No Technology Dies
Kevin Kelly's "What Technology Wants" is one of the most important books I've read in the past decade. If you're at all involved in technology innovation, it's required reading. I use several of the ideas originating from this book on a weekly basis.
One of the ideas that I often revisit is the concept that no technology ever dies, it just fades into obscurity. Here's an excerpt:
In my own travels around the world I was struck by how resilient ancient technologies were, how they were often first choices where power and modern resources were scarce.
It seemed to me as if no technologies ever disappeared.I was able to find every single item listed on a page of a century-old catalog. Each old tool was available in a new incarnation and sold on the web. Nothing was dead.
Teased out, this concept is a fascinating one. Most innovators tend to think that humans migrate from innovation to innovation, when in reality we never fully cast a technology aside.
After new innovations gain steam, older technology is sometimes relegated to niche communities (ex. the Horse and Buggy is still actively used in Amish communities) and sometimes it disappears into the foundation that more innovations build upon.
Realizing this helps innovators to work with the past, rather than against it.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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