There is a line there between today and tomorrow that while not there is there. Something that we imply as a transition from what we have now to what will be. If you think about cell phones that line is probably two lines with one set in 2007 on stage at Apple World, and the other more recently in around 2010 with the expansion of LTE networks throughout most of the United States.
The same can be said for computers. As the desktop began to fade the laptop began to rise. As the laptop began to fade, the tablet began to rise. Those lines of demarcation show the concept of the past, the present and the future. I can clearly the line for VR. Its coming, probably the end of this year beginning of next year.
Some lines are clear. Not fuzzy or even vague but clearly a line. Clearly a moment when everything changed. That moment with Steve Jobs in 2007. The moment when Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer walked out of IBM after refusing to be purchased by IBM. Those are clear lines that changed the way things are and were done. The subtle lines are the harder to see.
One of the fuzziest lines for me is the reality of MIDI. I have had and used MIDI boards for many years. They were once upon a time incredibly complex and difficult to maintain. Now it’s a simple plug and play operation. The same is true of audio files. We once many years ago spent the down time of days ripping MP3 files and then installing them as startup sounds and other system sounds (my mac used to start up to the three stooges “I’m trying to think and nothing happens.) Now its pretty straight forward to convert sound to digital. But it is a fuzzy line as to when that happened. Was it it the birth of a smart phone and the reality of interchangeable ring tones? Or was it the advancement of sound cards?
We can clearly see the line for analog to digital cameras. But when did the cell phone not only become a camera but actually start to replace the digital camera itself? That line is a little fuzzy. The concept of cameras being specialized is one that has existed for a long time. It has however become the only remaining market for digital cameras. Specialized. Drones. Infrared and so on becoming the only way digital cameras can exist separate of a cell phone.
Those moments are there if you pick through everything carefully you will find them. The problem with looking back to find the moments where time shifted from past to future you will miss the next one. The one that occurs as you are looking back. A shift you miss and it becomes a viscous cycle. I have to continue looking back for the lines because I missed the last two while looking back to find the shift between the past, present and future.
History is the study of what happened before. Learning is realizing the things have happened and hopefully not repeating the bad things that happened over and over.