consulting the oracle

Modern Day Oracle

Arthur Clarke said Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. What is today’s technology? What is today’s advanced technology? What technology is sufficiently advanced to be indistinguishable from magic? Are there any services like that around?

I’ve been working, on the side, on idea purposefully intended to be magical. I’ve been reading “How the Mind Works” which suggests that people understand problems better when they are framed as human problems, not as technical ones. Therefore, we’ve decided to attempt explaining our idea in human terms, purposefully reducing technical jargon to a minimum.

What Is It?

Simply put: we’d like to build a modern day oracle. If you have a problem, you will be able to “consult the oracle” in any number of mediums. A medium may be a cell phone, a phone call, or a website. Send your problem through the medium, and you’ll recieve an oracle. The oracle will have a suggestion. The suggestion will be relevant.


When I was in middle school, I took shop class. My teacher made everyone memorize:

Technology is the application of science to benefit mankind.

It seemed kind of cheesy at the time. Nowadays friends might hear me talking about the importance of usability, how it affects society, and how it affects spending. What kind of technology would enable the kinds of use cases I described? All of the technology needed to build this service is already available. When my friends and I are done building it, we will release it as open source.

It will be easy to use. It will be addictive. If it isn’t, we aren’t interested in building it.

We already have a private but working demo, just to prove to ourselves that the technology necessary is available. What kind of items would you buy? Electronics? Convenience items? What kinds of problems would you want solved? Flat tires? Emergencies? Every day annoyances? How long would people wait for an all knowing oracle?


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