Riding the Technology Wave

The old¬†adage,” The more things change, the more they¬†stay¬†the same” is meant to describe the (non-) effect of technological, political, and social change on human nature. The original author¬†intended this to mean that while the world today is very different from the world of the past, the people themselves are the same. If you were to use a time machine to pick up a baby from the 16th century and raise him today he would have all the same advantages and foibles of any modern man. Similarly, many of the obstacles¬†we encounter as a society:¬†bureaucracy,¬†intolerance, and selfishness are present in every era of human civilization.

But it is a mistake to confuse the fact that human nature never changes with the reality that human behavior almost never stops changing. This is the cardinal mistake that industries and people have made for hundreds of years. The printing press changed the reading and learning habits of people around the world while early industrialization changed buying and¬†manufacturing¬†behaviors. At each turn, those advantaged by the old ways fought tooth and nail, ultimately¬†unsuccessfully¬†to prevent these changes. While human nature remained unchanged the actual behaviors: patterns of activity, methods of¬†accomplishment, and ways of¬†achieving¬†success were fundamentally altered. The are some recent examples of this phenomenon that can help us understand where we might do better. (more…)

The Perfect Tablet

Apple announced their new iPad 2 today. It looks OK, I guess: thinner, faster, dual cameras, etc. Oh, and it’s available on Verizon and AT&T. Nothing unexpected.¬† One day I hope to see my dream tablet. (more…)