Ask A Genius 206 – Not for My Kid

In-Sight Publishing

Ask A Genius 206 – Not for My Kid

Scott Douglas Jacobsen & Rick Rosner

June 22, 2017

[Beginning of recorded material]

Rick Rosner: You’ve got more and better technology at 1472. Before that, the written word was a pain in the ass to circulate, and then across the next 550 years. It has become easier and easier to reproduce and disseminate words on paper or on screens.

But that whole deal of the printed word(s) has been a kind of stable point. Cars have been stable for 90 or 100 years, even though you have demographic changes. You have cars getting better with more features, but we use cars in a lot and even most of the same ways and for the same purposes.

So, you have stability, you have S curves. S curves show some things are being used by 0% of the population to almost every member of a population. The S curve measures the percent of the population doing or using something.

So, the S curve for the telephone is flat until the 1870s, 1880s. Then it starts to gradually go up. The curve of adaptation gets steep around 1910 and 1935. By the end of WWII, it is weird if a household doesn’t have a telephone.

That is an S curve for telephone, where it goes from a flat 0% of this curve to a flat 100%, and we can guess that future changes and the S curve implies punctuation. The S in the phone curve occupies 50 years. You’ve got thousands of phonelessness before the S.

You’ve got some 80 years and counting after the telephone. So, graduality, the people who live in times of change experience that gradual narrative. Things change. II experienced the changes of the computer chips invading the home. My kid didn’t.

By the time she was ready to really use computers, as close to the time that people got started; by the time she was old enough to make effective use of computers, the search was in place and the Internet was in place too.

The Internet sucked in 1995. Information search has been a super bad point of almost not being a thing. So, I experienced the S curve. My kid didn’t. So, science fiction tends to focus on S curve stuff. The going away of some old way of being and the coming of some new way of being.

[End of recorded material]



Rick Rosner

American Television Writer


Rick Rosner


Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Editor-in-Chief, In-Sight Publishing


In-Sight Publishing


[1] Four format points for the session article:

  1. Bold text following “Scott Douglas Jacobsen:” or “Jacobsen:” is Scott Douglas Jacobsen & non-bold text following “Rick Rosner:” or “Rosner:” is Rick Rosner.
  2. Session article conducted, transcribed, edited, formatted, and published by Scott.
  3. Footnotes & in-text citations in the interview & references after the interview.
  4. This session article has been edited for clarity and readability.

For further information on the formatting guidelines incorporated into this document, please see the following documents:

  1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Citation Guide: APA. Retrieved from
  2. Humble, A. (n.d.). Guide to Transcribing. Retrieved from

License and Copyright

In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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© Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal 2012-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen, Rick Rosner, and In-Sight Publishing and In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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