October 08, 2012
Tech lifetimes vs people lifetimes

When Gutenberg died the paper book had well over 500 years of life left. When James Watt died, the steam engine had over 150 years of useful life left. A couple of weeks ago Howard Scott, one of the creators of the LP, the long playing record, died - having seen his invention cease into a niche product well before his death. When Bill Gates dies, Windows will be long gone. The lifetime of technologies is dropping dramatically. Where once, inventing something meant a life in eternity, it now just means 'a few years of relevance'. It's becoming harder and harder to leave a mark on society that will outlast you, if that's the kind of thing that motivates you.

Posted by Claus at 11:51 PM