Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thoughts on "Cutting-Edge"

Do you ever wonder, when you wonder things like who first got the gumption to eat an oyster, who first got the idea to weave - was not a moment like that really cutting-edge, as opposed to all the foofoo nano-refinements of today, which amount to the playing of checkers with the microchip?

 The Interrogative Mood: A Novel? (pp. 8-9)

The Interrogative Mood: A Novel?

4 comments:

俊淑娟美 said...
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jon0301astabron said...
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Dan said...

I think there are a few monumental discoveries made in the past, perhaps 20-30 in total, and most of those were made more than a hundred years ago. These were indeed mind-blowing advances that changed the way all humanity lived.

When you downplay the discoveries of today, though, I think you mistakenly dismiss the ingenuity and hard work that goes into making those things reality. "Playing checkers with the microchip" is really a gross simplification of countless leaps in technology.

I'm not sure what you are exactly referring to when you use that phrase, but I'm guessing you have never worked as an engineer/research scientist who's work involved "foofoo nano-refinements". After all, even the first cloth was woven one reed at a time.

Boris said...

Dan,

I didn't write it - it's a quote. I posted it here because for all the advances in scientific knowledge, most of the training you see among teams and in gyms is pretty standard fare. The barbell was pretty revolutionary and, I guess, we could argue for the squat rack, but other than that I'm not so sure...

I don't think it was meant to "dismiss the ingenuity and hard work that goes into making those things reality". Just whimsical questions and that's ALL the book is, literally.