Technology Ages in Reverse?

Nassim Taleb, author of Black Swan, contends in his new book Antifragile that technology ages in reverse. In it, he invokes a little known theorem known as the Lindy Effect to support his assertion that the longer a technology, or any intellectual artifact, has been around, the longer it’s likely to stay around. This would explain, for example, the longevity of the printed book, and would predict its likelihood of sticking around for many years to come.

Here’s a chart from an article Taleb recently wrote for Wired:


Why I’m Curious?

While seemingly counter-intuitive (especially when stated as provocatively as in the title of this blog post), the more you think about it, the more it makes sense…The more robust a piece of technology demonstrates itself to be, the more we can expect that it’ll stick around.

Taleb’s argument provides an interesting lens through which to view digital marketing…It’s an often cited maxim that “digital is always changing.” For Taleb, of course it is…With new technology emerging everyday, how is anyone to know which tools will be around in five years time? Serves to illustrate that part of the challenge of digital marketing is knowing how to navigate this uncertainty.


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