16 June 2011
A Coincidence of Wording
This weekend, in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal, I read a review of two new books about railroad history. The reviewer, John Steele Gordon, begins thus:
"One technology replaces another only because the new technology is better or cheaper or both." His allusion, in this context, is to the rise of steam engineering as a replacement of the application of muscle power by humans or horses.
Here's a link to that review, though you may need to get a subscription.
Through some random unmotivated googling, I found those same words in another context, in a story published only three weeks before. The website of The American Enterprise Institute ran a story about the death of the old-style printing press and, for that matter, the contemporary dying of dead-tree books.
Here's a link to that one.
I thought I had uncovered a bit of plagiarism until I checked for the author's name at the top of that article on The End of The Book. It was ... John Steele Gordon. He is entitled to re-use his own sentences without quibble from me.
Don't use it too often, though, Mr. Gordon. It's not that great a sentence.
Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.