All technology eventually becomes obsolete.
Think of things like buggy whips, or Commodore 64 computers, or newspapers, or DVDs. What all these things have in common is that they either have already been replaced by something that works better to satisfy people's needs, or are in the process of being replaced by things that work better to satisfy people's needs.
Some technologies last for a really long time before they become obsolete. Newspapers are a still current example of things that are becoming obsolete that have been around for centuries, but which are unlikely to continue existing in anything like their old, familiar form thanks to the onset of newer, better technologies.
One example of that is the wheelchair. Designed to make it possible for people who cannot walk to be able to move themselves around, or so that others can move them around more easily, wheelchairs today are essentially unchanged from what they looked like over a hundred years ago.
It's not that technology has been idle. Wheelchairs are now made from different materials so they can hold up to use better than older designs could. Some have been paired with electric motors, which makes it easier for some to move around. Others have been optimized to be used in sporting events.
But no matter its current form, the wheelchair of today would be instantly recognizable to a time traveler from the past for what it is: a chair that rides on wheels for transporting people who can't walk.
But then, suppose that one day, the wheelchair as we have known it suddenly became obsolete. What could possibly replace it?
Political Calculations is a site that develops, applies and presents both established and cutting edge theory to the topics of investing, business and economics.
Be the first to read Political Calculation's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.
New Time 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Thursday April 17th, 2014 | John Ransom
New Time 11:20 AM PT: Get the Market Movements in Advance: William's Edge Webinar for Wednesday April 16th, 2014 | John Ransom