Things I like about the 21st century

by | Jan 3, 2014 | future, Insurgency | 8 comments

This is a bit more political than usual, but I hope it’s at a level of abstraction that will forestall any partisan reactions.


  1. notagain

    Thanks, I needed that.

  2. Unknown

    There's so much wrong happening, but I'd rather live now than at any other time in history. If I was born 100 years earlier, I wouldn't be who I am now and I certainly wouldn't be collecting typewriters at age 19!

  3. Dwayne F.

    Well thought, and well typed.

  4. Ton S.

    Lots of ideas here, I'll pick up just one thread.

    The real "enemy" is polar thinking: you are either a Luddite typing haikus to yourself all day, or a smartphone/iPad zombie tweeting trivialities to your one million non-friends. Dialectical thinking is what I am hearing from you.

  5. Miguel Chávez

    I think the key here is learning to use the best of the technological world and complement it with the best of the analog world. It's not easy, but it can be done. For example, when it comes to publishing a book, the newer model of printing on-demand is a lot more ecological and economically sound than the old method of printing a run of a couple thousand copies and then hope to be able to sell them. I know it, because I worked closely with an author in the development, writing, editing and publishing stages of a couple of books, and the old method can be very wasteful.

    In Spanish we have a phrase: "El hubiera no existe" (loosely translated as "The 'what ifs' don't exist"). "What if" back in the 20th Century there had been a way to print a book on demand? "What if" the earliest motorcars had included a way to reduce the pollutants they spewed in the air? Things would have been very different, but alas, that didn't happen that way, and now we must learn to cope with the consequences of our and our predecessors' decisions.

    But I think there is still hope, because I too have seen how the digital world allows for a more rational use of resources. And I too see a resurgence of interest in analogue technologies. I have a couple of typewriters on display and sale in my store. I don't promote them. But people come in now and then asking, "Oh! Do you still sell typewriters? I've been looking for one for a while!!". I've sold five machines there so far, and the customers have been mostly young people under 30 years of age, who probably didn't have a chance to use a typewriter as they grew up. And they want it to type creative writing, of all things.

    So, if there's something good and positive about this century, I think, is the fact that the modern technologies allow us to collaborate in a scale it was impossible to imagine before. We can share thoughts, ideas, plans, and graps the power of the mass thinking to solve the problems we face as society.

    We just have to learn how to do that.


  6. Rob Bowker

    I like your new background. Wallingford used to be in Berkshire before the county boundaries were changed. Good resolution.

  7. Richard P

    Yes, we do have to get past simple dichotomies.

  8. Richard P

    Very nicely stated, thanks.

    I'm glad to know that the typewriter trend is alive among young Mexicans.


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