Essays, Analyses and Meditations

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History was just a Brief Interlude

  • Conventionally, history is defined as the period after the invention of writing, a period which varies in different countries (about 5,000 years ago in the Middle East and China, a bit later in India and Egypt, much later in America, Oceania and Africa).
  • The generation that is growing up with the smartphone will probably be the first generation in a century to be unable to do simple math: they don't need to memorize the multiplication tables because their smartphone can perform any calculation for them. They will forget how to multiply numbers the same way that my generation forgot how to use the abacus and other arcane tools that used to be considered indispensable by the educated people of my father's generation.
  • All it takes is a little progress in voice recognition and writing will also become obsolete. A few generations from now a generation will grow up with a voice-operated assistant that will dispatch messages without any need for humans to type or handwrite those messages. Therefore that generation will forget handwriting, grammar and spelling.
  • That generation will come full circle. For about 200 thousand years the human species did not write. Then writing was invented and spread all over the world and fighting "illiteracy" became a top priority for all governments of the world. This period, that we call "history", will have lasted only a few thousand years, succeeded by a period in which, again, the human species will not know how to read and write.
  • Writing was considered a monumental invention but it will actually turn out to be only a temporary fix between two ages of non-written communications while a better technology was being developed to manage the information deluge that started 5,000 years ago.