Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

Predicting The Path Of Technology

On December 28 1895, the Lumière brothers, the inventors of the first film camera,  changed the world forever by screening the first movie marathon.

Lured by the promise of watching the first motion picture, Parisians walked down into the basement of a café filled with rows of chairs.

With everyone finally in their seats, a man tinkered with a weird-looking box until it shot a bright light onto the wall.

What first only looked like a still image of a train, began to move. The audience was dumbstruck and began to laugh.

But as the locomotive drew closer, the laughs turned to screams.

Convinced the train was going to burst out of the wall, people trampled over each other as they ran to the exit.

When the operator turned off the movie and switched on the lights, he saw a collection of people tangled together on the basement’s stairs.

Historians claim this story is simply an urban legend. And it probably is.

Whoever invented the tale of the terrified audience likely never meant for it to be taken seriously.

Seeing a fixed image come to life was simply so jaw droppingly amazing that a factual retelling couldn’t do the viewing justice. After all, the viewers felt as if they just saw the impossible happen.

And let’s be honest, all technology feels like hocus pocus unless you understand it.

But even knowing how a gizmo or doodad works doesn’t mean you see its potential. Inventors especially tend to be short sighted about their own creations.

The Lumières, for example, stopped producing movies after only five years saying, “Cinema is an invention without a future.”

And being single uninterrupted shots without a plot, the earliest films really did seem like a passing fad.

But film was simply in its Youtube phase and was growing into something bigger than jawed at the zoo, cat videos and Chinese Backstreet Boys.

The Lumières couldn’t see where their invention was headed, because they stood too close to their invention.

So while the brothers invented the camera, it was people with a fresh and non-scientific perspective who invented the movie we know and love today.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach