Friday, March 23, 2012

Today's Certainties; Tomorrow's Absurdities?

For years I wrote an electronic newsletter (without the assistance of MailChimp, etc.) and this week one of them from 1996 was returned to me by Ozzie Gontang, a running coach I met in 1978! (I was 3 ... ;-)  

We stayed loosely in contact and I invited him to be a speaker at one of my innovation conferences.  He was not able to attend because of a death in his family but what a treat he gave me this morning.

Sixteen years ago, I asked readers to think about things we consider "certainties" today that might become "absurdities" tomorrow.  Not having access to a blog with comments, readers responded by email and I had to cut-and-paste together their responses, which make fascinating reading today.  Some readers mentioned things that have become, or are soon to become, absurd ... VHS, the postal service, 2 gig hard drives ... some things they predicted have not come about ... the end of cars, wars, inequality.

Either way it's an interesting question to contemplate ... while we acknowledge constant change, we tend to live as if today is a certainty that will continue into tomorrow.  In 1996, I was married, living in Santa Barbara, trying to help  corporate America figure out how to "do" innovation, with no granddaughters on the horizon.  I couldn't have begun to see my life today as a possibility ... it would have seemed absurd.

So the question for myself ... and for you ... is what seems certain today that might become an absurdity tomorrow?

About the image:  Beauty and Time

This petrified spiral was found in a rock museum and reminds me that time changes things ... some things rot and fall apart, some things become stronger and more beautiful.  This is another new image for my art show in Morro Bay ... you're invited to the reception on May 10th!


  1. Beautiful painting! I wish I could attend your showing,, but lucky me will be able to hear all about it from you. And I know it will be fantastic.

  2. Love that image.
    Your comments are interesting to contemplate.
    You might enjoy these long-ago predictions:

    I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.
    Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

    Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons.
    Popular Mechanics, 1949

    There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.
    Ken Olson, founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977


  3. Thanks Sandee ... I love those statements by brilliant people that turn out to be absurd. Makes me think there's hope for the rest of us.