Friday, February 13, 2009

Channelling Douglas Adams from 1999

If you've never heard of Douglas Adams, you're an unfortunate individual. He was not, as some people might claim, the greatest author of the late 20th century, but he was one of the most influential. If you doubt this, just think about how much modern story telling owes to the success of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy: writers like Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, and many others in the speculative fiction world would not have got their breaks without Adams. (Ok, enough unsubstantiated waffle)

Today I was reading the TechDirt blog, as I often do, and came across this article. However, it was not that article that really got my attention so much (sorry Mike) - it's their stock-in-trade kind of commentary on the madness and desperation of the old-skool media types trying to defend out dated business models. No, it was this little quote:

1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

This comes from an article (warning: the text has the wrong text-encoding, you might want to change that, probably in your browser's View menu) that Douglas Adams wrote in 1999! But he's absolutely right. (though I question his choice of 'thirty', being as I'm still a tech-fan at forty).

No comments:

Post a Comment