Like so many, I felt great sadness with the passing of Lenoard Nimoy. Growing up he was a bit of a role model and I would have to give credit to Mr. Nimoy and his immortalized character, Mr. Spock, as a great inspiration for me in the world of science. Yes, the original Star Trek was a bit hokey at times, cheap production sets and not always the best writing but it brought a new world into my life from galaxies far away, different cultures with a touch of wired science was something that was truly stimulating and helped me develop a mindset that encouraged me to think differently about the notion of time, space, science, business and family. We talk about the internet of things but Mr. Spock introduced me to the universe of things. Whether it is a 1960’s version of Cortana, tricorders, communicators (think Lync & Skype), 3D chess and Microsoft research machine learning elevators, Mr. Spock and crew had a huge influence on my evolution as the person that I am now.
I never became a true Trekkie but I continued to watch the original series long after the expired on broadcast TV. While everyone remembers their favorite episode, for me it was The City on the Edge of Forever which was one of the most critically acclaimed episodes of the series and was awarded the 1968 Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. It was an amazing story of the past, presence, future and how a disruption in time changed the world as we know it. It’s also a story of how a pointed ear Vulcan working with “stone knives and bear skins” (computing environments that are grotesquely primitive) was able to restore the universe causing time to resumed its shape. Spock and his crew members gave me a sense of how science and technology could transform our lives no matter what galaxy we might live in.
I like to think that we at Microsoft have some of that Spock blood in our veins and especially when you see innovations outside the norm with work such as Skype Translator, Kinect, HaloLens and the Microsoft band just to name a few. I really do think that our latest Productivity Future Vision work encompasses our vision and desire to make the universe a better place.
As I get older I am certainly touched by the passing of friends, my parents, sports heroes such as Johnny Unitas and yes, the first officer and science officer of the Starship Enterprise. Lenoard Nimoy, we salute you! Your memory will Live Long and Prosper. – Jon C. Arnold