"Point of view is worth 80 IQ points"
I didn't understand what alan kay meant by this for a long time. The bit about IQ points distracted me because it's not politically correct to talk about IQ as a way to measure intelligence.
So, maybe this slogan could be improved?
What he is saying is that if we can look at things in new and different ways (multiple representations), then we will understand them much better. If we use the computer in this way (as a rich, powerful medium rather than a mere tool for word and number crunching) then remarkable things will start to happen. Hence, the computer revolution hasn't really happened yet.
I found a couple explanations of this slogan by alan kay on the web. It becomes a lot more powerful when he adds the historical context, in Roman time you had to be very smart to multiply two numbers together.
At PARC we had a slogan: "Point of view is worth 80 IQ points." It was based on a few things from the past like how smart you had to be in Roman times to multiply two numbers together; only geniuses did it. We haven't gotten any smarter, we've just changed our representation system. We think better generally by inventing better representations; that's something that we as computer scientists recognize as one of the main things that we try to do. explanation two:
what is special about the computer is analogous to and an advance on what was special about writing and then printing. It's not about automating past forms that has the big impact, but as McLuhan pointed out, when you are able to change the nature of representation and argumentation, those who learn these new ways will wind up to be qualtitatively different and better thinkers, and this will (usually) help advance our limited conceptions of civilization
Reference (for later):
Minsky explains the same concept better in 18.8 Mathematics made Hard (Society of Mind)