Q: What's something that totally surprised you?
A: Well, I certainly expected that, by now, online tools for conversation, work, collaboration and discourse would have become far more useful, sophisticated and effective than they currently are. I know I'm pretty well alone here, but all the glossy avatars and video and social networks conceal a trivialization of interaction, dragging it down to the level of single-sentence grunts, flirtation and ROTFL [rolling on the floor laughing], at a time when we need discussion and argument to be more effective than ever.
Everybody is still banging rocks together, while bragging about the colors. Meanwhile, half of the tricks that human beings normally use, in real world conversation, have never even been tried online. In my book Earth, I forecast a near future when people are empowered by their tools to learn rapidly from their own mistakes and the mistakes of others. It could still happen.