You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone

IT’S BEEN SAID that the first cases of lung cancer detected in humans goes back to our cave-dwelling days. Makes sense, when you think about it. Breathing all that smoke in a room without adequate ventilation can’t be good for you. But who knew back then? The heat felt good on a wintry night.

This is the essence of the human condition. We’re constantly looking for ways to improve or change our surroundings. And then we suffer the unintended consequences.

Sometimes, it reminds of being a teenage boy. We’d try some stupid stunt. If it didn’t kill us, we’d try something else.

It seems as though we can’t help ourselves in this species-wide endeavor. Of course, with over 7 billion people on the planet, this is starting to get to a be a serious pursuit.

Climate change is real. The decimation of species of all kinds is real.

It’s been said that alien civilizations have likely never reached us because they have self-destructed before they became sophisticated enough to venture this far.

I sometimes wonder if we are not only the smartest species on the planet, but the dumbest parasite.

Even lowly organisms that suck blood or other nutrients from their hosts know better than to kill the source of their sustenance.

What or when is the Iron Age Epilog

For a guy who spent the better part of his career in high technology, you might be scratching your head at the name of my blog. So let me explain it to you.

When I first started my career in tech, back in 1993, it was a golden time. The world looked so promising. Technology could solve so many problems. It could be the great equalizer. When the World Wide Web hit that year, we talked a great deal about the “democratization of information.”

How’s that working out do you suppose? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question.

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. In the world of technology, that reaction is usually in the form of what is known as an unintended consequence.

We build stuff. We put it into the market place. We have great hopes for the goodness it will bring mankind. Only problem is, we have no idea what the side effects are until we put it out there. Genetically modified foods (GMO), nuclear power, Facebook. They all sounded like good ideas at the time. Nobody expected for a moment anything bad to happen.

But, invariably and inevitably, it does.

That’s what this blog is about: Taking a critical look at the unintended consequences of our world of technology. So why the Iron Age Epilog? Well, we have been at this game a lot longer than just the past 25 or so years.

The word “smog” was coined in 1905 to describe the combination of fog and coal-generated pollution in the dampness of old London. Smog didn’t exist before then.

Well, actually it might have. In fact, it is theorized that humans first developed lung cancer shortly after taking their newfound skills of producing fire indoors, into a cave.

So we have been at this game a long time. Iron Age Epilog is just a way to describe that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Also, Iron Age Epilog happens to be an anagram for my first and last name. So welcome to my new blog. I hope you find it enlightening, insightful, thought provoking or at least entertaining.