For someone who so often writes about the future of technology, you seem to have a real romance for artifacts of earlier eras.
It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone.
One of the books that’s really stuck with me in the last few years was Francis Spufford’s Red Plenty, which functions almost like a science fiction novel set in the recent past.