Thursday, March 10, 2011
From a certain point of view, our modern world began 135 years ago today.
I would agree. During the War of 1812 news traveled 10 mph on a sailing ship across the ocean. The result of this was that the Battle of New Orleans was fought after the peace treaty had been signed. Now I can pick up my cell phone and call India for free whenever I want.
It's noteworthy that Bell's invention of the telephone was serendipity. Ironically, he was trying to multiplex telegraph signals when he accidentally -- but successfully -- carried a voice transmission instead. Luck is the residue of design, indeed.
Which is why charting our advances with legislation written in stone to be overseen by an all-knowing bureacracy is sub-optimal. Worse still is committing to technologies that you know beforehand won't scale well ... ever.
Keep that in mind for when later today we get an Obama lecture on why $4.00 gas should be blamed on our reluctance to give General Electric an open checkbook to build a lot of 12th Century windmills.