What's really needed is a super-literate programming, i.e., programming that can most of the time be just like talking or writing. A very crude example is of course SQL. But in some future it should be like in Star Trek where you go "Computer, I want a list of . .
." That's basically a literate programming on steroids. Today, we have highly productive coders, mainly because the languages they program in have tremendous module/api/object/function libraries. But of course the coder has to be the glue-meister who knows the right library and can stick it all together. But then imagine a super-auto-complete where some of that coder-guruism is done by the software. Then imagine a literate dialog where the software tries to be the gluer entirely. That's the evolution of computing, IMHO. I'm sure you could call WolframAlpha a good example of this trend.
I have to agree with Stross, YAC is not going to help the bottlenecks currencies produce. As he alludes, all currencies take on a life of their own, mostly parasitical to the actual "economy" they're supposed to be "means-of-exchanging." What we need is what I'm calling "direct logistics" (DL) where supply and demand are directly connected a la a Leontief-like input-output matrix. The means no pricing vis-a-vis a currency, but simply the actual, direct supply and demand statistics. What you can "purchase" (more like procure) would be based on your "batting average," which the IO-matrix would figure out based on how well you're making the IO-matrix hum, which, in turn, would be dependent on how many "networks" you were involved in in a positive way. In the best DL world, resource usage would be rationed and, hence, a huge chunk of the IO-matrix would be devoted to getting more out of less, i.e., recycling and more-with-less consulting, since resource allotment would be merit-based. A further dream would be for all means of production to be "open source," i.e., anything and everything would be open for anyone to peruse and possibly improve . . . just like, theoretically, open-source code.
. . . the universe is written in its own language, CU (Common Universe).
Ultimately, MS can't win at the server game. They charge for seats and don't offer source code. That hamstrings an outfit not wanting to worry about a seat budget or customization. Grab (free) Linux. Hack/tweak it to suit your needs. Spread it across your world. MS can't keep up with that. Of course if Linux doesn't grab the brass ring dangling in front of its nose, that's another matter....
What is the future of Guile? What is the future of elisp? Will the Emacs/elisp environment keep on evolving -- or has its day past?