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Future Hype by Bob Seidensticker

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9

1 The Birthday-Present Syndrome

THE WRAPPING PAPER FLIES as Junior tears into his present from Grandma. It’s the toy he’s been hoping for, and he’s delighted. All other possessions are forgotten as he begins to play with his new toy that will, in its turn, be ignored in favor of the next new thing.

When it comes to technology, most of us are like that kid with his birthday present—we are interested in the cool toy of the moment, and older technologies are only noticed in their absence. The result is that we don’t see technology clearly; we don’t soberly weigh today’s new developments against the technologies we already have. The value of today’s technology is inflated, and some revaluation is needed to restore a balance.

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