Soft tool culture

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The expression, soft tool culture, came to me when I was absorbing anthropology ideas about human development. I remember one of the closing lines of Dances with Wolves (the movie]) was something like, "... and the great Plains Culture passed into history." What a thing to say! Might someone regret the passing of our culture. What is our culture? I don't mean English Canada, but more globally: is there a dominant characteristic that makes us who we are now? Is it a social artifact or a persistent behaviour?

We have many names for the historical period we're in. However it will be viewed many years from now, assuming that there are observers that might be interested, I hope we're not going to be looked upon as an information age. That's so yesterday. ;-) I think this is the advent of software-based tools. Whatever it is that these tools do, and however they manifest, software's influence is, to my way of thinking, a key distinction compared to previous periods. Of course, it'll take an understanding of what software even is among those who's duty it is to name epochs before the prevalent influence of software-based tools will be noticeable. That is part of my job.

Soft tools are those we can combine and re-combine at a whim. We use them to make new tools, we make infinite perfect copies of them at no cost, we embody knowledge in them and keep them forever or toss them expeditiously moments after we create them.

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