Sunday, February 8, 2009

The best idea since pre-sliced bread

I was at a meeting the other day and someone said: ‘we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.’ Everybody nodded.

Inwardly I recoiled.

Why not re-invent the wheel? Is there any other human invention from 6000 years ago that we still use? If the PC had been invented by Assyrian goat herders, would we be so loathe to interfere with its engineering?

Why are we protecting the wheel from innovation? What are we afraid of? Are we so afraid of the shock of the new that we must swaddle this tired old piece of artifice in stale tradition? Can we not conceive of injecting a little new thinking into its ancient design?

Round is best. Everybody knows round is best. Of course. Of course. The one-sided shape is always the answer to your transportation or rolling needs. One side good, two sides, three, four sides, more sides bad.

I think it's time to challenge this cosy “common sense”. Its time to attack the comfortable perch of the spoked circle and its brainless adherents.

It is time, in short, to reinvent the wheel. Our children and our children’s children demand nothing less than an absolute commitment to relentless scrutiny of conventional wisdom.

I am going outside immediately to replace my car tyres with eggs and soft toys held together with sticky tape. Sure, it may not work. But how will we know until I try?


Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Even sticking to your basic skinny cylinder design, there's been a lot of innovation on the wheel front over the years. Spokes, tyres, mud guards. Personally, if I were reinventing the wheel, I'd go with something in canvas.

Nick Crumbedprawn said...

Ooooh, listen to the scared voice of reactionary conservatism! Oooh, but we have re-invented the wheel -- we put some sticks inside it and a gave it a roof!

Timid incrementalism! I propose nothing less than sweeping away the whole wheel-industrial complex.