Prev Next


I find it near impossible to grasp evolution. Once understandable concepts and events become complex enough they defy my meager brain's ability to comprehend them to the point where they take on a life of their own.

Take for example the evolution of records. I can easily wrap my pea brain around the concept of a cylinder of wax or any soft'ish material being cut with a stylus moving in direct relation to sound. I can see this plainly. Turn it over in my head. I can also visualize parts of its evolution: discs and cutting heads, even magnetic particles being rearranged on plastic tape. And, I can fool myself into believing I have a clue how vacuum tubes work—how electrons I cannot see (but require faith that they exist) boil off a heated piece of metal and are attracted across a vacuum to a high voltage piece of metal somewhere else and this makes music?

But now pull away from the understandable to gaze inside a modern DAC. Are you kidding me? Plastic squares of magic. Bits and bobs of unknown function that somehow manage to make sound?

Think of the billions of steps needed to get to the point where we can make an integrated circuit: the transistor, the fabrication, clean rooms, doping, ultraviolet light generation, photolithography, metallization, oxidation, thin film deposition, etching, electron microscopes, lasers. Each of these technologies are in themselves unfathomable to me and each required billions of steps to become reality. And when all are combined? 

Magic. Voodoo. Created by gods and wizards I do not understand.

And yet, I was there. And I am here.

I witnessed within my lifetime most of that evolution. I was part of that evolution. And I still cannot comprehend the whole any more than I can look a child in the eye and comprehend its millions of years of complexity and evolution.

At a certain point in any structure the whole becomes more complex than my little brain can parse the individual elements that make it work.

Life is fascinating.

Back to blog
Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

Never miss a post


Related Posts

1 of 2