We ran into some interesting quotes, let me share a couple of excerpts, we’ll keep them short:
And here’s another one, a wee bit longer, but worth the read:
A third one, we’ll summarize, because it was a page long… It talked about the new economy that emerged as a result of the new technology. The new infrastructure that had to be built, the new habits that people formed, the transformational impact it had on us as a society.
What do you think it spoke of? When I first read it I had no doubt it meant the internet economy: what else had that transformational impact on our society? It turned out I was wrong. It was a quote from a century ago, and it was referring to the transformation that electricity brought to our society.
And the second quote? For sure it’s lamenting the negative impact cars have had on our environment, on or society. Wrong again. It’s a quote from SuperFreakonomics talking about the issues horses have had on large cities. In fact, in 1894, The Times newspaper predicted that “In 50 years, every street in London will be buried under nine feet of manure.” Funnily enough, the car was hailed at the time of its introduction as a savior to the environment from the “pollution” produced by excessive use of horses for transportation.
Interesting trivia: did you know that brownstones in New York City have stairs leading up to the entrance because they needed to be above street level so as to be above the rivers of manure that regularly flooded the streets?
But wait, the first quote, no doubt refers to Gen Z (or K 😀 )? Or maybe it’s a little older, referring to millennials? Nope. It’s a quote from Socrates. From over 2,000 years ago, mourning the decline of that new generation.
And so we ask: what’s new under the sun? We are aware and properly in awe of discoveries like that of time, and inventions such as the clock, the printing press, and many more that were life- and society-changing at the time.
And yet, are most of the basic problems we face─once you strip away the veneer of technology that sometimes blinds us─now new problems? Or are they really problems we’ve faced before and are meeting once again in a different guise?