Every five years, I re-post what I wrote on the fifth anniversary of 9/11, which I witnessed first-hand in Lower Manhattan.

September 11, 2006

I still remember what I thought that moment, as I stood on the roofdeck, watching the towers crumble, wondering whether my wife was still alive:


This army isn’t the Chinese challenge we need to worry about.

People in the technology world love the word, “disruption.” Though widely mis-used, the concept draws valuable attention to the fact that change is sometimes discontinuous. Nassim Taleb’s idea of the black swan similarly resonated because it emphasized that the present is not always a good guide to the future.


There is a comment attributed (almost certainly incorrectly) to Albert Einstein, in which the great physicist was asked to explain how radio works:

You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los…

Kevin Werbach

Wharton prof, tech policy maven, digital connector, pesctarian, feminist. Co-author, For the Win; author, The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust.

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