Words Poorly Used #134 — Convergence

People in the technology trades these days are insisting that we are experiencing “convergence.”  At TechTarget.com, the following definition is offered:

technological convergence

In general, convergence is a coming together of two or more distinct entities or phenomena. Technological convergence is increasingly prevalent in the information technology world; in this context, the term refers to the combination of two or more different technologies in a single device.

In the textbook from which I am teaching now, we find —

— but this is an out-of-date idea.  It goes back to Vannevar Bush in the FDR administration.  Today, we are not experiencing convergence on a neatly designed technology with smooth edges and a finished inclusion of all future features.  Rather what we are seeing is divergence.  Let me add that the word does not contemplate separation into specialized parts.  It sees technology as a Mandelbrot Pattern, ever branching, ever reaching into new territory, ever displaying new looks.

— Kilgore Forelle

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