This article was intereresting and thought-provoking, but held little concrete information, and I don't think it was very well connected to actual current trends and research in computing. Here are some arguments for a different view on the evolution of technology.
Change is Local
In computer technology, The Next Big Thing simply isn't going to happen all at once. Computer science, software engineeering, and computer engineering may be closely tied together, but they are very different fields, and each is internally diverse. The computer may seem to its user to be a single unit, but from a research perspective it comes from a wide range of disciplines which are only loosely working together toward common goals.
Therefore, revolutions are localized. An advance in programming languages gives programmers new tools to work with, but they still have to dream up the systems they can create with those new tools. A breakthrough in 3D hardware creates new possibilities for human-computer interaction, but these remain just possibilities until someone realizes and creates them.
Changes to the computer as a whole are made possible by advances in each of its subsystems. Developers in each field must take advantage of new technologies from other fields as they become available. Creating entire new computer systems requires finding new ways to combine existing technologies. It is necessarily an incremental process, built on previous advances.
Comparing technology development to scientific research gives only part of the picture. Once a new technology has been invented, there is still the engineering task of producing it, and then the job of making it available to thousands of users worldwide, and convincing them to use it. For another (equally flawed, but contrasting) analogy, consider the US interstate system. After one freeway is completed did people complain, "The technology to build a nationwide freeway system is obviously here today, so why isn't it done yet?"
Revolution is Under Your Nose
Another writer pointed out that revolutions are easy to see through hindsight. But because changes in computer tech are incremental and spread across many fields, many people never notice drastic changes happening all aroud them.
In addition, technologists can be very myopic. If your work only involves personal computers, you may never hear about new I/O technologies for enterprise-level mainframes, or new RTOS developments for embedded systems. PCs revolutionized the computing field, but no one in the former computer mainstream even noticed it until they were already nearing ubiquity.
Right now, Boeing electrical workers are assembling airplanes with the help of augmented reality: visual overlays created by transparent heads-up displays connected to wearable computers with wireless position-tracking equipment. Only forty years ago, "small" computers were refrigerator-sized, graphical displays were an obscure rarity, and the electronic positioning technology was science fiction at best.
Today, J. Random Mac User can buy an iMac and an off-the-shelf DV camera, and do nonlinear editing on high-quality digital video. Twenty years ago, low-end film editing systems cost ten times more and were slower, harder to use, and did less. Compters that could produce film-quality video barely even existed then; now they are being marketed to middle-income families and students.
Thanks to orders-of-magnitude increases in network bandwidth, global connectivity, and processing power in just the past decade, my computer is now my primary tool for audio, video, and telecommunication. Just one decade ago almost none of this was possible. These are whole new technologies, and new ways of interacting with technology. We may have been building toward them for years, but that makes them no less revolutionary.
If You Build It, They Will Come
The author voiced specific ideas about more fluidly-organized data storage. The WikiWikiWeb, The Brain, the MIT Media Lab's Remembrance Agent, and Everything are just a few of the existing programs working in this direction.
Note that the requisite database technology is already in place for projects like these, and is perfectly at home within existing operating systems. This is really a problem of human-computer interaction and not of systems research. Computer programs are perfectly comfortable dealing with each other in highly-structured forms; it's the user who wants more flexible ways to view and edit information. The real challenge here is not the low-level technology, but finding usable and useful ways to present it to humans.
In my experience, those who complain about things like current computer interfaces are good at pointing out problems, but bad at providing specific solutions. Vague ideas are floated around, but are rarely implemented or even prototyped.
Costas seems to have some idea of where computer systems should go next. Given that costas is a programmer and that Kuro5hin is a site about technology from the trenches, I was a bit surprised that the story didn't end like this: "Therefore, please read about and contribute to <a href="somewhere">my project>, which I've designed to achieve some of the goals I talked about above."
Don't wait around for someone else to make your vision into reality. Do it yourself.