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Hope is a vital human emotion, stimulated by the desire to make life better and infused with the belief that change is possible. Hope has a strong rational component that shapes plans and reasons about possible outcomes, but hope depends on passion for forward movement.
Deeply held hopes can invigorate others to join in purposeful action. Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech is inspirational because of its image of racial harmony. Similarly, John F. Kennedy's vision of setting foot on the moon helped bring it about. His passion provided the propelling force for the rational scientific work that followed.
Often hope must overcome resistance - the fear that action will fail or leave us worse off. Fear can be a terrifying barrier to change, but also an energizer for action. Confronting fears and summoning the courage to press forward requires self-confidence and a determination to succeed. Because of these challenges, people and civilizations are often remembered for their deep hopes, or in the words of Ezra Pound: "One measure of a civilization, either of an age or of a single individual, is what that age or person really wishes to do."
The Deep Hopes of Computing Professionals
On this Golden Anniversary of ACM, computing professionals can reflect proudly on 50 years of accomplishments. It is also appropriate for us to consider our deep hopes for the next 50 years. Computing has grown into a worldwide infrastructure that touches every country and soon may touch every individual on the planet. But what are our deep hopes for the next 50 years? If our hopes inspire action, our profession will be appreciated for contributing to a better society [2, 10, 12].
Through the half-century of our profession, visionaries have inspired constructive development. In the 1940s, Vannevar Bush's envisioned memex, a desk with microfilm libraries to extend memory by accessing vast resources of patents, scientific papers, or legal citations . J.C.R. Licklider carried the digital library idea into the world of electronic computers and recognized the potential for teleconferencing to bring people closer together . Douglas Engelbart envisioned computers as symbol manipulators that could augment human intellect . He created an ambitious workstation with a mouse, chorded keyboard, an outliner, and links across documents that he demonstrated at the Fall Joint Computer Conference of 1968. Later visionaries brought us personal computers, networks, electronic mail, graphical user interfaces, and more. These helped launch the modern computer …