If I had to guess, and I don’t have to guess, but I want to guess,
I would think that we’ve gone about making software the wrong way. There’s a lot of software that would be great for people and it doesn’t exist. But we’re not making it, and we’re not getting closer to a world in which it gets made. These days the closest it gets to existence is in Excel. (If you know why you should cringe at that, you’re part of the problem.)
We did a lot of stuff to make software an efficient tool for industry. Efficient and effective. Complexity was introduced and managed through professionalization. The way we did it increased the amount of people for whom software is this accepted inscrutable presence in their lives. People who think they understand software see this as such an extreme axis of superiority that they start assuming they have a good understanding of the rest of people’s lives, too. They start thinking they understand “systems” and then look at society and think it’s a “system” and start going about their normal approach, you know you can get really far with a low-order approximation…
Maybe comparisons to the priesthood are sort of the right shape, but unfair to priests. This comparison should not be made with the Gutenberged Protestant Afters, much as the technological comparison itches at you to make it, but the heterogeneous and varied Befores.