Comparing Apples to Oranges is a fun past time but isn’t very productive.

From MIT Tech Review we get the report of the pace of technology adoption quickening.  This may feel true but it certainly doesn’t address the true story.  In fact this is a great example of selection bias at work (even though the premise may ultimately still be somewhat true).  Take for example their chart showing the rate of adoption of various technologies:

This is great but assumes that the only technologies that should be looked at are electronics.  What about refrigerators, cars, toasters, ovens, industrial machinery, etc?  These are also examples of technology advances that had profound impacts on the world with varying adoption rates.  In fact the Industrial Revolution (which was spurred on by technological advances) may have had a more profound global impact than the Information Revolution taking place today.

It’s a great read with some interesting findings but ultimately incomplete in its analysis.  Just something to think about when reading through articles of this type – what information is being left out that could alter the results being presented.

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