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In a World of Change, Know the Things That Don’t Change

Writer Matt Ridley says that “New technologies threaten young technologies more than they threaten ancient ones. Kite-surfing may kill wind-surfing, but it will not affect sailing. Email eclipsed fax more than it did letter-writing. Social networking is overtaking telephoning, but not partying. In the era of Kinect, Space Invaders is dead, but poker is thriving. In competition with jets, airships have largely died out, but ships have not. Refrigeration killed the newfangled ice trade, but old-fashioned pickling, smoking and curing continued.  It seems there is nothing so dated as the recently new.”   So what’s my point? 

That classic skills, values, talents, and dreams survive.  Your skill emailing will someday be eclipsed, but your skill as a writer?  Never.  “Eternal verities” are things that last.  Values, morals, abilities, talent, and more.

That’s where you should focus.  Don’t be brilliant on a Blackberry or iPhone, be a brilliant communicator.  Don’t get distracted by technology, values, ideas, or anything else that’s transient or ephemeral.

Focus on the things that don’t change.

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2 Comments

  1. Excellent point Phil. I’ve spent a career in broadcasting and have always told young aspiring journalists to master the art of storytelling and becoming a great writer, you’ll always find work somewhere. Trending jounalistic tricks and styles come and go. Good storytellers will never go out of style.

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