Singular file

What a technology geek sees when traveling abroad.

The singularity adherents might be wrong in the broad outlines, but to our predecessors what many of us have lived through would seem like a singularity to them.

We have capabilities that would be pure fucking devil magic to someone from 1500.

This is a great sentence from the piece.

We live in a world where it is normal for a team of scientists to keep on working while they are flying. Not only do we fail to notice the change, but we even insist forcefully that nothing changed.

That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately — this complete blindness to major societal and cultural change — and have long intended to write a thorough piece about it.

This amnesiac tendency mystifies me because I easily remember when many things used to be much different and it baffles me when people tell me (very, very wrongly) that things used to be no different in any way.

For instance, the increase in societal prudishness over the past 30 years, the difference in openness/approachability, that Keynesian economics had never fallen out of favor, the difference in children’s freedom to roam/explore (yes, many people deny it was ever any other way) — all these and many more are examples of where society has vastly, massively shifted in a pretty short time and yet many people will deny it was ever any different.

I think perhaps I can better see these phase transitions because I am not strongly connected to my — or any — culture.

But I don’t know.