Nicholas Negroponte: Jedi?

Check out this recent interview with Nicholas Negroponte on The Engadget Show.

A little background: Nicholas founded the Architecture Machine Group (or ArcMac) at MIT in 1967. His aim, partly inspired by Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad was to create an “architecture machine” — an active partner to help architects design buildings. The group also was responsible for the Aspen Movie Map, anti-aliased text, telepresence research, and online personal news aggregators. He then founded the MIT Media Lab and, more recently, One Laptop Per Child (OLPC).

In the interview he talks about digital assistants, e-ink and the nature of reflective displays, the end of books (“How could there possibly be books in the future?”), and future OLPC devices (moving towards a tablet form factor, and using them as libraries of content).

What I find remarkable about Nicholas, and this interview, is his long-term perspective on things. While he deeply understands what’s currently happening, he has an approach that avoids the daily issues. It’s a great reminder to step outside the fray of day-to-day design and technology trends and battles.

From one of the comments on the Engadget page: “Negroponte may be at least half Jedi.”

Nicholas Negroponte, Engadget interview with Joshua Topolsky
Nicholas Negroponte, with an OLPC prototype