Reflections on the Rise of Modern Science

by Jay Cuthrell
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There is an ancient saying…

Those who do not study history, are doomed to… [checks notes] take an alternative course that satisfies the elective requirements to graduate in their matriculated degree program.

While I’m no history major, thirty (30!) years ago I did take a history course: “HI 322 - THE RISE OF MODERN SCIENCE”. If you ask me what I remember — I remember learning about phlogiston.

Sadly, courses like “HI 322 - THE RISE OF MODERN SCIENCE” should have been one of my favorite courses — but in reality, I barely passed it. I play back the reasons why even today and it might have something to do with… being preoccupied with that which would become the domain of knowledge I’d build upon for the next thirty (30!) years.

I did take a few more history courses that shaped my way of thinking. However, as scholastic penance this week, I decided to go down a rabbit hole of the past 30 years of big things that happened in a timeline that have shaped much (all?) of my career.

The following thirty (30!) year listicle is not meant to be a year over year exhaustive deep dive. Think of the listicle as more of a higlight reel of loosely related topics that might compound, converge, or convolute any number of possible futures.


It has been one (1!) year since I opined that Twit Can Happen.


It has been two (2!) years since we learned about the concept of the ruliad.


It has been three (3!) years since I left my longest running stint with the same company through a series of concurrent nested mergers and acquisiions.


It has been four (4!) years since the United States Government shut down resulted in an unscheduled public test of HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS).


It has been five (5!) years since Google Cloud announced a change in leadership, IBM announced it would acquired Red Hat, and Apple became the first company to reach $1T market cap.


It has been ten (10!) years since we learned that the lyrics to ‘Santa Claus is Coming To Town’ described a future dystopian digital panopitcon just in time for the arrival of wireless brain computer interfaces.


It has been fifteen (15!) years since Google’s fresh take on the web browser and our first major lessons on the trust based fragility of BGP announcements.


It has been twenty (20!) years since the first major test of Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), section 512 and social network graph theories.


It has been thirty (30!) years since the first ripples of the World Wide Web became more widely recognized through interactions with the web browser, the growing notion of an eternal September, the birth of the Pentium processor, and initial operational capability (IOC) for civilian use of GPS.

So, what happens next?

As I often say…

Until then… Place your bets!


I am linking to my disclosure.


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