Outliers 37: Computing pioneer Bob Frankston says algorithms are the new bureaucracy

Pankaj Mishra October 6, 2017 1 min

“When you see a door, you should get curious,” says Robert M. “Bob” Frankston, a computing pioneer who co-developed VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program with Dan Bricklin way back in 1979. We are discussing the engineering crisis and what should a young programmer do to stay relevant.

“I hate the word coding; it’s like calling writing, typing.”

As I sat with Bob for this episode of Outliers Podcast, we discussed everything from the future of computer programming to how algorithms and their masters such as Facebook, Google and Amazon are beginning to take control of our lives.

“Algorithms are the new bureaucracy,” he says. Listen in.


               

Thank you for reading FactorDaily

We hope this story worked for you.

Our journalism is produced by some of the best brains in the story-telling business who believe that good stories have only one master: you, the reader. Bringing these stories to you, just so you know, costs us a pretty dime even as the context of disruption remains unchanged in the journalism business the world over.

If you like what you read here, consider supporting the FactorDaily journey. We don’t have a paywall because we believe access to good journalism must be free to all, especially when it is in public interest and informs citizens with independence and accuracy. Such stories should not be restricted to a few who can pay. You are free to support us with any amount you like. 

Please note that 18% of your contribution will be paid to government as GST, per Indian accounting rules.


Disclosure: FactorDaily is owned by SourceCode Media, which counts Accel Partners, Blume Ventures and Vijay Shekhar Sharma among its investors. Accel Partners is an early investor in Flipkart. Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder of Paytm. None of FactorDaily’s investors have any influence on its reporting about India’s technology and startup ecosystem.