Lessons from the Wheel

    The story of the wheel starts a long time ago. The first known wheels appeared in ancient history sometime as early as 4500 BC during the Neolithic Period. It can be tempting to envision a primitive wooden wheel attached to a rickety cart for transporting heavy objects. However, before the wheel was ever used for transportation or even manual labor it was likely used to make pottery. It wasn’t until roughly 3200 BC that the wheel was used for some form of transportation.


    The Modern Wheel


    Today, we have grown accustomed to a rapid evolution of technology. We even have Moore’s Law, which is essentially a glorified prediction about the rate at which technology will evolve (specifically how fast transistors will shrink). Ancient technology typically remained in a stasis. For thousands of years the wheel remained largely the same. In 1888, the first modern tire was invented by Benz. A rubber coating filled with pressurized air was considered by critics to be revolutionary. Since 1888, rubber tires are still the standard for virtually all wheeled vehicles.


    The Future of Tires


    It is difficult to predict how wheels and tires will evolve in the future. In 2012, Hankook Tire invented a tire that is only rubber, without any air pressure. The primary purpose of an airless tire an eco-friendlier production. Goodyear has developed tire that heat up while the automobile is parked in preparation for the next trip. Even more experimental are the concept of spherical tires. Some advantages of sphere tires would be allowing an automobile to move sideways; potentially quite useful to parallel park.



    What We Can Learn About Ourselves from a Wheel


    There is a saying, “Don’t try to reinvent the wheel.” Reinventing the wheel refers to attempting to change or replace an idea that already has no flaws. The wheel is perhaps the oldest technology. It predates recorded history. There are no operational flaws in its design. Is there something you want to change about yourself? Something you want to improve? Perhaps you don’t need to discover some new approach to being yourself. It’s possible your own past experience, and the experience of others, already contains the refined and optimized version of yourself that you seek. You just need to accept it.


    Source: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/a-salute-to-the-wheel-31805121/

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