David McCullough's The Wright Brothers is a story about breakthrough innovation, and the persistence that goes with it.
Today Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, is full of bars and hotels, but back then in the early 1900s, it was a lousy place to spend any time. One of the windiest places in America (that is why they choose it), really cold and full of mosquitos.
I've been there twice, and can recommend you going. To stand exactly where an airplane took off for the first time in human history is emotional. If you read this book before it will really enhance your visit.
That this moment was captured in a photo is fantastic, because seven people only witnessed the moment itself. The two brothers and five locals. One of them, Johnny Moore, just happened to walk by. Imagine that, just walking by and happening to see one of the revolutionary moments in human history.
Why did he walk by? Well, he was skipping school...
A lot of really important technologies started out looking like expensive, impractical toys.
Some of the most important things of the last 100 years or so looked like this - aircraft, cars, telephones, mobile phones and personal computers were all dismissed.
But on the other hand, plenty of things that looked like useless toys never did become anything more.
This means that there is no predictive value in saying ‘that doesn’t work’ or ‘that looks like a toy’ - and that there is also no predictive value in saying ‘people always say that’.
As Pauli put it, statements like this are ‘not even wrong’ - they give no insight into what will happen. You have to go one level further. You have to ask ‘do you have a theory for why this will get better, or why it won’t, and for why people will change their behaviour, or for why they won’t’?
Joe Scott again, this time about asteroid mining.
Also check out Warp Space Program, where we support the world's first private mission to an asteroid.
🗄️ From the archive
Our brains are on high alert when it comes to perceived danger.
That was great thousands of years ago, but today the world is much less dangerous and now or instinct makes us pessimistic.
🤪 And now for something completly different
On N7 Day (November 7) BioWare announced that the best games series ever, Mass Effect, will be remastered and a new game is in the works.
If Warp News takes a break for a month or two this spring, you know why.