Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Future's so bright

I'm not going to wear shades so I will have to squint. That will make me hardcore.

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1, this was a far cry from what the bicycle mechanics flew at Kill Devil Hills. Was it easier for Chuck to pilot the X-1 than the brother's Wright Flyer? Did innovation make Chuck less of a pilot, or any less skillful than his predecessors? Does Chuck have less street cred because he didn't fly a "real" airplane? Can this argument be made for either side of the technology debate?

"It takes more skill to ride a singlespeed steel bike. Riding a full suspension bike is easier and makes you less of a bike rider." These are valid statements, and the Amish drive horse-drawn carriages, build houses and barns the old fashioned way. They are so much cooler than us electricity using, iPhone talking, internet living crowd. They are so core. Is that why the Paleo (caveman) diet is so hot right now? It's hardcore that's what the neanderthals did, that's what we should do. Old is new is old is new again. Hey, I've got a great idea. Runners should run without shoes, because that's what they did back-in-the-day and they were so cool, and it is harder. If you run in shoes you are not as skillful as someone without.

Is it cheating to use innovation to progress? Does it make you "more of a man" if you choose to eschew technology? Aerodynamic bikes make riders faster, is this wrong? Why would you not want a mechanical advantage? Yes, I understand simplicity. KISS. Barebones get the job done no flash. It works, why do you need anything else? There is something beautiful about simple. It is clean. Easy. Reliable.

We have opposable thumbs which allows us (humans) to use tools. Tools allow us to progress, and throughout history that is exactly what we have done. And we are still doing to this day. Progress is almost as inevitable as death and taxes. Yes you have the choice to be a luddite and stick to your convictions, that is your right. You also have the choice to use every means necessary to propel yourself into the future.