There’s a long, rather drawn out thread on Slashdot right now, wherein an apparently endless queue of geeks are lined up to take Wired to task for their discovery that Good Enough trumps Excellence every time. Quelle Surprise.
But not one of them has observed something that was recently made obvious to me: As technology advances, quality inevitably improves. The world, pace Microsoft, is not so awash in the mediocrity that Wired’s editors have decided to tout as the next big thing. Nothing is ever Good Enough.
What matters more than anything else is Convenience.
My eyes were opened to this a couple of months ago, when, in the course of pillaging my landord’s extensive library of books of and about photography, I came across a truly startling collection of photos from Papua New Guinea taken in the early 1920s. The almost liquid tones and gorgeous, lush light in his portraits capture the smoky, dusky interiors of village huts better than anything I’d ever seen before.
When I voiced my admiration to Ben, he observed, “Photography hasn’t significantly improved since the early years. It’s just become more convenient.”