Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Haiku Hump Day -- It's Obsolescence!
The Pony Express was created to bridge the gap between the eastern and western ends of the transcontinental telegraph line. It operated for less than two years before the line was complete. Apparently, in order to maintain operation, the owners of the Pony Express lobbied the US gov't for a million dollar contract -- which was still a huge number even by the time Dr. Evil came aound. But the government was like, "ha, good one," and fired off the first transcontinental wire in April 1861. Big deal -- they'd have gotten clobbered by the car eventually anyway.
Things get old and get replaced by other things that do the same job, but faster, smaller, and cheaper. In many cases for the better -- just imagine what your iTunes library would look like if you stored it all on these.
Some things we replace because we realize that they're killing us.
Some things we just wish we'd replace because they're killing us.
It can happen with places too. If opportunities in one spot dry up to a sufficient degree, people leave for better luck elsewhere, leaving ghost towns in their wake.
Anyone who's ever been to Detroit knows that it's still happening in some places. Sometimes I wonder if it'd happen to my precious Los Angeles, if the city got leveled by a quake.
Sometimes even when a technology is eclipsed, we still turn to the old-school just because it did something special, and with more heart than the newer version.
Not every obsolescence happens because of technology. Sometimes things just go out of vogue. Designs for clothes, cars, buildings bend along with our whims and our values.
Go forth and 'ku to me of the passage of time. Write about technology, write about style, write about humor, write about values. Then after, let's all off to the pub to get corned like b'hoys at a bucket shop. O!