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On making things and how far we’ve come

At Bearded, we have a 1940s Vandercook printing press. It’s the culmination of roughly 500 years of technological innovation. The web, in contrast, just had its 20th birthday. People have been working on software, in general, for less than 100 years. We’re all making this up as we go along, trying new things, keeping what works and throwing it all out at a moment’s notice when the ground beneath our feet shifts. Like our designs, we have to be adaptable. We should take risks, learn from our failures, and keep rolling each new bit of knowledge back into our ever-evolving processes and products.

The quote is from an article in January’s Net Mag. While I’m not really a fan of that agency’s name, I do like appreciating where the technical industry has come from – it’s why I love the computer history museum, love that my Android course devoted an unreasonable amount of time to Illiac, and why I really ought to finish that book The Information. If the history has taught us anything, I think it’s to be deliriously ambitious. Gives me something to think about when working on that Android homework.

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