Do Tools Ever Die Off?
from the species-extinction dept
"I say there is no species of technology that have ever gone globally extinct on this planet."Further in the debate, Kelly expanded and even bet Krulwich that he couldn't find any tool, no matter how far back in the past it was from, that wasn't still being made today (and made new) somewhere in the world. Krulwich brings up a few suggestions, each of which gets shot down, including "paleolithic hammers." Turns out they're still being made (mostly by hobbyists). He then went through a bunch of pages of an 1895 Montgomery Ward catalog... and found that every one is still being made. So Krulwich asked people to chime in with suggestions, and they've come up with a few, such as radium suppositories, a Roman corvus (a ship boarding tool) and the ferrite core of a Seeburg Jukebox. Kelly's job is to try to find if all of these are still being made.
Of course, some of this depends on how you view the initial premise. The initial claim from Kelly was that no species of technology has ever gone extinct -- and in that case, you should be able to include more updated technologies that are better/safer/more efficient. But, in the interview, Kelly does seem to take it a step further in claiming that no tool itself was no longer being made new. So, I'm curious if anyone can actually find "new" versions of the things listed above.