forced to start again from the front. We not only save time, but we waste just as much time with the computer. This raises another light on the term of "lifelong learning"….

Clifford stoll: it is so that you sometimes get better with a sticky note than with the laptop. We lose all kinds. Instead of reading a newspaper, we dream of intelligent software that the for us is done for us. And the classic examples meet: decades have used the schuler calculator. Today no more copyrets can. Without computer courses, most are screwed up when it comes to change. In addition, many writing if you write at all, illegible, there is almost no manuscript. And that’s sad. The computer accelerates our work, but old mental and craftsmanship, with whom we got well with life so far remain on the track. However, one could object that other skills are required and demanded today. We have daily to do with the computer, in the buro, at work, at home. We can not sweep the wheel. The point-of-no return is long crossed …

Clifford stoll: there is no back. That’s correct. At present, however, i’m interested in what the whole selling sale and the exuarvations about the e-commerce drove, whether there is something other in the industry. Computer companies and above all the famous dot.Coms do not make any profits, but losses. And that has ultimately to do it immediately that one promised too much and has suffered too little. The correlations were too rough. Most of the time you still have to develop the most crowdiest, inflated programs, while most easily blob uses usable software. Today’s computers equal to the cars of the 50s: there was a chromium blinking kuhlerbill first more important than anything else. Everything seems more important than the function. But this will change. That may take ten years or it takes a whole generation until the people pipes on the hype and the exaggerated advertising. They hope and therefore wait for the clarified consumers. But you still ubt your critical consumer in patience, sometimes in angel’s thought. Why is that?

Clifford stoll: i think that’s one part of the fact that we are still to blame ourselves more often if there is difficulties with the computer. On the other hand, it is also about us: we do not want to change us because that costs too much time. Many professionals, for example, keep linux for the better operating system. But we still had to rethink about that, and we are too comfortable. Then you work, and be it worse, with the good programs continue. "Schools on the net" is a topic in this country. In the usa you have already gained experience with this. A computer is self-reliable in the classroom or it should be in each of a stand — it seems to be obvious. The question seems to be just about shooting how suckle you ubt. Maybe not only in elementary school, but already in kindergarten?

Clifford stoll: i believe that you can also enjoy excellent training without a computer. I think in the kindergarten, the computer has lost nothing at all. The children should really rather climb on tree. Father, we say at the age of maybe ten years, a computer is completely helpful, but not really important. I think we should teach our children in all: literature, music art, history and mathematics. To no one of these specialists do you need a computer. I have my difficulties that computers for vital be kept worthy, that only computer skills qualify for a duty paid job . How every high school finisher can drive driving, so he should also be familiar with the internet. That is not difficult! You learn that fast. That’s not a secret science. But a foreign language or, say we play
saxophone: you do not learn that so fast. This is something else!: carve a sculpture from wood — or take a car engine apart and then put it back together, but right. This is much harder than internet surfing. We have the use of computers at our schools completely overvalued. One has promised and others too much of it. As a result, among other things, that less and fewer people with their hands can still do something today, for example, we are already the good craftsmen. Not only the mechanics, but also the cardiac surgeons. In 1964 they had the first time in 1964 in their high school, for the first time, for almost 25 years they work with their own pc. Do you blob the newbies spoil the spab? You have also benefited from online databases as a pioneer of networks and communicates with their colleagues. Nowadays, people are enthusiastic about email with quite good reason and keep the real progress for a real progress.

Clifford stoll: yes, email is really good, quite practical and fast and easy to use. But the time i save myself through email, i lose again immediately. I can not get a lot of emails, including a lot of overflow stuff, and anyway, everyone expects that i am best answered immediately. I feel like a fist, as with a devil pact: with the computer and the internet we will promise us and power. But everything has its price. When do i still have rest? I can barely come to think about. There will be a lot of advertising for furs internet; the volkerverbindende is emphasized, boundaries became overflow — and we were steadily supplied with all possible information. But i’m not missing information, but i’d like to have more time for my children, my family and my friends. And i did not always like all possible to have all possible horen, but also can. Of course, the advantages are obvious. But i’m true that we finally ask ourselves what price we actually pay for our worldwide high-tech delusion.

Clifford stoll: "logout. Why computer lost nothing in the classroom and other high-tech heritages". Fischer verlag. 256 pages. Dm 29.90,-