Rob Meesen is one of the most read entrepreneurs in Limburg. TopChange co-owner reads between 250 and 300 books per year. Entrepreneurship book is written every week. Because WijLimburg will stop on July 1, now for the last time. Discusses Mike Hogfield’s new book: “Bertie and the Wonder Years.”
“We all have our time machines, don’t we. The ones that bring us back are the memories…and the dreams that propel us forward.” (H.G. Wells)
Of the Seven Classical Wonders of the Ancient World (500 BC – 476 AD) we can only see the pyramid of Khufu. She is, according to WH Kirberger in his book Seven Wonders of the World Built in 1855 with a “stairway of knowledge hitherto unparalleled”. The other six wonderful wonders of the world, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, the Colossus of Rhodes and the Pharos of Alexandria are unfortunately no longer visible.
How different is it from non-classical wonders, such as the Eiffel Tower, built for the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1889 and for which six million people buy a ticket each year. The 1889 Paris Expo was the tenth official World Exhibition (BIE classification) after the first in London in 1851. Between 1851 and 1910, no less than seventeen World’s Fairs were held. It was the miraculous years of the Second Industrial Revolution that coincided with the life of Edward VII, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and Emperor of the Indies (1842-1910). Even Kerberger would have been impressed.
An era of great technological progress
in Bertie and the Wonder Years Mike Hogfield takes us on a journey through an era of great technological progress at the end of the 19th century. The last years of the nineteenth century are marked by a kind of singularity full of change. The precursor to this lies roughly between 1850 and 1870, as is evident at the Universal Exhibitions of 1851 in London and 1855 in Paris. A unique period of freedom, creativity, energy, development, beauty, optimism, ambition and unprecedented entrepreneurship. In this age of optimism, the same person always plays a leading role: Bertie, as future King Edward VII is perhaps the most striking member of the British royal family ever. With nothing to do, he lives a life full of scandal, as his countless travels take him through the mighty British Empire and on to New York and Paris. During the wonderful years of technological innovation, he met all the brilliant inventors who would leave something for future generations, including Eiffel, Ritz, Waldorf, Pathé, Edison, Tesla, Dunlop, Pulitzer, Selfridge, Benz, Michelin, Curie, Roentgen, Nobel and Marconi.”
Bertie and the Wonder Years It is a fascinating journey through the World’s Fairs in London (1851, 1862), Paris (1855, 1867, 1878, 1889, 1900), Vienna (1873), Philadelphia (1876), Melbourne (1880), Chicago (1893), Brussels (1897) , 1910), St. Louis (1904), Liege (1905) and Milan (1906). There the world was first introduced to a flood of wonders of the world such as mechanical computer, plastic, diving suit, hydraulic lift, reinforced concrete, soft drink machine, diesel engine, electric grinder, first sound films, tractor, zipper, paper clip, cotton candy, generator Electric, electric motor, transformer, battery, boiler, punched card, vacuum cleaner, telegraph, holograms, introduction to fax, voting machine, large telescopes, radio, vulcanized rubber, lawn mower, washing machine, coffee maker, fan, sewing machine, Foucault’s pendulum.
The brain is like a time machine
Bertie’s Miraculous Years is also the period in which science fiction writers such as Jules Verne and H.G. Wells appeared. Later he was only matched by Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. The latter walked over the New York World’s Fair in 1964. Not an official World’s Fair, but the largest and most beautifully watched of all. Fifty million people visited it, among other things, amazed at the rockets that took man to the moon. Asimov asked himself what to see at the 2014 World’s Fair. Using his brain as a time machine, he described several things that had been achieved, such as NASA’s Mars robot. What people can dream they can realize. Enhanced by memories of the wonders of the world that you dreamed of in the past. Inventions that are self-evident to current generations nowadays while preoccupied with a terrifying perspective on global warming.
Reversing climate change
Last week, the International Climate Override Commission was formed. Politicians, scientists and diplomats will investigate how to reverse climate change using Technofix. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not happening fast enough, so other options must be explored. Some options sound like science fiction. Such as dimming the sun by bringing large amounts of dust particles into the stratosphere of aircraft. This could have a similar effect to a large volcanic eruption, causing the Earth’s temperature to temporarily drop.
As an optimist of progress, I believe in human creativity and the possibilities of technology. Although the number of inventions in Bertie’s era was enormous, in our miraculous years this will be exceeded by a thousand times more innovations. The Fourth Industrial Age has arrived with robots and artificial intelligence as the creators of the rules of the game. However, social change, organizational change and social change are much slower than technological innovation. Therefore, just as during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, efforts must be made to remove resistance among the population to change. Mike Hoogveld’s beautiful story helps remind them that we have these wonderful time machines from the H.G. Wells quote: Memories and Dreams.