More disruptive than the car, the light bulb, the airplane and the phone

The inventions of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were disruptive, as we noted seven years ago. But they were disruptive over an extended period of time, since their roll-outs were slow and uneven. But seven years ago there were no iPhones, no twitter, no tumblr, almost no YouTube, and indeed, our first mention of Google was only months old. Furthermore, the roll-out of these technologies has been nearly instant and worldwide. There are more than a billion smartphones in use today, for example. We have a country where the young don’t know Shakespeare and haven’t read the Bible, and their lives are almost wholly unconnected with the past. No wonder that things are so messed up.

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