This is the most important essay I have read in a long, long time--Paul Kedrosky's History And Contingency--excerpt below--
Edge.org: " . . . History increasingly traps us, creating paths—and endowments and costs, both in time and money—that must be traveled before we can change directions, however desirable those new directions might seem. History—the path by which we got here, and the endowments and effluvia it has left us—is an increasingly large weight on our progress. Our built environment is an installed base, like an ancient computer operating systems that holds back progress because compatibility gives such an immense advantage. Writer William Gibson once famously said that the "The future is already here—it's just not very evenly distributed". I worry more that the past is here—it's just so evenly distributed that we can't get to the future."
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