I grew up in Michigan, in what was then considered the heartland of the automotive industry. Everything in that part of the country seemed dominated or influenced by machinery and technology.
Like many young people, I was fascinated by the dreamlike quality of technology. My career began in the automotive industry, which itself is a unique fusion of business, technology, and popular culture.
I entered the industry at a time when its decline seemed irreversible. I'm happy that the automotive sector is now recovering and has regained its competitive spirit.
These days, I collect sports cars and motorcycles. My garage looks a bit like an automotive repair shop and a spare parts depot. It brings me back to the days of my youth, when it seemed as though you could solve any problem with the right combination of knowledge and elbow grease.
I also have a small collection of Revolutionary War muskets. It's amazing to think that those smooth-bore flintlocks were once considered state of the art.
One day, not too long from now, we'll look back at our information technologies with a similar kind of amused wonderment.
But it seems unlikely that we will ever outgrow our need for technology. Technology is a tool, and our use of tools is what makes us human. Wooden clubs, stone knives, clay pots, jet planes, and iPhones—one thousand years from now, they'll all seem equally primitive.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Technology plays a huge role in our lives today and will likely ...