A majestic mountain

As I watch the technical paper presentations and play with the demos of emerging technologies at SIGGRAPH, it becomes more clear to me what many of us have in common here: We are, in some way, trying to work with the tools of the present to understand the future.

The tools available today are meager compared with what we will have in another twenty years. Yet we can already think about what those future techniques will be like, and we are all trying to reason through the fog of future time, creating experiments that help us see that world to come, and perhaps build a little bit of it now.

The goal is not to make the future happen immediately — that is not possible — but rather to create just enough experience of it so that we can understand it better, and perhaps help to guide it to a better place.

So the meaning of SIGGRAPH is not really found in the particular demos and technical papers that one sees here. It is found in the shared understanding in the minds of the people in attendance.

Others may look at our tools and techniques and see only pick-axes and climbing equipment. But what we see is a majestic mountain, off in the distance. We are just trying to figure out the best way to get there.

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