FINDING THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE FUTUR.E
FROM THE FORGOTTEN IDEAS OF THE PAST
Every once in a while, I find that I’ve wasted years of my life
on some problem only to discover that the solution already
exists. Reinventing the wheel. The “not invented here”
syndrome. My granddad would have called it “ignorance,”
“stupidity,” or “vast undertakings with half-vast ideas.” It’s a lot easier
to spot when other people are doing it. One of these other people once
told me with pride, “We do our research in the lab, not the library.”
I just saw the remains of their machine sitting in a hallway.
It took 15 geniuses (tested) 15 years (sleep-deprived) to finish. Not
only can’t they give away their machine, they’ll have to pay someone to
dispose of it. A little time in the library could have saved them all that
effort just to poison a landfill at great expense.
Choosing the right problem is, of course, at least as important as how
to solve it. So I’ll let the experts pick a few problems, and then I'll try to
find heirloom-technology solutions.
Photograph courtesy of Getty Images
38 Make: Volume 01