All the work that I have done—this is a very strange business, and a very strange endeavor of life—all the work that I have done in my life will be obsolete by the time I am fifty. Apple II is obsolete now, Apple I’s were obsolete many years ago. Macintosh is on the verge of becoming obsolete in the next few years.
This is a field where one does not write a Principia which holds up for two hundred years. This is not a field where one paints a painting that will be looked at for centuries, or builds a church that will be admired and looked at in astonishment for centuries.
No, this is a field where one does one’s work and in ten years its obsolete, and really will not be usable in ten or twenty years. I mean, you can’t go back and use and Apple I, cuz there’s no software for it. In another ten years or so you won’t be able to use an Apple II. You won’t even be able to fire it up and see what it was like.
So its sort of like sediment of rocks. You’re building up a mountain, and you get to contribute your little layer of sedimentary rock to make the mountain that much higher. But no one on the surface will, unless they have x-ray vision, will see your sediment. They’ll stand on it, it’ll be appreciated by that rare geologist, but no, its not like the renaissance at all. Its very different.