You have heard it loads … the killer of progressive heritage & curious creation … the bastion of lazy entitlement & smug stagnation …

Do.
Not.
Reinvent.
The.
Wheel.

… and the variety of forms it takes.

 

>>>

 

But what is the wheel? What are we actually wheeling away from, pun intended, when we try to reinvent the wheel, along with all figurative connotations? Was it even really invented? Or were there natural forces that made an object a prototypical wheel which afforded us mechanical advantage?

 

potters-wheel-001

 

Is the wheel really just a figment of our imagination or an abstraction of our minds? Wheel as means of moving things on flat surface that is generally perpendicular with plane of gravitational forces, aka transportation … Wheel as a geometrical construct … Wheel as a reflection of a geometrical construct that allows for efficient transfer of energy across a plane in a rolling fashion?

 

stone-wheel-001

 

Maybe, it was simply a thing of beauty?

 

temple-wheel-001_1440

 

Where do we draw the line between revolutionary paradigm shifts that happens every few decades and consistent evolutionary progress that happens over decades?

Are major pivots & shifts in ways of thought possible without the steady and boring precedence that got it before then? Is reinvention belonging only to fundamental definitions of an objects or is the application of an object to a totally different context & value proposition ingenious in itself?

 

evolution-of-phone

 

Was the

smartphone
> a reinvention of the feature cell phone
>>> a reinvention of the prototypical cell phone
>>>>> a reinvention of the digital wired line phone
>>>>>>> a reinvention of the analog wired line phone
>>>>>>>>> …

 

mobile-phone-evolution

 

Was it even just a reinvention of one thing (a smartphone) rather than the aggregation of several tracks of constantly evolving and re-imagined components & technologies?

Why reinvent the tube and make CRT? Why reinvent CRT and make LCD? Why make touchscreen on top of CRTs or LCDs (what a clap trap)? Why LEDs, LCDs are just fine?! Why batteries on phones, heck not enough people have access to wire lines, and now batteries on phones that doesn’t last long enough? What justication or business case/sense?

Why create a pencil when metals/brushes are fine? Why ballpoint pens or fountain pens when pencils are mighty? What the heck is it with these rudimentary styluses that have limited uses on very exotic touch screens?

Processors? Chips? Digital? Vacuum tubes are just fine?

 

>>>

 

This has to stop, for our sake.

Because:

1) a few among us will press on anyway – – – either because of pure joy or exceptional wisdom in not listening to this false wisdom;
2) if more & more are less deterred to try, but are instead, reminded through supportive counsel to consider consequences, they may surprise everyone;
3) and application of brilliance for good is harder than brilliance utilized for ill & mediocre aims; it’s probably best to let good people have their fun.

 

hype-cycle-001

 

Either way, onwards; by will or by swarm of humanity, we will ride that wave of innovation anyway.

If all fails, at least we had fun and had a good ride. Sooner or later, someone else will pick up where we stopped. In our failings or successes, may we not deter those who have the innocence to dream for themselves and the rest of us.

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Dean Marc - Citi IO

Dean Marc - Citi IO

Part of the more nomadic tribe of humanity, Dean believes a boat anchored ashore, while safe, is a tragedy, as this denies the boat its purpose.

When not serving in citi.io, Dean normally works as a strategist, advisor, operator, mentor, coder, and janitor for several technology companies, open-source communities, and startups.

Otherwise, he's on a hunt for some good bean or leaf to enjoy a good read on some newly (re)discovered city or walking some roads less taken.