Generational Advantages

Nov 6, 2022

My generation has unfair advantages over previous ones. I grew up in a world that went through rapid digitization—the first to have access to unlimited (and free) information. As a result, we grew up significantly more savvy about technology than our parents (I'm not sure future generations will be the same).  

  • The Library of Alexandria had roughly 300,000 books. So if you're motivated and willing to break a few copyright laws, you can download 3,000,000 books for free and store them in your pocket.
  • Coding is leverage. You can encode your work and endlessly replicate it. We didn't have to write assembly language, worry about hardware compatibility, or build undifferentiated primitives like window managers.
  • The vast majority of content is digitized. Previous generations might have had the internet, but we were the first to grow up with endless information.
  • Growing up in a period of extreme access to education (I started college the year of peak college enrollment in the U.S. It was not impacted by any global pandemics.
  • It's just the start, but AI-augmented tooling gives programmers unfair advantages. Of course, AI will help other professions in the future, but coding is already 10x faster with AI.
  • Digital natives. One way to define millennials — is the only generation to be on Facebook before their parents.

Of course, it would be short-sighted and pessimistic to think future generations won't have their own unfair advantages. Maybe the children who grew up looking at iPads and innately using touchscreen gestures will have some advantages with new technology.