It’s the end of the year, the time when we take stock of what we’ve gained and lost, and what we expect (or hope) to gain and lose in the months ahead.
When it comes to technology, the gains and losses go pretty much hand in hand. We get new features and devices, and we set down old ones to collect dust on a shelf. Sometimes, a new gadget comes along and we can’t ditch the old one soon enough, but often, technologies disrupt conventions, institutions, and other technologies that mean something to us and that we don’t want to send off. We can feel change coming, and we don’t want it. Sometimes, our fears are overblown, but other times the disruption is real and permanent, such as the effect literacy had on society (for a more extensive discussion, see chapter two of James Gleick’s The Information).
Today, with Kindles and iPads and mobile phones changing so much of how we go about our business, there are more than a couple of things we fear are nearing the ends of their shelf life. Here’s a quick survey of what people are worried will become obsolete in the years ahead.
“One of the saddest lessons of history is this; if we have been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It is simply too painful to acknowledge even to ourselves that we’ve been so credulous.”—Carl Sagan (via cultureofresistance)
It means so much. Having an Uncle that spent 13 months overseas fighting for what he believes in is already a great thing, but watching my Aunt raise two young girls and be pregnant with another while he was away is spectacular within itself. It means the world that finally other families can have their loved ones home just like we were fortunate to get when he came back a few years ago.
The president is tumbling testimonies from families of Iraq War vets.