Hello. My name's Nicholas Negroponte, and I'm gonna talk to you about blurring the limits of bits and atoms. Bits don’t weigh anything. They don’t have any weight. And when they travel, they travel at the speed of light. And when you collect them, they don’t take any space. Then lots of properties like that, which you know, but in your gut, it's not really understood, because we think in terms of our bodies. We remember posting letters, walking to the mailbox. We remember paying more for a heavy letter than a light one. We think of the amount of energy it takes to move something a long distance.
And again, those are built into our bodies, but the world of bits is not. The digital world is very different. It ended up changing everything. It changed everything not just because computers were used to make business more efficient, but because people started to work in the bits business and I'll give you a very simple example of how consequential it is to be in bits versus atoms. Take a country like China and the economy of China depends upon this infrastructure of moving physical things and a lot is, so to speak, made in China.
And then look at India. What did they do? They went into the bits business, 'cause you don’t need the trucks. You don’t need the highways. So it actually affected the national character of the strengths. If you think of India, you think software. You think of China, you think hardware. That's not because of some deep cultural sort of Confucius likes hardware and some other part of thinking says software, it's because they were able to do the bits without having the infrastructure that we needed to do atoms.
It’s changed almost every industry and now something your great pa-, grandparents are great great grandparents would have never understood is that lots of people, even most people, certainly most people that graduate from universities are in the bits business.