Wednesday, September 28, 2011

History and Technology

That is a photo of the card catalog of the Library of Congress around 1918. Now, many of us carry all that information and more around in our pocket. Less than a century later.

Which is why I'm always skeptical when I hear someone projecting what the future will be like in more than a fairly short period. Especially economists.

If someone in 1918 said "in less than a century, we'll fit all this onto something the size of a small book" they'd most likely land in an asylum.

(Prompted by a conversation today with a person who was quite adamantly telling me about the future of technology. I'm not saying that he was wrong; just that I'm skeptical that his predictions will be the actual reality.)

(Also, I thought Sweaterman would like the pic.)


SweaterMan said...

Sweet Jeebus is that a mess! However, as one who grew up with an actual CARD catalog I can appreciate the improvements and my ability to access all that info via my phone (with which I'm posting this comment now).

I can't predict the future of technology more than anyone else, but I tend to agree with you that it's a little more difficult than most believe.

ellroon said...

Long ago I took a library class on how to make and use cards just before computers were coming in. So I appreciate the extreme organization shown in that photo!

Now imagine transcribing all those cards to computer...

Demeur said...

I remember learning the Dewy decimal system in grade school. We took turns assisting the school librarian filing so we knew the system. Most schools back then had far fewer books than what's in the LoC.

Looking at what they're working on in technology right now I don't think anything in the future would surprise me.