The Longest Now


The Neverending Novelty of Now
Wednesday May 14th 2003, 2:57 pm
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1960’s roots of our novel social tools, and the long timelines often required to realize the power of great inventions, noted here by Kottke. ==><==  (why is it so hard to copy the URL from around that image?)


How can we learn, as a culture, to gloat less about new change and solidly press forward more?  The illusions of immediate competition forcing hasty decisions in order to achieve anything, is fundamentally off-base — the externalities caused by conformance or non-conformance to a norm are generally small in comparison to the benefits of an improved design, when that last improvement is multiplied across a large spectrum of derivative works.  That investors and consumers don’t realize this disparity at first does NOT mean that it isn’t still economically and socially/practically viable for a [group] to take advantage of that disparity over a suitable timeframe.
      Finding ways to extend the notion of ‘sustainability’ and ‘profitability’ to include both local environmental effects, ripple effects in surrounding markets, and direct effects on derivative works, is a crucial step in the advancement of our civilization’s memes.


      Future progress starts with children; where are our specialized schools to raise children in a technically-enhanced environment, to see how the environment changes them and find out what happens when they move to change it?  Contemplating how people just like us might use novel tools in ten years, even while developing new variants for ourselves, is so much less exciting than finding out how children with no preconceptions do use these tools.


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