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News Link • General Opinion

The Surprising Truth: Technology Is Aging in Reverse

• http://www.wired.com, By Nassim N. Taleb

We may be trained to think that the new is about to overcome the old, but that’s just an optical illusion. Because the failure rate of the new is much, much higher than the failure rate of the old. When you see a young child and an old adult, you can be confident that the younger will likely survive the elder.

Yet with something nonperishable like a technology, that’s not the case.

There are two possibilities: Either both are expected to have the same additional life expectancy, or the old is expected to have a longer expectancy than the young. In this situation, if the old is 80 and the young is 10, the elder is expected to live eight times as long as the younger one. 
 
Building on this so-called Lindy effect (in the version later developed by the great Benoît Mandelbrot), I propose the following:
 
For the perishable, every additional day in its life translates into a shorter additional life expectancy. For the nonperishable like technology, every additional day may imply a longer life expectancy.

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