Open Thread: What Have You Changed Your Mind About?


Answering this year’s question from the Edge World Question Center, computer scientist Jordan Pollack says he has changed his mind about email. It was once a dream, but not any more, and he imagines its replacement:

Email is now a nightmare that we have to wake up from. I don’t have a solution yet, but I believe the key to re-imagine email is to realize that our computers and phones are “always on” the net. So we can begin with synchronous messaging (both sender and receiver are online) — a cross between file sharing, SMS texting, and instant messaging — and then add grid storage mechanisms for asynchronous delivery, multiple recipients, and reliability.

The other answers make for fascinating reading, especially as many of the responses come from technologists and tackle tough issues about technology’s place in human life. I especially enjoyed Esther Dyson on online privacy and Xeni Jardin on the need for community moderators.

Has working online made you change your mind about anything?


Matthew Cornell

Jeez – almost everything.
o employer -> self-employed (where should I work?
o programming -> personal productivity consulting (what should I do?)
o clients: small business -> not good market
o be interestED, not just interestING

Tons of them. Becoming self-employed and switching careers really kicked of a lot of this.

Main idea: If you’re not changing your mind often, you’re not doing anything!

What’s helped me: Tracking “lessons learned.” This helps to take the sting out of making mistakes, and helps me have the courage to try new stuff. At least I think :-)

Great topic!

Anne Zelenka

@emalyse: I change my mind regularly about topics to do with on and offline work. For example, I’m starting to realize that I need more boundaries between my online work and the rest of my life, even though last year I thought I could do without them.


This was an interesting exercise. Enjoyed reading both Brian Eno’s change of heart re politics and Douglas Rushkoff’s disappointment regarding what positive social changes the internet can achieve.
Me, I’ve changed my mind regarding blurring the lines between online and offline work and friends and it’s an viewpoint that’s still evolving.

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