Monday, June 22, 2015

VHS 1978 - primitive by definition, but definitively not simple

VHS machines first went on sale in most of the world at the end of the 1970s - by the dictionary, that makes those first machines primitive by definition.

Because all that primitive actually means is "first", not "crude" or "simple".

Those early VHS machines certainly weren't simple - but rather were big, heavy, very expensive and filled with tons of complexly machined moving parts.

By the time research on consumer video shifted to DVDs in the early 1990s, VHS machines were small, light, cheap, reliable and had the minimum of moving parts.

Parasites, like the viruses that attack bacteria and all other life, are indeed simple in a complex, pared down sort of way but arrived relatively late in Life after being greatly pared down, in terms of genome, from the bacteria which had arrive much earlier and which had lots of molecular machinery.

Early doesn't always mean simple and later doesn't always mean complex.

Factory floor engineers instinctively know this - a pity they haven't yet convinced most scientists/journalists/citizens of that fact.....

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