Thursday, October 01, 2009

Haw, haw!

The above is a photo of Clive Sinclair (later Sir Clive) with one of his inventions, the miniature TV (1966). Life magazine dubs it one of "30 Dumb Inventions" (slide 18 in the sequence).

Oh, yes? iPhone, anyone? (and see slide 26, to boot).

The difference between mockery and admiration is often a matter of timing (think of da Vinci's helicopter, or Noah's Ark). It's Sinclair's misfortune that, like many a genius, he led the market by too great a distance. But without people like this, we wouldn't have got here.


Paddington said...
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Paddington said...

Except that Noah's Ark, as depicted in the Old Testament, couldn't exist. You cannot build a wooden boat that big, for one thing.

OldSouth said...

I especially liked #14, which allows a smoker to consume an entire pack at one time!

Something rather metaphorical about that picture, yes?

But, in all these depictions of genius and idiocy, not one of them was daft enough to come up with something like a credit-default-swap, or a 'Cash-for-Clunkers' scheme, or the endless NBA playoff season.

James Higham said...

we wouldn't have got here

Where's here?

Sackerson said...

Padders: "as depicted in the Old Testament" - I think the Noah story is probably true, but embellished and conflated with other stories. More anon - though I should be working instead.

OS: you can make a lot more money from selling secrets in sealed boxes, can't you? Look at Joanna Southcott. The mystery is, why a predisposition to believe in b.s. has any survival value, and if it doesn't, why it exists.

James: our technological age. And a world where so many can live. Which we take for granted. As Gertrude Stein said, "When you get there, there is no there there."