In our September issue, Scott Kirsner considered five technologies that will change the world. In the October Technology Review, science-fiction author Bruce Sterling identifies 10 technologies that “deserve to die.” Among them: coal-based power, the internal-combustion engine, and incandescent light bulbs.
Much of his list makes sense — nuclear weapons, land mines — but manned spaceflight? Prisons? I agree that many of the items Sterling suggests should go the way of the Conestoga beg improvement and innovation, but summarily executing, say, prisons, without an alternative seems unwise.