Today is the tenth anniversary of his death and this quote from a 1999 article sums up the guy for me: on the ball, challenging and very funny.
“I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:
1) everything that’s already in the world when you’re born is just normal;
2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;
3) anything that gets invented after you’re thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it’s been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.
Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are.”
Thanks to Shaun Usher (@LettersOfNote) for the reference.
The article also reminded me of how huffy John Humphreys was about the new fangled internet in 1999 and the appalling way he read out urls to show that he did not really approve!