I don’t think this is totally true, but on the other hand, I don’t think it’s totally not true, either. Bateson apparently spins a nice yarn. But it’s got me thinking about whether this kind of planning is actually as good an idea as it is presented to be.
I mean, let’s say that Ma Bell decided that telephone wires degrade over time, and so, to be ready for this 50-70 years into the future, they stocked up on copper wiring. And when fiber optics came along? Or what if the halls’ beams were no longer made from oak, but from space-age polymers or, you know, concrete. Aside from assuming that tomorrow will be like today, how can you really plan 250 years in advance?