Friday, June 19, 2015

No one who ever sold VCRs believes scientists who insist complexity equals progress

Confession time : for ten years (1980-1990), the early pioneering years, I hand sold thousands of consumer VCRs.

Our little camera shop (Reid Sweet) also repaired them as well- I never actually did so but I sometimes watched.

A very painful experience is was then, looking inside the guts of early VCRs -- rather like watching sausages being made.

Early VCRs were fabulously big and fabulously heavy and fabulously expensive and filled with many (just barely) moving mechanical parts - a right some pain to operation successfully or repair quickly and economically.

By the end - just before electronic companies switched their efforts to the new DVD players - the VCR was small, light, dirt cheap, almost trouble free --- and had very few moving mechanical parts.

In mid twentieth century comics, incredibly complex machines to do the simplest of things, dreamed up by artists Heath Robinson and Rube Goldberg, mercilessly satirized the Age of Progress's inane belief that greater complexity always spelt greater progress.

Living through the VCR evolution from big complex and stupid backwards to small simple and smart just confirmed for me that while zoologists may have big degrees based on complex research, in their Ladd-ite belief that biologically size matters, they are just as dumb as a sack of bricks.

Maybe dumber.....

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