Evolutionary Technology

We work a few months in advance to put together each issue of Sound & Video Contractor, but I tend to drag my feet a bit (or my fingers) when writing
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Evolutionary Technology

Jun 1, 2005 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

We work a few months in advance to put together each issue of Sound & Video Contractor, but I tend to drag my feet a bit (or my fingers) when writing my monthly contributions. So, as I type this, it's actually May. May 5, in fact. To some, that means Cinco de Mayo. This year, however, the date is unique: May 5, 2005 translates to 05/05/05. That won't happen again for a thousand years. More interesting, May 5 falls on Thursday, the fifth day of the week. It will be another 7000 years until 5/5/05 hits Thursday again.

Few people probably noticed these phenomena. I almost missed them, but when I did notice, it caused me to reflect. Measuring our lives on a scale of millennia, we aren't even blips on the radar screen.

My daughter is about to graduate from college, which also led to some reflection. By the time 05/05/05 comes around again, I'll be long gone from this world, as will my daughter. But I know that in her own way my daughter will have made her impact in her time on the world. I also know that regardless of whatever any other impact I may have made, positive or negative, I had a hand in raising my daughter, and she becomes my legacy, as does my son. My children will build on the knowledge and experiences I pass to them, and in turn, their experiences will be passed on to people who will build on the knowledge they've gained, and so on.

But this is how we got to where we are today, and every person along that way has contributed in some way. The same holds true for technology. Consider the evolution of products we take for granted — the internal combustion engine or cell phone. The latest buzzwords like disruptive technologies or nanotechnology are merely labels we feel compelled to place on what is ultimately a small step in the overall natural evolution of technology. They may be small steps. But they're still steps.

The very technology that we invent, or use today — whatever labels we've applied to it — are the individual steps in the evolution of the technology that will be passé or even extinct the next time 05/05/05 rolls around. And the cycle continues.

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