"There is rubble, but we build grand (if also temporary) palaces atop it."
Anu was a guest in my fall seminar this past week, and he did a great job laying out and exploring many of the things that appear in this post. One student came up to me yesterday and told me how much she enjoyed his visit, and she was amazed by the commitment and the detail he provided in his responses to students' questions. Everyone posed two questions before Anu came to visit (via Zoom); Anu studied them and went well beyond that to respond to every one of them -- 21 pages of responses, in fact! He is a treasure -- multi-faceted, uniquely talented, compassionate.
“It is perhaps fitting that the foundations of our modern world — microchips — are made of sand, as it sometimes feels like all of the modern world is built on sand — shifting, unreliable, and likely to give way at any moment.”
What a beautifully sad description that promises to stick in my brain. Wonderful read, Anu, and great job procuring this piece, Mark!
I worked in reference book publishing just at the time it became obsolete, the entire business model undercut by the emergence of Wikipedia. I’m with Mark Dykeman: exciting and perturbing at the same time. But mostly exciting. The “new thing” was demonstrably better. Really thoughtful piece.
Great post, Anu (and kudos to Mark for soliciting this!) I also work in technology, though less cutting edge, and obsolescence is an increasingly concerning issue, at least to me. So much churn and, well, a lot of waste to be honest. Exciting and perturbing at the same time.
I learned so much from this post -- thank you! It's easy to grumble about technological disruption, but we need a platform, as you say in your brilliant Nintendo metaphor. Also, Anu, I see that you are starting your own Substack. I just subscribed and can't wait to read more of your posts!
Thanks Mark for giving us a sneak peek into Anu's work. As Gibson says: "The future is already here -- it’s just not evenly distributed”.