Arts Creativity Culture Tech

The shipping high 


It took nearly two hundred years to build the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Those who built it never saw it finished. Now we can 3-D print a building in 17 days, like “baking a cake and applying whip cream on it.

The Notre Dame is still around while most buildings will be destroyed and rebuilt. The same goes for media: pictures, books, music, and blog posts.

We are making too much stuff and not spending enough time enjoying it. Consumption is ephemeral; information is fast food. Writes Ben Callahan for Offscreen Magazine:

“Ray Kurzweil wrote about the Law of Accelerating Returns back in 2001, suggesting that the rate of technological evolution grows exponentially. This means we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century. It will be more like 20,000 years of progress at today’s rate. His work explains why we can build amazing structures faster today than ever before. What it doesn’t explain is how this impacts us as makers: how the immediacy with which we can create changes us.”

The urge to keep making, to keep shipping, means more creations will be forgotten and therefore less likely to be timeless.

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.